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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Tammy Abdo: Boonville, New York


I have been a nurse for 22 years and I developed this horrible allergy from being a nurse.It first started with the cracked red bleeding rash that covered my hands and arms and progressed to asthma and breathing problems, cross reactivity to bananas,avocados,chestnuts,tomatoes and so on. I am now anaphylactic and have to carry an epipen wherever I go. It is impossible to stay in a hotel or eat in a restaurant, grocery shopping or go to school functions without the possibility of exposure. I Love to be a nurse and have had to change my life and aspects of my career to fit my allergy. This allergy is a disability and we are all sick of it controlling us and not us it! My whole family has to be alert and now to make matters worse my 14 year old son was diagnosed Allergic to LATEX as well and I was told from allergist that I gave it to him when I was pregnant for him. It saddens me that we as a society can control peanut exposure and all other allergies but not this one? But we have the technology to,just not the backing from the government and medical agencies that are supposed to protect us.. I can't tell you how mant times I have been exposed in hospitals and had to be medically treated with inhalers,hospitalization,steroids and such from a "mistake" or "accidental exposure".Everywhere I can I educate someone in hope that it saves a life.So many children now have this allergy and just going to school puts them in danger! My last exposure was from balloons in the public school. Upon moving to NY I had to leave the allergist I trusted and obtain a new one and I couldn't believe how much he didn't know about the testing and how to treat this allergy. I fear for or children as well as us who are allergic to this "manmade" allergy and it feels like we are alone all the time. I am currently trying to find a new allergist and to get support staff I need but it is real tough where I live.PLEASE BAN ALL USE OF LATEX AND HELP US ALL BREATH WITHOUT BEING HOSPITALIZED!!


Susan Mollica: Medina, Ohio


Thank you for your website & stories! I continue to battle my allergy the best I know how & feel much more informed & ready to fight.


rae blount: FAYETTEVILLE, north carolina


I have not always been sesitive to latex when I first joined the military we all wore latex gloves and I was fine with it. Then within 2-3 yrs I started to have rash and swelling on my hands and my noise was always ruining it took about 4 years for me to be diagnosed with latex allergy. Now 10 yrs later I react to just about anything that contains latex and now I find that when when I come in contact with latex it cause my mouth and throat to swell. This first happened after a TB shot all the needle did was go through a latex stopper then be injected into my arm, the next major episode was from a hair rubber band. I have broke out from children shoes, rubber bands, I can not touch my tires on my bike or car, children toys just to name a few of the items I am no longer allowed to touch.


Georgetta Hare: Batavia, OH


The first time I experienced a severe reaction that I realized was due to latex exposure was several years ago when I ate at a Bob Evans resturant. Within the hour, I developed severe cramping, diarrhea and shortness of breath as well severe trembling. I called the resturant just to check to see if they had used latex gloves and they confirmed they did. The next day, I spoke with the manager as well as the corporate office and sent them information about the dangers of latex in food handling and they developed a non-latex policy. I continued to call all of the major resturants chains as well as groceries- some with success and some who out-right refused to change their policy. I also experienced another severe reaction, this one much worse when I ate a Scottish meat pie that was frozen and shipped and then cooked at 400 degress for 20 minutes, confirming my hunch that it did not cook out. They too were notified but did not change their policy until a few years later when several of their employees developed a latex allergy. I am suprised that this many years later this is still such a major health issue. It is well known and documented that latex can and does cause severe allergic reactions that can be life threatening. So why is it still allowed? I have written to both the Congress and Senate as well as the President and the FDA, but to no avail. I have called CNN, ABC, NBC AND CBS asking them to do a documentery on the risks, again with no response. We need to have a federal law that prohibits any contact with latex in food handling of any kind! It does not help when a resurant offers to not use latex gloves when preparing your meal. How can you safely eat knowing that part of your food may have been prepared earlier in the day with a person wearing latex gloves. It needs to be banned completly. There is a safe alternative- vinyl or just good old fashioned hand-washing!!


