medical IDs for latex allergy

Medical IDs for Latex Allergy

The confidence to live with latex allergy

Natural rubber latex is used in millions of products that we use every day. Because of its strength and durability this substance is used in products such as disposable gloves, medical and dental supplies, shoes, tires, condoms, and balloons, to name a few. Because latex is a common ingredient in so many products, the opportunities for exposure are endless, and difficult to control

In routine healthcare situations, your primary care physician or dentist will already know if you have any type of allergy through your medical records. In many cases, your doctor or dentist will confirm if you have a latex allergy or not before any exam or procedure. Unfortunately, in emergency situations you may not be in a position to answer.

Wearing a MedicAlert medical ID for latex allergy can be your voice in these situations.

How MedicAlert protects those living with a latex allergy

One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with latex allergy, their families and caregivers.

24/7 Emergency Response

Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.

Digital Health Profile

All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.

Emergency Contact Notification

In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.

Patient Instructions

Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.

Pair a medical ID for latex allergy with the protection plan that’s right for you.

What exactly is latex allergy?

Each year, more than three million cases of latex allergy occur in the U.S. Worldwide, approximately 4% of the general population has latex allergy. An allergic reaction to latex occurs when the body’s immune system misidentifies certain proteins in natural rubber latex as harmful substances. When this happens, the immune system launches an attack against the proteins by releasing chemicals and histamine into the bloodstream, which causes symptoms ranging from mild (itching or a rash) to severe (anaphylaxis).

The more exposure you have to latex, the stronger the immune system response. This is called sensitization. While anyone can develop latex allergy, people working in certain professions are at a higher risk.

Latex allergy is more prevalent among healthcare workers, dentists, people who work in the beauty industry, rubber industry workers, and others who frequently wear latex gloves in their professions. People who have had multiple surgeries (10 or more), and people with a history of other allergies such as food allergy or hay fever, also have a higher risk of developing latex allergy.

What causes latex allergy?

Latex allergy develops after repeated exposure to products containing natural rubber latex. In people living with latex allergy, a reaction can occur from direct contact with latex products such as gloves, balloons, and condoms or when airborne particles from these latex products are inhaled. Even people living near busy roads and highways can inhale latex allergens in the air from tire dust. 

In some cases, people living with latex allergy may experience a reaction to certain foods that contain proteins similar to those in the rubber tree sap. These are called “latex reactive foods.” Some of the most common latex reactive foods include:

  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Chestnut
  • Kiwi
  • Apple
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Papaya
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons

What to engrave on your MedicAlert medical ID for latex allergy:

MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our medical ID products. Engravings on medical IDs for latex allergy should include any critical medical information that can protect and save lives in an accident or medical emergency, for example:

  • Latex allergy
  • Current medications
  • Other medical conditions and allergies
  • Severe reaction to latex (such as anaphylaxis)
medical IDs for latex allergy

Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for latex allergy.

What are the symptoms and complications of latex allergy?

People living with latex allergies may have allergic reactions that are mild, more-severe or life-threatening (anaphylaxis). The type of treatment will depend on the symptoms. In the most severe cases, hospitalization will be required, where doctors may have to administer multiple epinephrine shots and IV fluids. In these cases, you will be closely monitored by doctors and medical staff until the reaction is no longer a threat. 

Mild latex allergy symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Rash or hives
  • Skin redness

More-severe latex allergy symptoms include:

  • Asthma symptoms 
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy throat 
  • Wheezing

Severe latex allergy symptoms include:

  • Anaphylaxis

Though rare, anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction that can send the body into shock. Anaphylaxis, also called allergic or anaphylactic shock, can cause constriction of the airways, leading to difficulty breathing. Swelling of the throat can occur, which may block the airways.

Other signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include: 

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Bluish skin (cyanosis) or clammy skin
  • Confusion or anxiety
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fast shallow breathing
  • Hives and itching
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Skin rash
  • Slurred speech

How do you diagnose latex allergy?

Latex allergy can be diagnosed through blood tests that measure allergic antibodies.

(Immunoglobulin E or IgE) to latex protein allergens in the blood. Examples of blood tests used to diagnose latex allergy include the enzyme-linked immunoassay test (ELISA), the radioimmunoassay test (RAST) and the newer ImmunoCAP test.

Skin tests for latex allergy are also used. When an allergist or other specialist experienced in skin testing administers a skin test, they will use a small needle to insert a tiny amount of latex below the skin to see if the skin has a reaction to the substance. If a raised bump develops, this indicates that you have latex allergy.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) logo

We’re proud to partner with the Asthma & Allergy Foundation to provide tools and resources to help people with asthma and allergies live better lives.

How do you treat, manage, and live with latex allergy?

There is no cure for latex allergy, so the only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid all contact with latex-containing products. Because millions of everyday products contain latex and latex is commonly used in healthcare settings, total avoidance can be difficult. This means, people living with latex allergy must take extra steps to stay safe. 

Wearing a MedicAlert ID for latex allergy can play an important role in helping you manage your latex allergy and stay safe. Add a protection plan, and your MedicAlert ID becomes even more valuable to your health and safety.

If a reaction occurs, a MedicAlert ID can let doctors know what caused it so that the proper treatments can be administered. Mild to moderate reactions may be treated with antihistamines, corticosteroid medicines, calamine lotion or 1% hydrocortisone. 

Common antihistamines include:

  • Brompheniramine (Neo DM Suspension, Dimaphen DM)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine, Driminate, Travel-Eze, Triptone)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Nytol, Sominex)
  • Doxylamine (Vicks NyQuil, Tylenol Cold and Cough Nighttime)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • Loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)

Examples of corticosteroid medicines include:

  • Aristocort
  • Bubbli-Pred
  • Celestone
  • Cortone Acetate
  • Cotolone
  • Decadron
  • Deltasone
  • Dexamethasone Intensol
  • Emflaza
  • Entocort EC
  • Florinef Acetate
  • Medrol
  • Methylpred-DP
  • Prednicot
  • Prelone

Although antihistamines and corticosteroids are strong medicines, severe reactions require even stronger treatments. If you have a severe reaction to latex, such as anaphylaxis, you may need an epinephrine injection and you will have to carry a prescription epinephrine injection (EpiPen) with you at all times.

How medical IDs for latex allergy combined with MedicAlert  Membership provide peace of mind

  • We’re your voice:  If you can’t speak for yourself due to a medical emergency, your ID will speak for you – informing others about your latex allergy and any medications you’re taking.

  • 24/7 emergency protection:  In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.

  • Always connected:  You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.

  • Live with peace of mind and confidence:  MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with latex allergy, knowing we’ve got you covered. 
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.