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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Sandra Patterson: Mobile, AL

My son was born at 25 weeks. He has Spina Bifida, and Type 1 Latex allergy. He's had a very rough start. Please help us make the world a safe place for him to live in.


Ericka Moe: Jacksonville, Florida


I am currently a student in a Occupational Therapy Assistant program, and it was not until 2 months into my program I found out that I had an latex allergy. I found this out the hard way, being in class with 20+ students stretching Thera Band. Thera Band is an elastic stretching band that many facilities such as Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy use which varies in color and strength.It took a little under 10 minutes before my first symptom of sniffling and runny nose occured, followed by an itchy mouth and tongue and itchy and swollen eyes. I was immediately sent home from school with strict orders to go the hospital. Three months later I had another run in with latex on campus, this time with a large balloon. Once again, all the symptoms from last time occured with an additonal symptom of being really hot and sweaty. Being that I will be going into the healthcare field, I thought that my only worry was latex gloves, and it was a bit comforting to know that there were many facilities here in Florida that uses Vinyl gloves and not latex. However, many facilities took one step of prevention and not the other being that Thera Band with latex is still being used. I was diagnosed with Type IV hypersensitivitym but from what I have experienced, it is just airborne. I dont have many issues with rubber toys or tires or rubberbands or even elastic waistebands, its mainly the powder. What concerns me furthur is that Thera Band (like many other latex roducts) can be ordered latex free, and it will do the same function. Just to make it through a day, I am just now finding an allergy medicine that "helps" and I take it everyday, an antihistamine nasal spray, another type of nasal spray, an inhaler, and I have a wear a medical alert bracelet, and I carry my epipen.


ann krull: palm desert, ca


I am a clinical laboratory scientist for 40 plus years...I have this very serious life threating allergy as well as an allergy to nitrile. No one believes this is a disease. There is no real freedom in life anymore...I do most shopping from home and little outside socalizing. Trips to the doctors offices are a challenge. My husband has many ailments that require weekly doctor or er visits. I find I can not accomplay him to these without great difficulty. While going to a ss dis exam today I was rushed by ambulance to the local er with a reaction including rapid pulse of 177. After chemical conversion the er doc said I was safer at home then in the ER even though protocol said I should be observed in CCU 2-3 days... I am having little success getting Ca workers comp or SS dis. I have given my life to the laboratory. No one will listen...It even took multiple episodes until my family finally said this is a real problem. I do not have the joy of playing with some of my grandchildrens toys..I find shopping impossible unless I go in like a ninja on a stealth shopping spree and then I spend the next day or two unable to function. I carry epi pens everywhere even walking to my mailbox a half a block from my house. I am basically a prisoner in my house and body.. I wish someone would stand up for us as we all know the epidemic is just around the corner. Many of us will die and the death certificate will not mention latex allergy. We are meerly statistics to the glove manufacturers. Even they state the percent of us affected is the cost of doing business. Well i am not a deductible cost of business. I hope we all do not die in vain. Sincerely, Ann Krull.MT(ASCP)


Elaine Still: Clifton Heights, PA


What about genetically modified foods? Any food or processed foods that has been genetically modified or contains a genetically modified food needs to labeled including fresh fruits and vegetables. GM foods are injected with a latex protein. So besides restaurants using latex gloves, you also have to worry about the food itself. And you also have Caterers using latex gloves when prepping and serving foods at social functions.


Laura Berness: Skillman, NJ


I was just diagnosed with Latex allergy after experiencing lips swelling and a tight throat after blowing up my son's balloon. I also have developed avocodo and peach allergies. Looking back, I think I have had this for many years. As a child, I had many surgeries which apparently places you at an increased risk. This is terrifying. I can't understand why this material is allowed to be in so many items when it can cause such a deadly condition.


