While playing with latex balloons may be fun for a lot of people across the globe, some people may undergo hospitalisation for playing with them. Balloons are made of natural latex which contains numerous types of proteins. It is these latex proteins that induce anaphylaxis in people with a latex allergy.

There are many products made of natural latex that you use daily such as gloves and mattresses. If you are allergic to latex, then you need to avoid using such products. Research is being conducted by scientists to find ways to overcome the latex allergies among the affected. EpiPen is a medication that can be used to treat latex allergies.

What causes a latex allergy?

The proteins found in latex cause latex allergies. These proteins interact with your body’s immune system, triggering anaphylactic reactions when you come into contact with latex products.

Most of medical and dental supplies have latex as a component. They include disposable gloves, dental dams, catheters, bandages, dressings, and stethoscopes. So if you have a latex reaction, you should inform the doctors handling you about your condition whenever you visit the hospital to triggering anaphylaxis.

Consumer products too have latex making. Even by being near these products for a few minutes, your latex anaphylactic reactions can get triggered because of transfer of latex proteins. These consumer products include athletic shoes, handbags, rubber toys, baby bottles, waistbands, tyres, and condoms.
You do not have to come into physical contact with the latex products to trigger anaphylaxis. Inhaling latex proteins present in the air can also trigger the latex reaction when the latex handbags or waistbands are nearby. For example, you could get a latex reaction by standing next to a latex balloon at the till area in the supermarket.

Dangers for those allergic to latex

Even though balloons are in use for decorations in most events and shopping outlets, they are extremely dangerous to people who are allergic to latex. Latex allergies can be triggered in many ways when using latex balloons. These include:

By blowing
Firstly, you can trigger this allergy in your body by blowing air into the balloon. When you blow air, you excite the latex proteins present in it and anaphylaxis can occur. The only way to prevent such unpleasant and life-threatening reactions is to avoid such blowing if you are allergic to latex products.

By being near
Next, did you know that you can get the latex reaction triggered without coming into contact with the balloons? The air around them contains latex proteins released from within. By breathing, you will likely inhale the latex proteins into your body. In turn, this could potentially trigger an anaphylactic reaction. Latex products are all around us. These include places such as shopping outlets, card and celebration shops, offices, churches, weddings or even within your homes during the festivities. To manage these reactions, known latex allergy sufferers should carry a remedying auto-injector on them at all times. This will quickly introduce epinephrine into your body whenever the latex allergy is triggered.

More dangers associated with a latex allergy…

Air conditioning systems can spread the latex proteins
Finally, shopping stores can be the most accessible place to get your latex allergy triggered; however far you are from balloons. Many stores have working air conditioning systems to keep rooms at comfortable temperatures the whole year through. However, these working air conditioning systems can spread the latex proteins across the whole building using their fans. This can mean, as a latex allergy sufferer, your allergy could be triggered, regardless of where you are in the store.

The only way to prevent the severe consequences of this kind of triggered allergy is to use an EpiPen auto-injector to inject allergy relieving drugs into your body. The epinephrine reduces the severity of the symptoms caused by latex reaction. So next time you are visiting a Shopping store, remember to carry it for emergency treatment.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. They can be severe or mild depending on the genetic composition of the affected and the time spent next to the balloons. For mild cases, there can be itchy eyes, sneezing, itchy rash or even a running nose.

For the severe cases, you may have anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening form of allergy where the patient has difficulty in breathing. These symptoms can only be in treatment by use of epinephrine which reverses the effects caused by the latex proteins.

Prevention and treatment

There are many precautions you can take to avoid triggering the latex allergies. These include:

Avoid latex balloons
If you suffer from a latex allergy, this is the most effective way to prevent any allergies. You should not touch or come into proximity with balloons to avoid triggering the allergy. Never blow air into a latex balloon if you don’t want to get anaphylaxis which is the life-threatening stage of latex allergies.

Carry an EpiPen Auto-injector
Because you can never know the moment when your latex allergy would be triggered, it is advisable to carry an EpiPen auto-injector wherever you go. The EpiPen auto-injector contains epinephrine: a drug used to reverse the conditions initiated by the anaphylactic reactions of the latex proteins and your body’s immune system. The epinephrine can save you from the dangers associated with this kind of allergy.

Use Foil
Instead of using latex , you can go for the foil balloons which are made of a continuous film of metal over nylon. These foil types are less porous and remain inflated for a duration longer than the latex ones. They are a recommendation for children who have latex allergies. They can also be used in shopping outlets and other events to cater to the people with latex allergy.

The only disadvantage with this type of balloon is that it is not recyclable because it has Mylar making. They are also much more expensive compared to the latex variety and are even less versatile.

More research

Allergies from latex has not been researched comprehensively to deliver practical and sustainable solutions that will eradicate the symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should allow for allergists to conduct allergy tests on their patients to ascertain the type of allergy you are suffering.

When scientists invest more time and attention to latex allergies research, they will find more ways to cure or manage the conditions associated with the allergy. They may invent new drugs that can instantly neutralise the effects of latex proteins.

Whereas latex balloon may be loved by the majority of people, it can kill guys who are allergic to latex proteins. They can trigger an allergy when these guys come into proximity with them or even literally blow in air to inflate them. You are advised to carry an EpiPen auto-injector wherever you go if you have a latex allergy. EpiPen auto-injectors introduce epinephrine into your system. It can reverse the effects of the allergy within a short period.

You should avoid gloves whenever you go to the hospital. Inform your doctor or nurse about your allergy to latex products every time you go for treatment. In hotels, you should tell the waiters about your allergy to handle the food without latex gloves. Latex allergies still need in-depth research to come up with effective treatments and methods of prevention.

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