Dogs and cats can cause a chronic condition called pet allergies in people that are allergic to them.
Sharing our homes and sometimes even our beds, pets are listed as a common cause of irritation, inflammation and other related problems to people who are allergic to pets.
For someone who is planning to have a house pet or for people who already own a pet, learning about the facts concerning pet allergies is a must.
Your body naturally produces antibodies to fight the onslaught of common pathogens. Pet allergies happen when the body’s immune system sees animal fur, hair or saliva as a potential risk to your health. In mistakenly identifying these forms of protein as a health risk, the body produces inflammatory responses in the nasal passages and in the lungs.
Virtually all pet allergens are proteins by nature. When they come in contact with the skin or breathed in, it causes the body to produce histamine, which results to swelling and irritation of the upper airways, hay fever symptoms and asthmatic symptoms.
Once pet allergies are suspected, it is important to immediately seek diagnosis, medication and treatment to prevent developing the complications associated with pet allergies.
Signs and Symptoms
The nasal inflammation caused by pet allergies often leads to sneezing, runny nose, itchy and red eyes, postnasal drip, and irritation on the nose, roof of the mouth and throat.
Once the condition worsens and leads to asthma, sufferers may experience breathing difficulties, chest tightness and pain, audible whistling and wheezing sound, sleeping problems and chronic cough. Other symptoms may be manifested on the skin, causing raised red patches and itchiness. Thankfully, the attack of pet allergies can be controlled with the right preventive measures, treatment and medication.
What to Do
If you suspect that you are suffering from pet allergy symptoms, you need to write down all your symptoms as well as your family’s history of allergy and asthma. Make a list of the medicines, vitamins and supplements that you are taking. This should help your doctor diagnose whether or not suffer from pet allergies. Early diagnosis is the key to successful pet allergy treatment and management.
Common Treatment and Medication
People who are allergic to pets may encounter symptoms of varying severity.
One way of preventing attacks or improving the condition of common pet allergy symptoms, patients are given allergy medications. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, and decongestants are few of the common medicines used to improve nasal allergy symptoms.
Depending on the severity of a patient’s allergic reaction, he may be advised to undergo immunotherapy or nasal lavage. Immunotherapy is the treatment process that trains the body to not be sensitive to pet allergens. Nasal lavage aims to improve allergic symptoms by rinsing off the nasal passages with saline solutions.
The best way of preventing pet allergies is by limiting your exposure to animal allergens. To do that, you must establish a pet-free zone in your home. Regularly maintain, scrub or vacuum your homes carpeting and dander-collecting home furnishings. You can also decide to keep your pet outside. But if you cannot bear to part with your pet, invest on a high-efficiency air purifier and filter to reduce the airborne pet allergens inside your home.