Latex Allergy Stories

Tell Your Latex Allergy Story

The best way for the world to understand the severity of a Latex allergy is for everyone to hear what those suffering from the allergy go through. Read the stories below written by people who suffer from allergic reactions to Latex and comments by those who advocate change.


Currently, 177 people have submitted stories or comments.


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Annette lynch: Port Huron, MI


I have a hypersensitivity to latex, blood test do not reveal my allergies (which also includes many foods and bees/hornets). I am unable to work due to use of rubber bands in my office, rubber coating on computer cables, and so forth. I'm current fighting workmans comp as I was denied my long term disability. I have to call restaurants in advance to insure my safety to eat there. Unable to go into most stores. Not an easy life.


Linda Johnson: Etiwanda, Ca


I first noticed symptoms around latex balloons about 10yrs.ago. I then began to get rashes around my breasts when my bras were new. I occasionally will become itchy in same areas if I wear newer gym clothes or wear them for more than a couple of hours. When the gym I've belonged to for years(The Claremont Club) began to replace the work out balls I had to stay away from them. Now they are replacing the floors with rubber containing materials and after my workouts I am tired, achy and my chest feels tight. I have brought this to the attention of the CEO and he has made it clear that the rest of the flooring will be replaced by Sep. with the rubber containing material. I will more than likely have to give up my membership. A couple other members that I know have brought this to the attention of the CEO as well but he is not interested in alternative flooring. It is a very real issue that is not understood by many. I have been wondering if many people who just don't feel good working out feel that way from the exposure to latex rubber containing materials in the gym and aren't aware of it.


Jennifer Joiner: Tucker, GA


If nothing else, it would be great to have all products that contain latex labeled just like other allergies. I work as a teacher and I cannot tell you the number of times that I have had to not attend "parties" and dances because of the fear of latex balloons. I have had terrible reactions to prizes given to students. I just cannot seem to be taken seriously by my coworkers and other people that come into the building. With school supplies, it is impossible for me to get a completely latex-free building let alone a latex-free classroom. I do feel that at some point, my allergy will become so bad that I will have to quit being a teacher because a classroom will never be completely latex-free. People without allergies have absolutely no concept of how dangerous it can be for me.


Angela Lauricella: Margate, FL Florida


I have been dealing with latex allergies since 17 years old when I started my nursing career. It has gotten worse over the years now I cant even be around balloons or have my non latex gloves near latex gloves. Its very frustrating. To find out how many products and foods may trigger a reaction this scares me. I hope that more people will be aware of this and stop making products with latex .


Erin/Anne Mcevoy: garden city, new york

My mom has a severe latex allergy. I have seen her suffer and not be able to breath. She can die from latex. We need to abolish latex gloves from preparing food. We need to abolish latex everywhere.


Kristeen Davis: Salem, Oregon


Because I was exposed to so often for the first seven years of my life when I was in and out of the hospital and doctor's offices, I developed this allergy. It didn't become apparent until I was 12 years old. Since then my reactions have gotten worse the more I am exposed to it. At first it was just an allergic contact dermatitis problem and then after I became an adult and was exposed to it even more, when I breathed air contaminated with latex, I developed allergic rhinitis. When this happens my throat swells closed and my eyes, nose (which causes it to start running), and tongue / mouth begin to itch. At this point I immediately take liquid Benadryl and leave work, or where-ever I'm at, and go straight home. I've carried an Epi-pen with me for years and have yet to use it. When latex products touch my skin, that area swells, becomes irritated, cracks, and bleeds. My reactions from physical contact doesn't worry me; however just walking by a store front with latex balloons, or even Poinsettia's, out front (on the sidewalk, near the entrance, etc) sets off my allergy. During the Christmas holidays I am even more limited of where I can go because of the Poinsettia plant. I don't even have to touch it and I have a bad reaction. Just breathing the air when the plant is in bloom is enough to make my throat start to close, and my eyes, nose, tongue, and mouth to start itching. Latex can kill me. If I go into anaphylaxis shock and do not use my Epi-pen, I will die. This product and the lack of empathy many business owners / employers (even after being educated about the situation) have regarding this allergy is mind-boggling.


Sharon McEvoy: garden city, New York


I have suffered with a latex allergy for over 20 years. I was first diagnosed in the early 1990's when I was in Nursing School. It started as a contact dermatitis with latex gloves. It progressed to a Type IV allergic contact dermatitis and then progressed to a type I immediate allergic reaction also known as anaphylaxis. I recently had 4 anaphylaxis reactions because I consumed food that was prepared with latex gloves, unknown to me. I am now an asthmatic and need to take two medications daily with an inhaler twice a day. I carry a rescue inhaler and two epi pens with me . I am petrified to eat any food not prepared by myself. I am a victim not a disease. The use of latex gloves in all areas of food processing an handling and food services needs to be banned not just on a state level but at a federal level!This is my mission. This is my journey. I will fight. I will survive.


Sarah Norman: knoxville, TN - Tennessee


I became allergic to latex about 7 years ago after participating in a CPR class with a rubber dummy. It has now progressed to inhalation latex allergy and affects most every part of my/my family's life. It affects where I go, what I eat, wear, activities I can participate in, and it has been most challenging to try to find a suitable working environment.


Ramona Brock: Painesville, Ohio


Anaphylaxis x4 Nearly fatal twice. Nurse for 27 yrs and latex ended my career. I wish latex would be banned from the food industry because it makes it so hard to go out for the evening. My latex allergy is systemic and I am on total disability. I hate this allergy and there is nothing that can be done .


Vickie Myers: Ashland City , TN


***I have had latex allergy since 2000. I have a Positive Latex RAST Blood Test. This involves more than "just gloves" I developed latex allergy from working as an ORLPNCST in Orthopedics. This started with reactions to gloves, than large hives, swollen lips, shortness of breath, eyes burning. Skin itching on fire. I was misdiagnosed for 6 years from a LACK of Education and VU refused to do a Latex RAST Test. The VU Occupational DR.kept returning me to the OR with Latex gloves. She sent me to a Physcitrist And that Phys. told me I had to be allergic to Latex. She seen the hives, shortness of breath and swollen eyes. She documented my notes ,diary I had kept, noting what type,length of time and exsposure to Latex, Rubber, Foam Rubber, etc. She noted the different types of reactions the, Vomiting Diarrhea Difficult Breathing/Asthma Sore Joints/Muscles Dizziness/Vertigo Nausea ***Anaphylaxis Sore/Scratchy Throat Swelling She wrote a letter and told The Occupational Dr to have me checked for Latex. And still VU refused. I ended up so sick with this missing a lot of work. Than VU fired me for being allergic to Latex. In 2006 Jan 17, one day before being there for 18yrs. I had to find a Dr that understood Latex and I did. Avoidence and Education two main keys. Threw out the years, I have struggled to get proper, health care, dental care, work refused to stop using latex gloves, because of my latex allergy. I could continue to tell you Horror stories of incidents that have happen too me mainly due to lack of Education. This is very important to a lot of us Health care workers, and others, and a lot of children, here in the states. Please Educate if you do not understand, that Latex is more than an Allergy. Thank you so much, for your time.


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