Some medical devices for managing urinary symptoms, i.e., catheters (a tube inserted into the bladder to drain urine) or gloves used by healthcare professionals (HCP), do contain latex. Silicone catheters are more commonly being used.
Latex allergy is uncommon in the UK and only affects 1 in 1000 people, but anyone can develop an allergy to it. However, it is more common in children who have eczema. Allergic reactions can also occur with products containing silicone or elastic that may sometimes be used with catheters.
If you have an allergic reaction to latex, you will usually experience symptoms of a rash or swelling within 30 minutes. A more severe reaction causes difficulty with breathing or dizziness. If you know you have a latex allergy it is important this is reported to a HCP who will make sure this is written in your records.
Be Aware of Active Ingredients
Some products used during procedures to insert catheters contain lidocaine (a local anaesthetic) or chlorhexidine (an antiseptic), both of which can cause a reaction to the body. It is important to tell an HCP if you have experienced a reaction to it in the past.
If you experience any new symptoms whilst using a medical device to manage your urinary symptoms, you should speak to an HCP who can advise you appropriately.
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