What is Latex Allergy – Symptoms and Treatment
Latex allergy is caused by the exposure to a milky liquid that comes from rubber trees found in tropical areas. There are several products in daily life which contain this substance. A person developing allergy to latex may experience asthma and rash on repeatedly being exposed to it. 0.8 – 8.2 percent of people are sensitive to this substance. This article tries to gain further insight on this topic.
Symptoms of Latex Allergy: The signs of this allergy can be divided to two types, namely; immediate and delayed. Workers in rubber industry, health care providers and people who had many surgeries in childhood are at high risk of developing this condition.
Immediate Symptoms:These are the serious types of signs which require quick medical attention. Some of these signs are:
- Tightness of throat
- Difficulty in breathing
- A severe and life-threatening allergic condition known as anaphylaxis
- Death in rare cases
Delayed Symptoms: These signs are not life-threatening. They require 12-24 hours to be apparent. Mostly these signs are rashes developed at the site of contact. The allergy here is not caused by the natural protein substance present in the latex but the chemicals used in the products made from the substance.
Some people suffering from this allergy also complain of oral allergy syndrome. This condition involves swelling and itching of mouth after eating certain foods like chestnuts, kiwi, melons, banana and avocado. In most of the cases, this syndrome is mild to moderate in severity and it is in the better interest in the patient to avoid these foods.
Treatment of Latex Allergy:
Injectable epinephrine, corticosteroids and anti-histamines are used to treat the immediate symptoms. Topical corticosteroid creams are used to treat delayed signs. In severe cases, corticosteroid pills or syrup are used. The best way is to develop awareness about products and foods which cause this allergy and stay away from it.