Latex Sensitivity: Facts You Should Know About It
Latex allergy symptoms may include hives, itching, stuffy or runny nose. It can cause asthma symptoms of wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Visit The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM) to get specialized and comprehensive care. For more information, contact us today or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7510 North Forest Drive North Charleston, SC 29420.
There is a growing concern over latex sensitivity. Latex is very strongly allergenic and is nearly everywhere. It is estimated to occur in 20,000 substances, with exposure beginning at the time of birth, from contact with the latex rubber gloves worn by medical personnel. There are three major clinical manifestations of allergic reactions to latex: local skin irritation, delayed contact dermatitis, and classical atopic or allergic disease including life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Associated with latex sensitivity is the Latex Fruit Syndrome. Here we have an example of the principle of Concomitancy, whereby diverse substances may share a similar molecular pattern and exhibit cross-reactivity. Some fruits have components that are molecular mimics of latex and provoke similar reactions in latex-sensitive individuals. Avocado, banana, kiwi, chestnuts, melon, and walnuts all cross-react with latex.
For latex-sensitive individuals, avoidance of latex and the above concomitant fruits is critical.
Neutralization does appear helpful, and the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine has been studying neutralization in this area. We serve patients from Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, all of South Carolina, Nationally, and Internationally. Patients routinely fly into Charleston to be evaluated by COEM and to enjoy this beautiful city which is a Condé Nast and Travel and Leisure Top Domestic and International Tourist Destination.
Reference: Frankland AW. Editorial Latex Allergy. Clin Exp Allergy 1995;25:199-201