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Living with Latex Allergies

Once you are diagnosed with a latex allergy, you can take some steps to protect yourself. Follow your health care provider’s instructions and the guidelines below.

Nonlatex gloves, injectable epinephrine, pill bottles, written note, and carrying bag.

Alert Others to Your Latex Allergy

  • Wear a bracelet that tells others that you have a latex allergy. This lets them know that they need to avoid using latex when they care for you. You may also want to put a sign in your car window and near your front door that says you have a latex allergy.

  • In addition, contact your health care providers (including your dentist and local hospital) and have them note on your chart or file that you are allergic to latex.

Know the Signs of Shock

Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening allergic reaction. If you develop signs of shock, use your epinephrine immediately. Then get emergency medical attention right away. The signs of anaphylactic shock include the following:

  • Swelling of the throat

  • Wheezing, inability to breathe

  • Facial flushing

  • Rapid, pounding heartbeat

  • Feeling faint

Carry an Allergy Kit

The kit should include:

  • Injectable epinephrine, which can stop an allergic reaction. Your doctor will give you a prescription for it.

  • Nonlatex surgical gloves, which you can wear or give to others to wear if they must care for you.

  • A note from your doctor stating that you have a latex allergy.

  • A complete list of the medications you take.

Educate Your Loved Ones

It may be hard for your friends and family to understand your latex allergy. Let them know when and how to use your medications and when to call for emergency help. If they understand your allergy, they will be better able to help you prevent or stop an allergic reaction.

 

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