There are millions of pet in the U.S. The problem is, about 10% of Americans are having allergic reactions to animals. The pets that most commonly cause allergic reactions are dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs. These pets can all provide comfort and companionship for their owners, but they can also provide health issues as well.
Pet allergy happens when your immune system responds to particular animal proteins. This reaction causes inflammation of the nasal Pet passages (rhinitis), which results in sneezing, rhinitis, and other allergy symptoms; many of the same symptoms that are usually attributed to hay fever. Pet allergy sufferers may also develop skin issues. Those may include: red patches of skin, itchy skin, and hives. Most pet allergy symptoms will resemble those of the common cold virus, or hay fever. If these symptoms persist for longer than a week, a person should consider seeing his or her doctor. For someone with asthma, exposure to pets may cause more severe symptoms, such as: breathing difficulties, tightness in the chest, a whistling sound or wheezing when exhaling, difficulty sleeping which is caused by a shortness of breath, and a prominent wheezing.
A person will be more prone to pet allergies if allergies or asthma run in their family. Exposure to animals when one is young can have an effect on whether one will become allergic as they age. For example, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002, reported that when children were exposed to multiple pets at a young age, this seems to have had a protective effect against the children developing allergies later in life; and that includes both pet allergies and environmental allergies.
People become allergic to pets because of a pet’s dander, skin, urine, and saliva. With regard to birds, we would add feathers and excrement to the allergen mix. Also, pets have a way of spreading other environmental allergens, such as the dust and pollen that may accumulate in their fur. There is an issue of being accidentally exposed to pets even if you don’t have any of your own pets at home. If you are allergic and you are visiting a friend or relative with pets, make sure you take your allergy medication before your visit. If your pet allergy is particularly severe, see if your relative will make arrangements to temporarily remove the pet from their home during your stay.
Most of us can relate to the deep psychological bond that can develop between owners and their pets. Some doctors will callously instruct their patients to remove an animal from their home, despite this emotional interdependence. We consider this to be cruel and indifferent, and we feel that doctors should explore some of the ways patients can control their symptoms before having to part with their beloved “family members.” Next, let’s take a look at pet allergy control measures.
Before finding another home for your animal, consider trying some of the following precautions:
- Brush your pet frequently and bathe it on a regular basis
• Do not sleep with your pet in the same room
• Consider wood or tile floors in your home, since they don’t collect allergens
• If you must have carpet, select ones with a low pile and steam clean them frequently. Better yet, use throw rugs that can be washed in hot water.
• Purchase a quality air filter or purifier, preferably with HEPA filtration
• Consider trying a good natural antihistamine, such as quercetin (you’ll find this in your local health food store)
• Make an appointment with an NAET (Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique) practitioner who can use energy-based techniques to identify your allergies and sensitivities, and eliminate them permanently