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Latex Allergy

Latex gloves are the most common offending product for people with a latex allergy. But a latex allergy can also be triggered by latex in condoms and certain medical devices. Symptoms of latex allergy include skin rash, eye tearing and irritation, runny nose, sneezing, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and itching of the skin or nose. Allergic reactions to latex can range from skin redness and itching to a much more serious reaction called anaphylaxis, which can cause difficulty breathing, hives, and sudden gastrointestinal problems.

Treatments include removal and avoidance of the latex product. To relieve allergy symptoms, antihistamines or epinephrine will be given. If you have a latex allergy, it is important for you to wear a MedicAlert bracelet and carry an emergency epinephrine kit (epi pen) at all times. To prevent a latex reaction, sensitive individuals should avoid products containing latex.

Food Allergy

Milk, fish and shellfish, nuts, wheat, and eggs are among the most common foods that cause allergies. A food allergic reaction usually occurs within minutes of eating the offending food, and symptoms can include asthma, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and significant swelling in the area around the mouth. The best treatment is to avoid the offending food altogether; but when exposed, treatment with antihistamines or steroids is recommended. In life-threatening situations, an epinephrine injection is needed to reverse symptoms.

Drug Allergy

Some people develop allergies to certain drugs, such as penicillin or aspirin. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening and can include a skin rash or hives, itchy eyes, congestion, and swelling in the mouth and throat. The best treatment of drug allergies is to avoid the offending drug altogether; however, when exposed, treatment with antihistamines or steroids is recommended. For coughing and lung congestion, drugs called bronchodilators may be prescribed to widen the airways. For more serious symptoms, epinephrine may be needed.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on May 19, 2014
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