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, 182 people have submitted stories or comments.


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Cheri Held: O Fallon, Missouri


I have been a nurse for 33 years now and my latex allergies seems to have started approx. 5 years ago. In that short time the symptoms have advanced from simple itching after wearing latex gloves (a requirement at work) to blisters on contact, vertigo and nausea along with SOB (shortness of breath). I now feel that I will need to carry an Epi-pen to avoid any near death situations and leave my nursing if I want to continue living.


Erica Paulsen: Fremont, Ne


My Latex allergy has gotten worse over the years. I was diagnosed with it when I was 15 years old and the more I have interacted with it the worse my allergy has gotten. Particles in the air from a latex balloon sent me into shock last week at work and I almost died. A squad was called out because my blood pressure was extremely high and I went in and out of consciousness. This is a terrible allergy. I cant believe it has came to this. I know how people with the allergy feel and I didnt realize until last week how serious my allergy was. I now know that I must take every precaution possible to avoid the trauma that this allergy can cause.


Bailey Gammell: Houston, Tx


When I was 12 years old, I fell down a flight of stairs and ripped a muscle in my right knee resulting in me attending physical therapy for 6 months and wearing a knee brace for a year and a half which had to have complete contact to the skin. The inner lining was made of Natural Rubber Latex. When I was 14 I had knee surgery, yet was surprised on the inflammation after the surgery. During my post-op check up I was switched to a Latex free gauze and bandage and told to stay away from Latex. I am now 17 years old and am extremely reactive. I carry a first-aid kit that compiles of Latex-Free bandages, gauze, gloves and Benadryl and an EpiPen. A list of products that commonly contain latex is folded and in the first aid kid as well. I live in the fourth largest city in the United States, and to be unable to find a doctor that has a Latex-Free office, is hard to understand. On one occasion, I was out with some friends at a popular known restaurant, and on our way back to my friends house, I began to feel nauseas, my chest felt hea. I automatically assumed it was food-poisoning. She pulled the car over and I began throwing up violently on the side of the road. What I didn’t get was my friend was feeling was feeling fine, I was throwing up, and we shared an entrée. I began to go through my list of possible causes, yet the only thing that stuck in my mind was a latex reaction. When we finally got to my friends house, I looked up the restaurant online and called. Sure enough, the kitchen staff always uses Latex Gloves when preparing food. I have never eaten there since. My reactions have greatly increased throughout the last year. I have seen several doctors about the issue, yet none seem to have an explanation. The solution I have come up with is staying away from foods that contain the latex protein, especially avocado, chestnuts, banana and kiwi. I carry my first aid kid, and just stay out of situations that would put me in contact with latex.


Kristin Phillippi: Ellwood City, pa

Hello my name is Kristin. I do not have Latex allergy YET, but I probably will when I get a little bit older. I am 26 years old and my mother has extreme latex allergy. She has all the symptoms vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing,sore joints and muscles, dizziness and vertigo, nausea, scratchy throat and extreme swelling. My mother has had this problem since I was 13. It has cost her her whole life. When we first found out what it was she was 1 in around 100 in the united state that they knew off. No one know what it was about and what would make it worse. We meet people all the time now who say they have latex allergy but they are still using stuff that is bad and not watching... I warn you start watching... It will only get worse. You have to change what you wear, where you work, whats in your house, what you touch, and what you eat. The newest food my mother can't eat is onions, not because of the onion but because of how they are grown in other places with that black mulch that is latex. Celery is another big one. Please read labels there is stuff everywhere be careful it took us years to learn the hundreds of no's. My mom is just lucky that we pay attention or it could be her life. this is not just a allergy you can brush off you have to learn to live around it. Feel free to contact me I will try to help who ever needs to talk or have questions. God bless you all.


