What about cats causes allergies
It is worth it to preserve the bond between you and your pet by checking if you are truly allergic to your pet and, if you are, to attempt these solutions. Join the large number of animal lovers who manage their allergies and live happily and healthily with their beloved pets.
Are You Allergic to Your Pet? Breathe Easy—You Can Still Hold Your Animal Companion!
Although numerous people own discovered the beneficial effects of caring for a furry friend, the fact remains that roughly 15 to 20% of the population is allergic to animals. The result?
Countless pet parents in unhappy, unhealthy situations—and their beloved pets are the cause! Allergen is the medical term for the actual substance that causes an allergic reaction. Touching or inhaling allergens leads to reactions in allergic individuals. Symptoms can include red, itchy, watery eyes and nose; sneezing; coughing; scratchy or sore throat; itchy skin, and most serious of every, difficulty breathing.
The most common pet allergens are proteins found in their dander (scales of ancient skin that are constantly shed by an animal), saliva, urine and sebaceous cells. Any animal can trigger an allergic response, but cats are the most common culprits. People can also become allergic to exotic pets such as ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, rabbits and rodents.
There is no species or breed to which humans cannot develop allergies. Fur length and type will not affect or prevent allergies. Certain pets can be less irritating than others to those who suffer from allergies, but that is strictly on an individual basis and cannot be predicted.
Once the diagnosis of a pet allergy is made, a physician will often recommend eliminating the companion animal from the surroundings. Heartbreaking?
Yes. Absolutely necessary? Not always. Hold in mind that most people are allergic to several things besides pets, such as dust mites, molds and pollens, every of which can be found in the home. Allergic symptoms result from the entire cumulative allergen load.
That means that if you eliminate some of the other allergens, you may not own to get rid of your pet. (Conversely, should you decide to remove your pet from your home, this may not immediately solve your problems.) You must also be prepared to invest the time and effort needed to decontaminate your home environment, limit future exposure to allergens and discover a physician who will work with you. Read on for helpful tips:
Improving the Immediate Environment
- Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag.
Other kinds of bags will permit allergens to blow back out of the vacuum.
- Clean the litter box frequently. Use low-dust, perfume-free filler.
Clumping litter is a excellent choice.
- Create an allergen-free room. A bedroom is often the best and most practical choice. By preventing your pet from entering this room, you can ensure at least eight hours of liberty from allergens every night. It’s a excellent thought to use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow materials.
- Install an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter. Our modern, energy-efficient homes lock in air that is loaded with allergens, so it’s brilliant to let in some unused air daily.
- Limit fabrics. Allergens collect in rugs, drapes and upholstery, so do your best to limit or eliminate them from your home. If you select to hold some fabrics, steam-clean them regularly. Cotton-covered furniture is the smartest choice, and washable blinds or shades make excellent window treatments. You can also cover your furniture with sheets or blankets which you can remove and wash regularly.
- Use anti-allergen room sprays. These sprays deactivate allergens, rendering them harmless. Enquire your allergist for a product recommendation.
- Dust regularly. Wiping below the walls will also cut below on allergens.
- Invest in washable pet bedding and cages that can be cleaned often and easily.
Decontaminating Your Pet
- Wipe your pet with a product formulated to prevent dander from building up and flaking off into the environment.
Enquire your veterinarian to propose one that is safe to use on animals who groom themselves.
- Note any symptoms of dermatitis exhibited by your companion animal.
Dermatitis often leads to accelerated skin and fur shedding, which will up your allergen exposure.
- Bathe your pet at least once a week. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that won’t dry out his skin. Bathing works to wash off the allergens that accumulate in an animal’s fur.
- Brush or comb your pet frequently. It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible. (The ASPCA does not recommend keeping cats outdoors, so make certain your feline is leashed if you take him outside.)
Taking Care of Yourself
- Wash your hands after handling your companion animal and before touching your face.
The areas around your nose and eyes are particularly sensitive to allergens.
- Designate a “pet outfit” from among your most easily washed clothes. Wear it when playing or cuddling with your companion, and you’ll leave other clothing uncontaminated.
