Once or twice a year I have a patient who is Latex allergic. I use it as a reminder to review the information. There is a wonderful article, Latex Allergy by Sumana Reddy, MD published by the American Academy of Family Physicians. I don’t think I can do a better review, so lets just hit some highlights.
- Do you have a history of hay fever, asthma, eczema, allergies or rashes?
- Are you allergic to any foods (remember those above)?
- Do you experience rash, oral itching, swelling or wheezing when exposed to these foods?
- Are you exposed to any products that contain latex, including gloves, at work?
- If you have had a rash on your hands after wearing latex gloves, how long after putting on the gloves did the rash develop?
- What did the rash look like?
- Do you ever have swelling, itching, hives, shortness of breath, cough or other allergic symptoms during or after blowing up a balloon, undergoing a dental procedure, using condoms or diaphragms, or following a vaginal or rectal exam?
- Have you ever had an allergic reaction of unknown cause, especially during a medical or dental procedure?
- Have you ever had surgery? What kind?
- Do you have spina bifida or any urinary tract problem requiring surgery or catheterizations?