Lisa Gormon: Raleigh, NC


After teaching at a new school, new carpets, adhesives and backing, latex paints on walls I had to be hospitalized for ten days of migraines. I can't go into the gym with the kids or around the playground equipment. Schools use regular bandaids and rubberbands in the science and math kits. Even the emergency bags have latex bandaids, gloves and rubberbands. I used to twist balloons at the kid's fund-raisers. After having a c-section with the cord around his neck twice, they had to TURN him before delivering him. I guess THAT did it. Too much exposure to latex. I am only now learning about foods to avoid. I have suffered for 12 years and the allergy affects the urine/kidneys.


Melanie Heitz: Lebanon, Pa.


I was an LPN for 27 years starting in 1972 and most of those years nurses wore the latex gloves. I experienced at times itchiness, a little trouble breathing, but three years ago I picked out latex balloons for my granddaughter's birthday and I had a reaction where my throat felt weird, eyes itched and the sclera on my eyes blistered. I had always felt bad after my dental appointments having a sore throat and just feeling lousy. After going into a total bathing suit boutique with racks of flip flops or going into a tire store I would feel like I was getting congested and I couldn't swallow quite right. I saw an allergist and he drew blood and tested it for Latex allergy and I was positive. I now carry EpiPens. Latex is everywhere. It is so debilitating. I check with restaurants and it is so scary. Alot of restaurants use latex gloves and if they say they will be very careful in preparation of my food I still am worried. The majority do not know what they are even using. I'm going to start pushing legislation to ban all latex gloves in restaurants in all states. We have 3 states in the US that have done that, why not the rest. That is my mission and it protects others as well from becoming sensitive to Latex who are required by their job to be in contact with it on a daily basis.


Joie de Leon : San Jose, CA


I have had a skin condition where my hands and feet and other sensitive skin area swell and form large amounts of tiny blisters. Mostly on my hands though.. None of my doctors knew what it was until I went to a dermatologist in 2009 and he said I had contact dermatitis. Over the last year, my hands have gotten worseand this is when he decided to do an allergy test. I've always known that latex gloves bother me but I was just diagnosed with my latex allergy in October 2010. I do not have the severe form of this allergy but I fear that I will soon develop it... I hope that this petition goes through and everyone with this allergy can lead a better life, or the best that they are capable of having.


gina lippman: river edge, nj


I am 40 years old. I developed my first anaphylactic reaction 6 months ago, from an mmr vaccine.One month later,from a gynecological procedure.No doctor coud tell what i was reacting to.After that, experienced asthma like symptoms with berries and melon.Still,unclear what the allergen was. Finally, experienced a near anaphylactic reaction at the nail salon.The girl was wearing latex gloves. This is a very frightening way to live.Latex or latex protein was the culprit for each event. I feel as if I am walking on land mines,waiting for the next explosion.I am waiting for my allergy results,but latex truly seems to be the offender.


Leanne Pinard: commack, ny


I was diagnosed with my allergy 4 years ago, I was in the dentist when my throat began to swell and it became very difficult to breathe. After that incident, I had started asking the resturants I visited if they were using Latex gloves, being as trusting as I was, the diner told me they were using Vinyl gloves, and I began eating my hamburger, about a half hour after my meal, I got itchy, swolen, and had a constricted airway. The resturant was using Latex gloves. The Latex stayed in my system for 3 days, and I was in an out of the hospital for about 2 weeks after that incident.


kris munsell: frederick, MD


You did not include contact reactions. I get some thing that is like a chemical burn (worse then any sunburn)in the exact shape of the latex item that touches my skin. If it's a bandaid it will be a burning, red oozing sore that lasts for weeks in the shape of the bandaid. There are even tiny dots of unaffected skin that matches the little holes in the bandaid that let the skin breath. If it wasn't so painful, it would look kinda cool.


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