Sally MacIntyre: London, England


Every time I go to the dentist I have a severe reaction in my mouth - I think it is the Latex gloves they are using - how can I treat it - I have a burning sensation in my mouth, sores on my lips, and my tongue is so sore and itchy - I had a rash on my skin eveywere the dentist touched me for gland checkup - HELP!


Barbara Jones: Detroit, Michigan


I am frightened by the way that my allergic reaction to latex exposure has increased over time. For example, I did not know that electrical cords contained latex until I was putting up my family's Christmas tree and almost went in to anaphylactic shock! I couldn't understand it b/c we've put up a tree every year since I could remember and I've never had this type of reaction. This year my allergy went in to overdrive following my exposure to the rubber on my husband's crutches. Ever since then I can't seem to come into contact with anything latex-related. I'm really freaked out and don't know what to do at this point.


Leah Smith: Warren, MI

My 3 year old son is having a latex sensitivity in which even a trip to the playground is often ended early due to an allergic reaction. ( I assume from using his hands as he climbs the equipment, in which rubber soled shoes had walked all over.) There is nothing more heartbreaking then not being able to get my son's professional pictures done, ever, because the poor baby fights awful itchy rashes on his face anytime he comes in contact with anything latex or chemically treated. His diagnosis started as cradle cap when he was 4 months old. He, too, started his life surrounded by latex as a c-section baby. Just after getting his first set of shots ( in which 3 others, gloved, touched him) the rashes began. Please, help make my child's world one in which he can live in and not need to be held in a bubble.


Patricia Trelinski: Los Angeles, CA


It took going through gall bladder surgery for someone to give me a diagnosis of latex allergy. As I came out of anesthesia, nurses were hovering around me exclaiming what a bad allergy I had to latex. (Obviously, this place that performed the surgery was not latex-free.) I always had problems with band-aids and reading newspapers. I could not believe how bad I felt from reading newspapers. Thank God for the internet. That is where I found out that there is latex in newspaper ink. Almost no one knows that fact. Recently, in Los Angeles, I have been having a lot of dental work done. I started realizing that I was getting sick every time I went to the dentist. We have narrowed it down to the latex used in the office. I get horrible sinus problems, dizziness, bad sore throats, and have felt that I was close to not breathing. One exposure left me feeling all of the above symptoms plus disoriented and not able to think. Not enough is being done to insure that patients are safe from latex. Medical facilities are sadly lacking on this issue. I am scared that the one place (hospitals, medical offices, dental) that should be the safest for me, may one day kill me! We need to pay attention to this matter in restaurants, also. I am happy to see a list of restaurants that do not use latex. However, because latex is not regulated, one never knows when and where it will be encountered. Even those places that say that they are latex-free may not be aware that a piece of equipment, utensils fabric, paint, i.e. may contain latex. We need heavy regulation by the government and the states to make sure people are safe.


Nancy Doris: Cleveland, Ohio


It has been 15 years since my first life threatening exposure to latex. I was teaching a class at the Red Cross, put on my latex gloves for training purposes and immediately began to go into shock. I took a Benedryl and the Red Cross sent for paramedics. Since that time my life has been changed -- crippled by this allergy. I am in fear for every balloon I see in a store, in a grocery store. Things have changed somewhat since I first became allergic. I go to a hospital now that is completely latex free. I still have fears about medicine applicators, etc. My husband and I have great difficulty going out with other couples because of the restaurant issue. I finally found a sushi restaurant that uses vinyl gloves only. I sit at the sushi bar so I can watch them prepare my food. I am so happy to go out! Being able to travel is a nightmare. I pack my food on the plane. We go to condos where I can purchase food in a grocery store and prepare it. I dream of being free -- to be like other people..to enjoy a simple meal in a restaurant..to not be terrified of a medical procedure...I am happy I found this site. Thank you.


Lee Renzi: Reading, PA

My daughter has a latex allergy. I would like to see latex banned from the food industries, stores, medical industries, and airborne etc...Please help I want to see my daughter live a long and prductive life.


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