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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Carol Bevilacqua: Hawthorne, NJ, NJ


In June of 2008 I was in the ER of a major Northern NJ Medical Center. The blatant disregard for Latex Allergy is sad. The physician and nurse responses as well as the division of consumer affairs was that "reaching for the latex gloves, tourniquet, etc." is such a routine." The best was when the radiology tech looked at my wristbands, verified my name, d.o.b, etc; clearly stated that I was allergic to latex and proceeded to administer a doppler on my legs with latex gloves on. No one takes it seriously, as the employees do not know what products contain latex--bandages, stethoscope, tubing; etc. It is absolutely obvious that there is very limited training (if any) to latex sensitivity at the Medical Center.


Joanna Morris: lubbock, tx


I returned to college when my two children began school, and I fell in love with neuroscience. I graduated summa cum laude from my undergraduate institution and started graduate school. During my first semester in grad school, I was required to perform a number of surgeries on animals, and I noticed rashes over my hands from the latex gloves. I switched to powder free latex gloves, and the reactions continued. Over the next few years, I developed a severe latex allergy with anaphylactic reactions. Eventually I left graduate school because of the prevelence of latex and other allergens and I have been unable to find another profession. I do still have the student loans. I have left 4 of the last 5 jobs I've had due to latex allergy, and I am not sure that I will be able to apply for disability. Not only have I lost a career that I was educated for and loved, I have had a great deal of difficulty simply supporting myself, and the allergic dermititis I experienced to latex gloves in 2001 remain. I still have the rashes on my hands in 2009!


Shannon Borge: Meadow Vista, CA


When exposed to an environment with latex in the air via powdered latex (balloons, powdered latex gloves, & latex gym balls), I get tons of small red blister like bumps on my face that take a week or more to go away. As a nurse, I've talked to countless patients with latex allergy who didn't know that restaurants used latex gloves or that latex gloves transfer latex protein on to the food. Several patients I've talked to didn't link their latex allergy to the symptoms they'd been getting when unknowingly eating in latex contaminated restaurants. It's scary knowing that the food service industry is unwittingly increasing the populations allergy to latex.


Danielle Smith: Cincinnati, OH


I have been to several resturants that forbid to take off their gloves to prepare my food. I know which places I can and cannot eat at...its crazy1!!


Deb Rohrbach: Gilbertsville, PA


In the late 1980's we started using gloves in the dental office where I worked. My hands would itch after wearing gloves as a dental assistant. My dermatologist said it was eczema and to use steroid cream. When I went on vacation my hands would be fine. As a nursing student, I started to have the "eczema", then over several weeks started sneezing, then watery eyes, then hives, then wheezing, then throat closing up as I sat in the ER waiting room. I didn't know what was happening and couldn't talk to tell anyone. By the time the Dr. saw me he listened to my lungs and gave me Benadryl. This was 1988. Noone, nor I knew latex rubber was the problem. Upon graduation I worked at a hospital that used vinyl gloves in the ICU I worked and if I need to use latex sterile gloves would wear vinyl underneath. It worked; until I went to the dentist and they used latex gloves; swelled up on my face, lip, hives. I then made an appt. with an allergist who had just received information about latex rubber allergy. The only test he could do was use a glove for a skin prick test. He stopped the test after 20 seconds because my reaction was so bad he feared anaphylaxis. He said to avoid touching latex. This was 1992. To make a long story short, although I used my vinyl gloves, the other hospitals I worked in used powdered latex gloves. I acquired airborne allergy. I feel I cannot go, eat, travel, shop, without the possibility of a reaction that can kill me. It makes me sad for my four young children, that I have to moniter everything; clothes, toys, pencils, shoes, food, stores, restaurants, etc. and that I miss many events because of possible exposure. Even my doctor still uses latex gloves. So you have to constantly be on high alert. If it wasn't for God I don't know how I'd cope! Somehow I do manage to find joy in my life but I cannot imagine how great it would be to not worry about dying because of a latex particle in the air! God Bless!


Brenna Watkins: Waldorf, MD


I found out I was allergic to latex after I enlist in the Air Force in 2006. I went to tech school to become a medical tech. That is the first time I had a reaction to Latex. We were learn how to put on sterile gloves and I swelled up and had a hard time breathing. Fast forward to 2008. I worked in Labor and Delivery. It was supposed to be a latex free unit but on Nov 18, 2008; I was in the middle of preforming a c-section when I came in contact with latex. I went into anaphylaxis. After thinking the worst was over I had a delayed reaction and had to life flighted to another hospital and put in a coma. Once I awoke I coded yet again. That was the last time I worked in the hospital. I had no reaction up until the 28th of April. A housekeeper came into my office and had latex gloves in his pocket. I went into anaphylaxis again. This was the second time I had to be life flighted to the hospital and put on life support to breath. I am no longer allowed to work and the Air Force is trying to kick me out because of my latex allergy. I have lost everything because of my allergy to latex. Something that only gets worse and no way to cure it.


Nicholas Capobianco RN: Tampa, Florida

i work with several nurses who after 20-30yrs of exposure have developed a Latex allergy. It is not pretty and it won't stop, ameorilate, or go away.


Sylvia Williams: Destin, Florida


I am a nurse that stop working in hospitals due to latex allergy. My hands would itch and turn red after using latex gloves. It was not until later that I discovered when people around me used powdered latex gloves I would sneeze and my eyes would itch. The dentist used latex gloves and my lip and face swelled. I am uncertain if eating in a restaurant has caused me problems. I still question once after eating at Grande Laredo, it was several hours and I had a strange feeling suddenly come over me,I could breathe but I felt panicky because I did not know what was happening. I would like to see latex gloves banned from all food establishments and all powdered latex removed from hospitals. The best solution would be to banned latex gloves completely. The more someone is exposed to latex the increase chance of them developing a latex allergy. Law suits are increasing against latex use. Hospitals and restaurants could save money by switching now to latex free gloves. Sincerely, Sylvia Williams Destin Florida


JoEllen Fipps: Wadesboro, NC


I'm sensitive to latex. The latex clothing labels that are stamped in most of the clothes being sold now cause a bad dermatitis reaction on my skin. I bought a bra and didn't realize it had a stamped latex label and now I have a very bad place on my back. It's similar to a burn. I'm so tired of this!! Can't someone stop them from putting those labels in clothes?


Derrick Armstrong: Hayden, alabama


I am 13 yr. old middle school student and I have a latex allergy. I carry an epi-pen with me and take allergy meds everyday. Going to school,out to eat, doctors, dentist, grocery store, mall or my friends birthday parties has always been a challenge. I don't have to touch latex just get close to it. My school doesn't take it very serious and I have alot of trouble there. I have always had problems getting shots when I was little that after one of them when I was almost 2 I stopped breathing. The doctors didn't figure out what was causing all my problems till the first time I went to the dentist office. Then I was sent to an allergiest. My family and I avoid going anywhere that we know they have ballons.


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