Are You At High Risk For A Latex Allergy?

Allergies are commonplace in modern society. In fact, in some cases, the numbers are actually increasing annually. The allergies are of different types – although all are a form of autoimmune system response. Some such as food allergies are very common; others such as allergic reactions to latex are not. Yet, while the risk for latex is not high, it is still affects approximately 1% of Americans.

What Is Latex and Latex Allergy?

Latex is the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree. The actual proteins in the sap can trigger an allergic response. In addition, the chemicals added to the latex can work with the proteins to create symptoms. As a form of contact dermatitis, latex allergy displays certain symptoms.


    • Are You At High Risk For A Latex Allergy?Hives
    • Itching
    • Runny nose
    • Stuffy nose and sinuses

Some people may feel tightness in the chest as well as wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Like other forms of allergies, a latex allergy can induce anaphylaxis. This response may or may not be immediate. Unlike many allergies, the initial response is not always immediate. A latex allergy usually develops following ongoing exposure to various latex products.

What Contains Latex?

Latex is a major or sole contributor to the basis of many different products. These include:

    • Baby and children’s items including rubber toys, infant bottle nipples and pacifiers
    • Balloons
    • Carpet backing
    • Contraceptives
    • Cushions
    • Medical or surgical gloves
    • Pillows
    • Waterproof clothing

If you handle these objects repeatedly, you may become allergic displaying certain indicatory symptoms. However, in some instances, if the latex particles become airborne, they can trigger an allergic response.

Are you at High Risk for a Latex Allergy?

You are at if you work in certain occupations where exposure is constant and consistent. These include, of course, various health care providers including personal care workers, nurses, doctors, surgeons, emergency responders and those with similar jobs. In fact, statistics indicate that between 8 and 12 percent of all American health care workers will actually get a latex allergy.

You may also be at high risk for latex allergies if you work in the sectors manufacturing latex or latex products. In some ways, this can be more dangerous for someone who has developed an allergy to the material. In this type of working environment, the particles of latex may become float in the air. In certain circumstances, they can enter the actual lungs of an individual with allergies and cause a reaction.

Call our offices at 212-319-5282 to schedule an appointment with the best allergist in New York City.


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