Rhonda DeSalles: Yuba City, CA


I have had a latex allergy for years but have just recently been diagnosed. It is amazing how uneducated people are. I am going to an allergenic and I have found that even he does not take this serious. I am very concerned and am concerned for other people that do not have a clue that they could have this latex allergy as well. I was diagnosed with asthma but I am finding out that this is caused by latex, not grasses or trees. I get tightness in my chest, have a hard time breathing, cough and have a raspy voice. Sometimes I cannot figure out what causes a reaction, this is what concerns me the most. My allergenic uses the rubber stoppers from multi-dose vials and told me today that this is minimal contact so it shouldn't matter, I will be finding a new allergenic and encourage anyone else that doctors do not take you serious, find someone else.


Steve Heitz: Lebanon, PA

Report it to the media. Start a media campaign. Most local newspapers have a police fire ambulance log. Stop & shop robbed, crash at 4th & main, Edna Mae in the nursing home fell & fractured a hip, etc. Any time you have an adverse reaction to LATEX, report it to your local newspaper or other media to include in their local news column. Jane Doe treated in emergency room after a severe reaction to LATEX after eating at Grease Burger where the food was prepared by employees wearing LATEX gloves. Joe blow admitted to the hospital after a severe reaction to LATEX after LATEX balloons were brought into his workplace. Joe Smith treated in the emergency room after a severe reaction to LATEX after his dental hygienist touched him while wearing LATEX gloves. Breast cancer has attracted national attention to its cause through massive media exposure. (Feel your boobies). Do the same for your LATEX allergy. Let the world know how serious it is. Maybe then restaurants, hospitals, retail establishments will catch on and ban LATEX products, especially if they receive negative media attention. (Newspaper article noting you were hospitalized for a severe reaction after eating in their restaurant). Write to your legislators. Let them know this is as serious health issue affecting more and more people every day, and urge them to support legislation to ban LATEX in restaurants, etc. Laws are in place making public places smoke free for the public good. Ask for the same consideration that these places be LATEX free for the public good. My wife has latex allergy, I do not.


Kalia Folmar: fairhope, alabama


I worked in the food industry for ten years, I knew I was at risk for this allergy because my mother is allergic to latex. What I did not realize was that I could develop a more serious allergy than she has. After 4 days of a new job in a hospital dining room the allergy developed quickly,the first day it was itching, the next day it was a rash, the day after my throat closed within 10 minutes of being touched by a fellow worker wearing latex gloves. I now no longer cook, something I had enjoyed beyond compare out of fear. I work in an office supply store at the copy center and today am suffering because of a stack of binding that was brought in wrapped in 40 3/4" rubberbands. I am starting to be afraid to leave my house.



I was in a class being taught by Veroinica and saw effects first hand of a true Latex allergy sufferer. Many people do not realize how she or anyone else with this allergy have to change and adapt their lifestyle. Basically to leave the house where you know you are safe it a challenge. She does have alot to teach people and this movement to take latex out of products should be made.


Michelle Parish: Sagamore Hills, Ohio


I have been in the dental field for 21 years, since I was 16 years old. I was diagnosed 4 years ago with a Type 1 Hypersensitivity to latex. Although I was an assistant for many years, I was at that time working the front office as a financial manager. When I was diagnosed, it explained a lot of health issues I was having: extreme sinus headaches, burning and itching eyes, increased usage of my rescue inhaler, and dry skin patches, rashes, and hives. I was extremely frustrated when the back office staff would come up front with latex gloves on, handing me charts and x-rays with their powdered hands, and using things on my desk. In 2009, I became pregnant and my latex allergy even became more of a danger. When I was 6 months pregnant, I was given a choice by my allergist: quit or tell the dentist to go latex-free. She sent me off with a note personally for him. When I gave him the note, he never sat down with the staff and refused to go latex-free. Two hours later, I was handed an x-ray with powder on it. This is difficult for me because this was my career. I have started a dental consulting company, and I cannot be in an office for longer than a few hours and I have a reaction, which is getting worse. Dentists need to understand the severity of this and be better educated about this allergy! All latex should be banned!


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