20/9/2019

## The changing nature of latex allergies

Latex sensitivity can prove to be a large issue for those working in the healthcare industry. In recent years, allergies to latex have been more broadly recognised and solutions have been found. Concerned you might have a latex allergy? Read on for a break-down of the common condition: disposable medical supplies

What are the symptoms of a latex allergy?

The main symptoms of a latex allergy include immediate itching, redness and swelling of skin that has come into contact with the latex. In addition to the visible symptoms, a latex allergy can range in impact depending on the individual. In some cases, latex allergies cause asthma-like symptoms of:

• Wheezing

• Chest tightness

• Difficulty breathing

• Anaphylaxis

How can I avoid these allergy symptoms?

Although manufacturers are developing alternatives to latex products, there are other precautions that can be made to avoid these symptoms:

• Wear a medical identification bracelet in case of emergency

• If necessary to wear gloves, use vinyl or synthetic ones

• If your allergy is severe, avoid takeaway food which may have been prepared by workers wearing latex gloves

Are latex gloves changing? Are there any alternatives?

Due to an increasing amount of allergies, the method of how standard latex gloves are developed is being updated for changing consumer preferences. It is becoming more common for latex gloves to be developed with reduced amount of allergy inducing proteins. From using natural rubber latex gloves, individuals greatly decrease their risk of developing an allergy.  Another alternative to these gloves are synthetic substitutes- removing all elements of latex.

With future developments for combating these allergies, the overall impact of latex sensitivity has fortunately decreased.