Friday, December 5, 2014

Are you allergic to your favorite pet like Cats and Dogs?

Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, mold or pet dander. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify your particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn't. When you inhale the allergen or come into contact with it, your immune system responds and produces an inflammatory response in your nasal passages or lungs. Prolonged or regular exposure to the allergen can cause the ongoing (chronic) inflammation associated with asthma.

Are you allergic to your favorite pet like Cats and Dogs?

For a pet lover, there’s probably nothing more unfortunate than having pet allergies. Allergens from cats and dogs are found in skin cells the animals shed (dander), as well as in their saliva, urine and sweat and on their fur. Dander is a particular problem because it is very small and can remain airborne for long periods of time with the slightest bit of air circulation. It also collects easily in upholstered furniture and sticks to your clothes.

Don’t despair. If you find it unsettling to give up your beloved furry friend, here are a few other alternatives you might want to try first.

1. Wash and change clothes frequently - Frequent hand washing and showers ensure that dander doesn’t stay on your body or gets transmitted in other parts of the house. It’s also advisable to change clothes whenever you have petted your cat or dog, or have been in contact with other furry animals.

2. Ditch the carpet and other dust-collecting objects - Like any other cloth-covered stuff at home, carpets and plush toys attract dander and keep them stagnant in a single place. Skip both if you’re planning on getting a pet. Make surfaces clean and free of stuffed toys, and use bare flooring instead.

3. Make sure you really have pet allergy - Are you really allergic to pets? Chances are, there are other hidden allergens lurking in your home which may be the real culprit. Be sure to get proper testing from your doctor to specifically identify what’s behind your symptoms. Don’t make hasty home renovations from assumptions.

4. Keep upholstered furniture and sheets off-limits to pets - Seats and fabrics attract pet dander. In fact, in many vehicles and homes that are pet-free, these are the usual places where dander is found. If your pet prefers soft and cushiony places for chilling out, train him to snuggle up in his own bed.

5. Always make sure you carry allergy medicines with you the right ones - Drugs especially designed for allergies are imperative for preventing attacks from progressing to deleterious level so always have yours handy. Prior to visiting someone with pets, take an antihistamine like BENADRYL®. If you have a household pet, it will be helpful to also take steroids in addition to antihistamines.

6. Keep dander in one place. - While dander can be transmitted to any part of the house as long as you harbor pets, it would help to minimize contact with them to also lessen allergy attacks. For example, you might want to impose a no-pet rule in your bedroom. Or if you have a two or three-storey house, maybe you could confine pets in just one floor of the house. A secure outdoor space or a well-ventilated basement may also be good places for them.

7.  Install a filter - A mechanical air filter cleans household air and helps reduce the amount of dander, although it should not be considered as a primary solution in itself.

8. Don’t fall for hypoallergenic pets - There is no such thing as hypoallergenic pets. All animals routinely shed dander and of course, all of them drool. It’s just a question of how much. Some breeds shed danderless, some more. For as long as they are living, all pets have the potential to cause pet allergies. So before you take in a “hypoallergenic” pet for good, consider a short run at home first.

Are you allergic to your favorite pet like Cats and Dogs?
For information purposes only.


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