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.


< Previous Page        Next Page>

1  | 2  | 3  | 4  | 5  | 6  | 7  | 8  | 9  | 10  | 11  | 12  | 13  | 14  | 15  | 16  | 17  | 18  | 

Anne Rasmussen: Shoreview, Minnesota


My last ICU admission was from riding a scooter thing at Walmart while shopping with my Mom. Most of the handle/controls area is hard plastic. Except where the actual controls are, the area on either side was latex. My hands started to itch, got red & blotchy, started to swell some. But as my palms started to swell, it was also starting to feel the same way in my throat... scratchy, thick feeling, voice got hoarse, had difficulty talking & breathing. I gave the 1st Epi & took some Benadryl when the reaction started, but it was only getting worse so 911 was called. The paramedics gave more SQ Epi & IM Benadryl, a couple Combivent nebs and rapidly transported me to the ER. Where it only took the ER Doc about 5 minutes to decide I was going to the ICU. Where I stayed for the next 2 days.




I first had skin rash symptoms of latex allergy while working in the health care industry in the 70ís. In the summer of 2003, cork shoes made painful blisters and hives erupt over my whole body. A Surgeon advised me that from then on I could no longer tolerate any contact with latex or natural rubber. I became increasingly sensitized to the point where I began to react to latex particles in the air from doctor offices, restaurants, and wherever latex/natural rubber was in use or sold. Currently there are NO reliable tests for latex in the USA. There is one in Canada but the FDA has not approved it for here. These tests have a record of false negatives. My testing produced negative results. My allergist advised me that I had a Zero tolerance for latex in ANY form, ordered me to carry an Epi Pen, an albuterol rescue inhaler and a strong antihistamine at all times. He also advised me to wear a completely enclosed NIOSH mask rated to filter out airborne latex particles. My allergist wrote a letter to my Doctor advising him of this and included protocols for latex free environments. To date, my doctor has not made any changes and continues to use powdered latex gloves routinely. The labs and hospital I use also persist in using powdered latex gloves. I have had several anaphylactic attacks yet canít go to the ER, because of airborne latex. I have my husband sit with me with one hand on the epi-pen and the other on the phone, while I fight to get air through the swollen airways. I tell him to call if the airway closes completely and I am no longer breathing. According to the MSDS 6501, 6502, 6503, 6504 Exam Grade Latex Gloves, "FDA views that an extractable protein content of 50 micrograms per gram of glove is sufficiently low enough to cause anaphylactic shock." As the FDA recognizes the extreme mortal hazard this poses, I believe it is illegal for latex to be in use in any medical facility, in any food service processing or restaurant, and in any public place.


Heather Darr: Leesburg, Florida


I worked in the medical field for many years and would always have itchy red hands after wearing powdered latex gloves. No one ever told me it could be an allergy. I lost a job as a Dermatology Surgical Assistant bcause in the 3 months I worked there my allergy went from wearing latex gloves, to non latex gloves, to the blood vessels in my eyes breaking and stuffy to actually not being able to breathe even being in the surgery rooms...as a result I lost my job. I went to work for different type of medical field but as a front desk/check in person my allergy got even worse. People I worked with used finger rubbers and it's an office so there were rubber bands. It got to where I could not use my desk after someone had used it, my skin would itch, my breathing would be labored. If I even touched a rubber band I would have instant pain in my fingers. So I lost yet another job. I am now working in a bank and I am fearing that I will lose yet another job. I want to work! My lips went numb, moucous membranes swelled, and I had a very hard time breathing after getting money from the vault because it is bundled with rubber bands. My skin was itchy and felt as if it was crawling. My boss is not sure if non latex rubber band will be approved since they cost so much more...I just want to work, oh I can no longer eat many foods and have to be careful where I eat out at.


june mangaard: barrie, ontario


I first noticed symptoms of a latex allergy in my early 20's. This was after using a latex condom, needless to say, my loins were on fire. After that I started noticing other things such as a horrible rash after buying a new bra and a swelling of my lips when I was around balloons. My worst reaction came after eating Chinese food that had been prepared with latex gloves. I seriously thought that I was going to die. It has become worse over the years and I now carry an Epi-pen. Everywhere I go now I have to be so careful about what I eat and I make sure that I ask each and every time I eat out or purchase things from the Deli if they use latex gloves. Hospitals also boast that they are latex free until I pointed out on one occasion that my chart had an elastic band around it. It has been extremely frustrating dealing with stores who insist on using latex balloons to decorate their stores. I have been unable to shop at various stores due to the balloons. There has been only one grocery store that has respected my allergy and will not use latex balloons. Metro has opted to use mylar balloons instead, even though the cost is more. I am happy that I can shop there worry free and I know that my business means a lot to them.


