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A variety of substances can cause an allergic reaction.
Often caused by the protein component. Common allergens are nuts (especially peanuts), fish, shellfish, eggs and cow’s milk. Most reactions occur immediately after swallowing. Rarely, they may begin several hours after eating. Food allergies are more common in those with other allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema and hayfever.
Especially wasp and bee stings. The reaction is usually immediate (within 30 minutes).
Natural rubber/ latex
This can be found in some contraceptives (condoms, diaphragms), balloons, rubber gloves, rubber bands, carpet backing, furniture filling and medical items such as catheters, gloves and some disposal items.
Reactions usually occur after the first course and occur more quickly if the medicine is given by a line straight into a blood vessel.
Occasionally, especially in adults, a cause cannot be identified.
You will not experience an allergic reaction if you can avoid the allergen.
Avoid bright clothing in warmer months. Wear shoes when outside. Avoid perfumes and fragrances. Avoid eating and drinking sweet foods outside. Avoid open bins, keep food covered and avoid picking fallen fruit. Keep windows closed. Use fly nets and insect repellants. Ensure nests are removed promptly.
Warn healthcare staff and hairdressers of your allergy. Latex contact with mucous membranes or body tissue (e.g. during surgery) is more likely to cause a severe allergic reaction.
Ensure you know the proper names of any medicines you are allergic to (not just the brand names). Ensure healthcare staff are aware of any allergies you have.
The following symptoms may occur
Any of the following needs urgent treatment with adrenaline (epinephrine)
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information in this article is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Publication Date: August 2019
Review Date: November 2021