Relief from Cat and Dog Allergies
For many families, dogs and cats are more than just animals – they are members of the family. However, these beloved four-legged companions also bring with them allergens that can create an uncomfortable home environment.
If you or a loved one has a pet allergy, symptoms may include sneezing, a runny nose, puffy and watery eyes, skin rash, and difficulty breathing. If your family has a history of pet or other allergies or asthma, you have an increased risk of developing a pet allergy.
Controlling pet allergy symptoms can be difficult, but it is possible.
Take Steps to Eliminate Pet Dander
When you have an allergic reaction to an animal, you might assume it is due to the animal hair. But it’s not pet hair you’re reacting to. What your immune system is overreacting to are proteins that can be found in a pet’s saliva, urine, and dander (skin cells) – all of which can be carried on pet hair.
Dander is particularly difficult to avoid in a home with pets because, as with humans, skin cells are constantly shedding from the body. Also, it is important to note there is no such thing as a “hypoallergenic” dog or cat breed – even hairless dogs and cats produce the allergen.
Any animal with hair may trigger an allergic reaction in people with pet allergies. In addition to dogs and cats, you may experience an allergic reaction to mice, hamsters, rabbits, horses, and other animals.
Aside from removing the animal from your home, there are things you can do to reduce suffering due to cat and dog allergies, including:
- Make your bedroom or even the entire second floor a pet-free space
- Use a HEPA air purifier/filter to trap pet dander
- Clean the carpet frequently, or opt for wood or tile flooring
- Talk to your vet about a balanced diet for your pet, which can help prevent dry skin and excess shedding
- Keep pets off the furniture
We Can Create a Pet Allergy Plan for You
At Oak Brook Allergists, we can help you establish a plan to manage your pet allergy symptoms. Our medical team arms you with knowledge and medical interventions necessary to help you handle your reactions to animals, thus reducing or eliminating your allergy symptoms in the process.
The first step is to confirm a suspected pet allergy – as well as rule out any other allergies or related conditions like asthma. In-office allergy testing can be begun on your very first visit with us.
The only real cure for a pet allergy is to remove the pet from your environment. However, due to our love and attachment to our furry family members, this option is not always possible or preferred. Allergy shots have proven to be a very successful option in these cases.
Some studies have found that early exposure to pets may decrease the likelihood of pet allergies. However, if you have any concerns about a possible allergic reaction to an animal, it’s best to consult an allergy specialist before bringing an animal into the home.
Pet Allergy Treatment in Will County & DuPage County, IL
For assistance with cat and dog allergies, contact the allergy and asthma specialists at Oak Brook Allergists in northeast Illinois by calling (630) 574-0460. You can also request an appointment now.