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Health Tip: Prevent Latex Reactions

Symptoms are avoidable

(HealthDay News) -- Now that spring is almost here, talk of allergies is in the air. Pollen first comes to mind, but an allergy to natural rubber latex can also cause sneezing and wheezing and, in rare cases, serious and even fatal reactions.

The use of natural rubber latex, which is found in stretchy products such as party balloons, condoms and medical gloves, has become very common in the last decade.

According to the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, the best way to prevent latex allergy is to avoid exposure. This can be as easy as using non-latex gloves for washing dishes or having someone else blow up your child's balloons.

If you are a health-care professional, avoiding latex may be a trickier proposition. Select nitrile or vinyl gloves whenever possible. And be sure to avoid those powdered gloves, which could worsen allergic reactions.

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