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Latex Allergy Blood Test

The latex allergy IgE blood test measures the amount of allergen-specific IgE antibodies in the blood to detect an allergy to latex.

Sample Report

Test Code: 602669

Also Known As: Brazilian Rubber Tree Allergy; Latex-Specific IgE Blood Test; Latex-Specific Immunoglobulin E Blood Test

Methodology: Thermo Fisher ImmunoCAP®

Preparation: No special preparation required.

Test Results: 3-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.


Test Code: 8927

Also Known As: Brazilian Rubber Tree Allergy; Latex-Specific IgE Blood Test; Latex-Specific Immunoglobulin E Blood Test

Methodology: Immunoassay (IA)

Preparation: No special preparation required.

Test Results: 3-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Description

Order a latex allergy IgE blood test to detect an allergy to latex. This test measures the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in a blood sample.

Latex, also referred to as natural rubber, originates from the rubber tree's sap. The primary cause of sensitization (hypersensitivity development) and allergic reactions to latex is rubber gloves.

For many individuals, a particular component of the latex substance itself is an allergen. Also, the powder found in latex gloves is troublesome for certain individuals because it is an airborne allergen that can also cause breathing problems.

Industries that put individuals at a higher risk of developing allergies to latex include:

  • Rubber industry workers
  • Healthcare workers, including those in:
    • Dentistry
    • Animal laboratories
    • First responders (emergency workers)
    • Veterinary medicine
  • Food industry workers
  • Construction workers
  • Beauty industry workers such as hairdressers

Individuals who are more likely to develop a latex allergy are those who have:

  • A history of multiple surgical procedures
  • A urinary catheter, which has a rubber tip
  • Known food allergies to apples, bananas, carrots, celery, chestnuts, kiwi, melons, papayas, raw potatoes, avocadoes, pineapple, and tomatoes
  • A history of allergies, asthma, or eczema
  • Spina bifida
  • A defect in bone marrow cells
  • Urologic problems (deformed bladder or urinary tract)

There are many ways to get exposed to latex. The following are several ways an individual can be exposed, and an example of how it happens.

  • Inhalation
    • Rubber gloves may contain cornstarch powder. The powder absorbs the latex and becomes airborne when the gloves are removed.
  • Skin absorption
    • When wearing latex gloves
  • Blood
    • When medical devices are used that contain rubber
  • Mucous membranes
    • Through the eyes, mouth, vagina, and rectum

An allergy to latex triggers a reaction in an individual's immune system. The body views certain substances as toxic and produces IgE antibodies to these contaminants. These antibodies cause histamine to be released, which will cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Allergy symptoms vary from one individual to the next ranging from mild to severe reactions, which can be experienced within minutes to hours after exposure. Common symptoms of a latex allergy may include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Eye tearing and irritation
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Wheezing, chest constriction (tightness), cough, or shortness of breath
  • Nasal symptoms such as sneezing, drainage (runny nose), or congestion
  • Feeling faint (drop in blood pressure)

Hundreds of goods contain latex, which mostly includes items that can be stretched, for example:

  • Certain household products such as:
    • zippered storage bags
    • bathmats
    • rugs
    • rubber gloves
  • Medical devices such as:
    • gloves
    • intravenous tubes
    • catheters
    • blood pressure cuffs
  • Certain school or office supplies such as:
    • rubber bands
    • erasers
    • adhesive tape
    • rubber cement
    • paint
  • Dentistry devices including orthodontic rubber bands and dental dams
  • Elastic bandages, including Band-Aid brand bandages
  • Contraceptive products such as:
    • condoms
    • diaphragms
  • Clothing containing elastic bands such as:
    • pants
    • underwear
    • running shoes
    • raincoats
  • Rubber balloons 
  • Infant and children items such as:
    • pacifiers
    • bottle nipples
    • disposable diapers
    • teething or other toys 

Synthetic latex does not come from a Brazilian rubber tree sap, such as that used in latex paint. Signs of latex allergies are not caused by exposure to synthetic latex.

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