Ania Abueg: Clovis, CA


I am a nursing student and suffer with latex allergy which is getting progressively worse. I may not be able to finish my education because of latex. Latex should be eliminated from all medical facilities, restaurants, airoprts, public restroom cleaning and so forth. There are alternatives to latex, so stop using it. Symptoms from exposure last for many days. Even if you wear latex allergy medical bracelet, in case of emergency the paramedic will put on latex gloves first and then look at your bracelet.


Valerie Ross: Concord, NC


I was working the ER as an RN. My reactions were so severe that I had to be treated their, many times. I didn't want to lose my job. I finally found a job in computer education. My boss went on maternity leave. When she returned, they decided that they didn't need 2 people. I tried to find another position but was black balled. This was 1998. I talked to an attorney. I couldn't wait to fight it. My daughter was going to collage at UNCC in Charlotte, NC. I moved there Dec 1999. I actually got 2 jobs in 1 day. The hospitals were already using latex free gloves, not the OR. First responders didn't go latex free until 2005-06. If I had had a car accident=they would have killed me while trying to treat me. I haven't worked since 2008. The hospitals are the least of my worries they have to be latexfree except latex balloons. No shopping, groceries, restaurants, sports activaties, and life. My life is now so restricted, I am forced to stay in my home. I can control what comes in the house. I can't control anything out in the world. Latex is everywhere, if a latex balloon is burst and I inhale=I better have a family member with me, that knows what to do, or I will die before they get me into the ambulance. I have battled this disease since 1995. The only reason I am still alive is that I have to know what has latex, because I am always researching contents, and being a prisoner in my home. Why, do we have to suffer alone? Why won't anyone take us seriously? I have come close to purposely exposed myself in front of my Dr. to wake some people up. I am a veteran and demand to be heard. I have put in a complaint at the VA hospital. If I don't get answers, I go to the Investigator General in DC. I know that most of us would love to be working. I was planning on working until they made me leave. I pray every night, that I may live another day.


Pam Ross: Danville, IL


I blew up a latex balloon and my lips, tongue, and throat first tingled and then swelled. I wheezed, felt tightness in my chest, until benadryl took effect. Another episode occurred when my husband installed a new bathmat (100% latex). I began coughing uncontrollably and coughed up a foamy substance. Another incident when I opened a cabinet at work where we store rubber bands for re-use. It is a huge, open box and the interior of that cabinet has always had a strong rubber smell in it. I worked in health care for more than 20 years, and had a lot of exposure to latex including daily use of latex gloves early in my career. I get terrible itchy rashes on my hands - they crack and bleed. Certain brands of underwear give me itchy red marks at the leg elastics. I have reacted to vaccines and TB tests in the past (negative for TB, but an allergic- type reaction.) I now suspect the problem was rubber stoppers in the medicine vials. My primary doctor blows my problem off as insignificant, and acted like I was crazy when I told him I knew the exam room had latex, because I could smell it in the air. (I was seated right next to the blood pressure cuff-- only noticed when I started coughing.) I have requested referral to an allergist, but not sure he will comply. I practically had to twist his arm to get him to give me an epi-pen. I am really frightened that I will eventually have a major episode that sends me to the ER.


michelle soreth: swoyersville, pa


I was a surgical technologist for 15 years and within 6 months I developed asthma and went into anaphalactic shock. My RAST test tested negative for latex, so I was fired. There isn't any doubt in my mind it is latex. Because no one in my area is knowledgable about latex there isn't any support for me. Financially I lost everything and can't find a job. Everyday is a struggle to avoid latex. Just like another story I read life isn't spontaneous anymore.


Diane Wing: Harlingen, 51


I have been dealing with my Type l latex allergy for 13 years now. The best defense is knowledge and awareness of your surroundings. People still view me as crazy and its no big deal but you have to do what it takes to take care of yourself. I cannot work in a hospital anymore let alone walk in one. I was fortunate to be able to do research from home but I am still required to go to clinics, labs, etc., and I do get reactions. Benedryl is my best friend. I try to stay very healthy because my biggest fear is needing surgery. Then my control is lost. I am getting older so I worry more these days. Latex should be banned everywhere if up to me. At least label items or have the public aware latex gloves are used.


charlotte mcmillan: Santa Rita, guam


1993 I became a nurse, in 1994, I was diagnosed by my infection control nurse that I had a latex allergy. I was working 12 hour shifts, and my hands would turn red, crack and bleed, with a rash.....very itchy. She recognized it and got me nitrile gloves...then in 2001, I became so bad that working around those with latex, cause me to have hives...then in 2002, I had a reaction that lasted with hives for a month..and then I became allergic to clothing, avacodos, and had to two really bad reactions to food handled by latex....now I watch every thing and everywhere I go....latest reaction was a child shaking a glove/latex within 8 ft of me....hives instantly, popped benadryl 50mg, pepcid, and ready with the epipen! never know where or when that is the scary part!


Home |Sitemap | Contact Us

© Copyright 2017