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Allergies Health Center

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Latex Allergy: Tips for Doctor or Dentist Visits

When you have a latex allergy, going to the doctor or dentist can be tricky. Here’s how to avoid an allergic reaction.

  • Ask for the first appointment in the morning. That’s because even if your doctor or dentist uses latex-free gloves for you, there can be latex particles in the air from gloves used with other patients. You're more likely to avoid these particles by getting there early.
  • Call the office a day before your appointment. Tell them about your latex allergy and ask if your exam or treatment will expose you to latex. It's not just the gloves -- latex also hides in blood pressure cuffs, items in your dentist’s office, orthodontic rubber bands, and other equipment. The staff can help you avoid being exposed during your visit. They will also make a note of your allergy in your medical record.
  • Carry latex-free exam gloves with you just in case.
  • Take someone with you to appointments where you might accidentally come into contact with latex, in case you have a reaction.
  • If you have a significant latex allergy, always wear a medical alert necklace or bracelet to let people know in case you need emergency care.
  • If you’ve had a severe reaction, talk to your doctor about getting an Auvi-Q or EpiPen (epinephrine shot). Always carry two shots with you.
  • If you need to stay in a hospital, tell the staff about your latex allergy. Ask for a "latex-free" room.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Managing Allergies at Work

It's hard enough to cope with allergies on the weekend, but dealing with allergies at work is even more challenging. Ask anyone who's ever dozed off in the middle of an important meeting because of allergy symptoms or medications. "Allergy symptoms are the No. 2 reason adults miss work," says James Sublett, MD, a board-certified asthma and allergy specialist in Louisville, Ky. The average worker with allergies misses about one hour per week over the course of a year. But that sick time is often...

Read the Managing Allergies at Work article > >

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on October 31, 2014

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