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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michele wyllie: Babylon, NY


I have a latex free dentist in Smithtown NY. She is great, no latex at all in office. My teenagers even like going there! You can call and talk to her her website is www.drglazerdds.com I am traveling to Ft Lauderdale in 2 weeks Any body know any latex free restaurants down there?? Email me Thanks Michele Wyllie NY maud496@aol.com


Susan McCormack: Colorado Springs, Co


My Latex allergy was first found six years ago at the Dentist office when latex gloves were used when cleaning my teeth. My lip began to swell. It has only gotten worse sence then. I have to avoid balloons and any store that sells them blown up. It has changed my life in many ways. Not able to eat with my friends at alot of the restraunts in town. It is very hard to travel because I never now if there is a place I can eat at.


Julie Morris: Taylor, AR


I have been a nurse since 1992. I have worked in hospitals, ambulances services and as a school nurse. At one time, I worked at a hospital, ambulance service and was the school nurse. I began to get sores on my hands from the gloves in 2000. I knew it was the gloves but had to continue using them. In 2003 I began having anaphylaxis from just being in the room with Latex of any kind. I was "let go" from my job in 2004 and have suffered financial problems as a result. I have continued nursing in home health settings where I can "control" my environment and have since gone back to work in small rural hospital where everyone is very conscientious about my allergy as we have several employees who are allergic. We have since gone latex free. There are still "dangers" that we are trying to get rid of such as the vial stoppers in some meds. I sitll have a problem going to hotels and restaurants and people are rude and don't understand. They get offensive when asked if they use latex and even more offensive when asked to see the box to make sure of any questions if it's latex. Some people assume all gloves are latex. I wish latex was outlawed in all states.


Julie Kelly: st augustine, FLORIDA


I dont know for sure I am allergic but I definatly have "something" I began working out with some latex Yoga bands given to me as a gift. About 7-10 min after the workout was over my eyes were on fire, I rinsed them out and felt better but all night my joints hurt and felt swollen my back hurt and I had thobbing in my legs. Even after several washings I still smelled the acrid latex smell on my hands but I was not aware it was what had caused the problem and thought maybe some other chemical from the bands (because they felt kind of powdery) so I washed the bands too. o.k,. Next day (today) same exact thing happened I worked out and the same burning eyes and now I am experiancing the same arthritis feeling in my joints only worse, a little stuffy in the head but not severe and a small burning in my throat, but worst is my knuckles wrists elbows hurt so much I can hardly type and my knee and whole right leg throbbing. I am getting rid of the bands right now, and searched the internet for answers, This has me wondering about latex after seeing the increase in reaction from one day to next and how it will affect me in the future ... pretty scary stuff! does it get worse each time?


Elizabeth Plourde: Irvine, CA


Acute mercury poisoning from dental fillings led within hours to my having environmental illness and extreme latex allergy. Only 20 minutes of a latex band-aid leads to a month of my skin oozing and weeping. I cannot find shoes, especially tennis shoes as my feet feel like they are on fire within 5 minutes of putting on shoes that have latex. I look at the gloves restaurant workers are wearing and ask for food prepared without them, or leave the restaurant as I will not risk ingesting it. I wear gloves when working out at the gym as the latex hand grips make my hands itch.


S Bates: Pleasant Hill, Missouri


I've needed a root canal for 1 yr. & now I'm needing another. In so much pain. Every endo I call uses some form of latex, whether it be gutta percha(to fill root canal)or rubber stops on the endo file. I was actually told these tools are only made with rubber stops & they will remove them & wipe them down with alcohol as if that will remove all latex. I had decided I would just have these 2 teeth pulled but can't even find an oral surgeon that is latex-free. I was told so many times that "they are latex-free because they don't use latex gloves". I have had 2 reactions(ER visit) just by going to the dentist, once from tubing lying across my neck. Another from rubber apron for x-rays or from bitewing tabs, not sure. He was supposed to be latex-free. Prob. had 7 ER visits in the last 10 yrs. I am so desperate, just don't know what to do!!! Why won't someone help us? Watch out for latex dog toys! My son who was 3 at the time was squeaking in my face & less than an hr later I was in the ER, barely able to breath. Please, let's get something done about this! No one deserves this!


Josh Ohazza: Woodbridge, Virginia




dana meyers: tarverse city, michigan


i have had multiple surgeries dur to club feet, i now work in surgery and need a latex free environment, our hospital is not yet latex free and we arent moving fast enough for me, doctors and patients.


Karen Grecco: Waterbury, CT.


I am an R.N.who has a severe allergy to latex. I developed the allergy while working in a hospital for eighteen years. The allergy started with a rash on my hands that was so bad my hands would bleed.The allergy gradually progressed to my lungs where I now have asthma and have to use inhalers.I was unable to continue working in the hospital as they were unable to accommadate me into a safer environment. I can't even eat in certain restaurants because they prepare the food with the latex gloves and I will have an immediate reaction. You need to be your own advocate to this allergy and educate people as much as you can about this life threatening allergy. There is not enough knowledge out there in the community in regards to this allergy. Most people just don't know what latex really is and that it can actually kill you. They don't relize the impact it has on your day to day life. I had someone say to me once just take a benadryl and you'll be fine. We always have to be alert and aware of our surroundings as it can cost us our life. We can never let our guard down as we always have to be on the look out for latex gloves or balloons no matter where we are. Having a latex allergy not only changes our lives but our family as well. People just do not take this allergy serious. Every month there is an awareness for something of importance that is advertised on TV to promote good health and prevention. But what about National Latex Allergy Month. We do have Latex Allergy Awareness Week October 5-11, it's only a week. I have not seen one commercial or advertisement stating it was latex allergy awareness week. Its not on any billboards. They say the only way to treat a latex allergy is to prevent it. Thats why I beleive more publicity needs to be emphasized on what this allergy is, how it affects people, why it is a danger to be around, and where can people go to be educated.


Jeremy Stevens: Marina Del Rey, CA


I am a Registered Nurse who works in the emergency room who has multiple anaphylactic allergies to foods, insect stings and through the years, now have developed a type IV sensitivity to latex. Especially working in the environment I do, as well as in a variety of settings, I see/hear and witness many reactions. I also first-handedly bear witness to healthcare worker's reactions to patients with multiple triggers, including latex. It disgusts me the culture in some areas of this country (notably socal) is to still utilize latex, but maintain a latex free cart. This is not enough and actually not cost-effective, as many studies have shown. I fully advocate latex free facilities, since I am writing this from my hospital bed where i was admitted after another exposure, and yes, it gets worse each time. I dpn't want to lose my job opportunities I trained long and hard for just because someone thinks they will save a few bucks by maintaining the status-quo. This is so preventable, it sickens me the resistance and stigma attached to these allergies.


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