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What To Do If Someone Diagnose Latex Allergy

Diagnosing Latex Allergy

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A latex allergy should be suspected in anyone who develops symptoms after latex exposure. Any exposed worker who experiences the known symptoms should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible. Further exposure could result in a serious allergic reaction.

Diagnosing Latex Allergy

Taking a complete medical history is the first step in diagnosing a latex allergy. Blood tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are available to detect latex antibodies.

Testing is also available to diagnose allergic contact dermatitis. In this FDA-approved test, a special patch containing latex additives is applied to the skin and checked over several days. A positive reaction is shown by itching, redness, swelling, or blistering where the patch covered the skin.

In some cases, tests may fail to confirm a worker who has a true allergy to latex. In other instances, tests may suggest latex allergy in a worker with no clinical symptoms. Therefore, test results must be evaluated by a knowledgeable physician.

Although medications are available to reduce the symptoms of latex allergy, there is no cure. The only way to prevent a latex allergic reaction is to avoid products that contain latex.

Despite your best efforts to avoid latex, you may come into contact with it. If you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to latex, you may need to carry injectable epinephrine with you at all times. If you have an anaphylactic reaction, you will need to go to the emergency room for an immediate injection of adrenaline (epinephrine).

For less severe reactions, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids, which you can take after exposure to latex to control your reaction and help relieve discomfort.

Preparing for your appointment

You’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in allergies (allergist).

Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Keep notes about any exposure to latex, when it occurred and what type of reaction you had.
  • Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications you’re taking, including vitamins and supplements.
  • Take a family member or friend, if possible. He or she may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

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