Latex Allergy

Monday, May 03, 2010

Allergy to latex was first recognized in the late 1970s. Since then, it has become a major health concern as an increased number of people have become affected. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about latex allergy in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product manufactured from a milky fluid that comes from the rubber tree. If you have a latex allergy, your body mistakes latex for a harmful substance.

Latex allergy may cause allergic reactions ranging from sneezing or a runny nose to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition.

Latex is used to make everyday products and medical equipment such as balloons, bandages and adhesives, pacifiers or baby bottle nipples and rubber gloves.

A mild allergy may cause skin reactions, runny nose, cough, tightness in your chest or watery eyes. A bad latex allergy may cause shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness or a rapid or weak pulse. If you have these symptoms, call 911.

Anyone can get a latex allergy, but some people are at higher risk than others. These people include health care workers, patients with urinary tract problems and patients who have had many operations or medical procedures.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.