Going to the doctor is supposed to make you feel better, but what happens when a trip to the office triggers an allergic reaction? Unfortunately, there are a number of medical supplies that can do just that. In today’s blog, we are going to take a more in-depth look at two of those triggers: latex and penicillin.
Natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. When a person has an allergic reaction to latex, it is because of the proteins in the sap. Since this allergy has become so common, natural rubber latex is often replaced with synthetic rubber, especially in gloves. However, the synthetic latex is made up of chemicals, which can trigger a whole other set of allergies.
According to The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI): People who are at higher risk for developing a latex allergy include:
- Health care workers and others who frequently wear latex gloves
- People who have had multiple surgeries (for example, 10 or more), such as children with spina bifida
- People who are often exposed to natural rubber latex, including rubber industry workers
- People with other allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or allergy to certain foods
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Stuffy or runny nose
For more information and a helpful Latex Allergy Checklist, visit the American Latex Allergy Association site.
The good news about this allergy is many people who think they have it actually don’t. Instead, they may be experiencing adverse reactions or side effects to the drug, which can be just as serious.
The symptoms of a penicillin allergy are just like those of a latex allergy with the addition of:
- Itchy Eyes
- Swelling of the lips, tongue or face
Unfortunately, people with a penicillin allergy may unknowingly be allergic to other drugs as well. Mayo Clinic explains:
Penicillins belong to a class of antibacterial drugs called beta-lactams. Although the mechanisms of the drugs vary, generally they fight infections by attacking the walls of bacterial cells. In addition to penicillins, other beta-lactams more commonly associated with allergic reactions are a group called cephalosporins.
- Penicillin G
- Penicillin V
If you believe that you may be suffering from a latex or penicillin allergy, stop the guesswork and find out for sure. Our expert allergists at CT Sinus Center have the most up-to-date testing methods to determine whether or not you do have an allergy and exactly what it is. Once the diagnosis is in, we will work with you to develop a plan to keep you safe from any follow-up reactions.
Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices today and be assured that a trip to the doctor will only end in health. Also watch for our blog “Medical Allergies Part 2: Other Medications and Adhesives.”