- If possible, own someone other than yourself do the housecleaning, litter box work and pet washing, wiping and brushing. If you must clean the home or change the litter, be certain to wear a dust mask.
- Find a physician, preferably an allergy specialist, who will make certain that your pet is the cause of your allergies and will assist alleviate your symptoms.
Medications and immunotherapy (desensitizing shots) can often permit you and your companion animal to remain together happily ever after.
If you own pet allergies, chances are it is Fluffy rather than Fido that’s making you sneeze. While an estimated 10 percent of people are allergic to household pets, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Among children, about one in seven between ages 6 and 19 prove to be allergic to cats.
Contrary to favorite belief, it’s not cat fur that causes those itchy, watery eyes.
Most people with cat allergies react to a protein found on cat skin called Fel d 1.
The reason that cat allergies are more common has to do with the size and shape of the protein molecule, rather than how much dander the animal sheds, according to Mark Larché, an immunology professor at McMaster University in Ontario.
The protein enters the air on bits of cat hair and skin, and it is so little and light — it’s about one-tenth the size of a dust allergen — that it can stay airborne for hours. «Dog allergens don’t stay airborne the same way cat allergens do.
The particle size is just correct to breathe deep into your lungs,» Larché said.
The Fel d 1 protein is also incredibly sticky, readily glomming onto human skin and clothes and remaining there, making it ubiquitous in the environment. It has been found in places where there are no cats — classrooms, doctors’ offices, even the Arctic, Larché said.
While there are no truly hypoallergenic cat breeds — every cats produce the protein, which experts surmise may own something do with pheromone signaling — some cats make more of it than others.
«Male cats, especially unneutered males, produce more Fel d 1 than female cats.
Testosterone increases glandular secretions,» said Dr. Andrew Kim, an allergist at the Allergy and Asthma Centers of Fredricksburg and Fairfax, in Virginia.
If you own cat allergies, there are steps you can take to reduce them. Avoiding contact with cats is one option, though not always a favorite choice. Even after a cat is taken out of a home, allergen levels may remain high for up to six months, Kim said.
Limiting a cat’s access to the bedrooms of allergic people, using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, bathing the cat and removing allergen-trapping carpeting may also help.
For those who can’t avoid cat dander, allergy shots may be an option.
Little injections of the allergen can assist build immune system tolerance over time. «It takes about six months of weekly injections of increasing potency to reach a maintenance level, followed by three to five years of monthly injections, for the therapy to reach full effectiveness,» said Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, an allergist and founder of Family Allergy and Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Md.
A less burdensome repair for cat allergies may be on the horizon.
Phase 3 clinical trials are set to start this drop for a cat allergy vaccine that Larché helped develop. Early tests own shown the vaccine to be safe and effective without some of the side effects of allergy shots, such as skin reactions and difficulty breathing. Larché receives research funding from pharmaceutical companies Adiga Life Sciences and Circassia.
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Understand your pet allergies
It is significant to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually own.
You may discover that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all!
For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to discover out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a stroll together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.
If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is significant to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them. There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin (dander) and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.
The reaction of someone to these allergens is diverse from one person to the next.
The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.
Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal. A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.
You may hear claims about breeds of dogs and cats that are non-allergenic (don’t cause an allergic reaction) or cats and dogs that are hypoallergenic (cause less of an allergic reaction).
However, even hairless breeds may cause a severe allergic reaction.
Reduce the allergens and your symptoms
If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions aren’t life-threatening, there are numerous ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably.
If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms:
1. Create an «allergy free» zone in your home—preferably the allergic person’s bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.
Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the relax of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as sofa covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.
3. Bathe your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the level of allergy-causing dander (shed ancient skin cells). Cats can get used to being bathed, but it’s critical to only use products labeled for them; kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarian’s staff or a excellent book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It’s a excellent thought to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.
Don’t be quick to blame the family pet for allergies. Enquire your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander. Numerous allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen. Reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on every of the causes, not just the pet allergy.
5. Attempt treatments. Additional treatments for allergies to pets are include immunotherapy (allergy shots), steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills. It is significant to discover an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet.
A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, excellent housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.