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Life in a Bubble...When You're Allergic to the Bubble

Symptoms

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Latex allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe; they usually occur within minutes of exposure, but can be delayed for several hours. Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

* Skin redness, itching, urticaria (raised, red) hives or welts, angioedema (swelling of skin and bodily tissues)

* Runny nose, sneezing, rhinitis, nasal congestion

* Redness, itching or tearing eyes, conjunctivitis (pink eye), periorbital edema (swelling around the eye(s))

* Asthma, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath

* Abdominal Cramps, diarrhea, nausea

* Anaphylaxis (shock): Symptoms of Anaphylaxis may include sudden (dangerous) drop in blood pressure, dizziness, rapid heart rate, flushed skin, vomiting, cramps, difficulty breathing; swelling of the throat, tongue and nose, and loss of consciousness

Anaphylaxis is a severe and life thratening allergic reaction. Emergency medical attention should be sought at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction.

American Latex Allergy Association-Frequently Asked Questions retreived August 9, 2004

***Some unusual symptoms I have experienced include: depression, anxiety, mood swings/irritabilty, uncontrollable crying, flu-like symptoms, malaise (state of "not feeling well"), fatigue, joint pain, and irritable bowel symptoms.***

American Latex Allergy Association

Latex allergy is a direct result of contact with the allergan. Often, symptoms will start out as a mild reaction: skin rashes, itching, redness. This is referred to as a "Type IV" reaction. Continued contact with the allergan can cause the more severe, life-threatening "Type I" allergy. Exposure can result from either direct physical contact with the product, or merely breathing in the proteins released into the air. Airborn proteins can result from the usage of latex products by other people, within a confined space. The airborn proteins can be actively moving about for upto twelve hours after latex usage. The particles can also become airborn again if they are disturbed by any air currents: for example, proteins which have settled in air ducts can become airborn when heating or air conditioning units activate. Having both types together is worse than either allergy alone.

Once diagnosed, one should avoid all latex products completely. "Anything that causes an already latex allergic person to be once again exposed to additional natural rubber latex is not just delaying that patient's recovery, but may also cause additional, serious, progressive harm." (www.immune.com/rubber)

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contact dermatitis/urticaria

Click pictures to enlarge

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cracked skin rash on finger

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hives/welts

Photos obtained from Yahoo Images August 9, 2004