What allergy meds work best for cat allergies
Pet allergies happen when the immune system reacts to the saliva, dead skin cells (dander) or urine of pets.
About 1 in 5 people own a pet allergy. Most are allergic to cats or dogs, but you can also be allergic to other domestic animals, such as guinea pigs, mice, rats, horses and birds.
Allergies are particularly common in people who handle pets as part of their occupation. Some people are allergic to more than one animal.
People with a pet allergy are also likely to own other allergies — for example, to pollen and dust mites. Pet allergies can develop at any time during childhood or adulthood, but some people will grow out of them.
Living with pet allergy
The best solution to pet allergies is to avoid exposure — for example, by not having a pet in your home.
If you do desire a pet, you can reduce your exposure to allergens by:
- washing your hands and clothes thoroughly after contact
- purifying the air with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter
- keeping your pet out of the bedroom
- having a hard floor surface rather than carpet
It’s a excellent thought to enquire someone without pet allergies to, at least once a week:
- wash the pet
- clean carpets, furniture and curtains with a excellent vacuum cleaner
- wash pillow cases and bedding
If you can’t avoid exposure, you might be capable to treat the symptoms with medication, such as:
Another option is immunotherapy, which is also known as ‘desensitisation’.
It’s offered by a specialist known as an immunologist, and takes 3 to 5 years to complete.
Avoid smoking, because this can make allergies worse.
Mayo Clinic(Pet allergy – diagnosis and treatment), NHS UK(NICE warns of alternative allergy tests), Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)(Allergen immunotherapy), Sense About Science(Making sense of allergies), Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America(Pet allergy), European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology(Consensus document on dog and cat allergy), Journal of Asthma(Assessment of pet exposure by self-report in epidemiological studies of allergy and asthma — a systematic review), Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology(Low incidence and high remission of allergic sensitization among adults), Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research(Association between pet ownership and the sensitization to pet allergens in adults with various allergic diseases), Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology In Practice(Sensitization and exposure to pets — the effect on asthma morbidity in the US population), F1000 Research(Recent understandings of pet allergies), The World Allergy Organization Journal(Anaphylaxis as a manifestation of horse allergy), The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology(Allergy to furry animals), Clinical & Experimental Allergy(Specific patterns of allergic sensitization in early childhood and asthma and rhinitis risk), Frontiers in Immunology(Animal allergens and their presence in the environment), Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy(Pet allergy)
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Last reviewed: May 2018
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How does pet allergy occur?
Pet allergens (the substances that cause the allergic reaction) are most concentrated in homes with pets.
But they are also found in buildings and public spaces without pets.
Dog allergens largely come from their saliva, either directly from licking or from being transferred to their dander or hair. Cat allergens mainly come from glands in their skin and are spread through licking and grooming.
Pet allergens are sticky and can remain for months or years after a pet has gone. They can become airborne and attach to clothes and hair.
People can become sensitive to, or own an allergic reaction to, cats or dogs without ever having owned a pet.
How is pet allergy diagnosed?
A diagnosis of pet allergy is made based on your medical history and a physical examination.
Your doctor might refer you to an allergy specialist for a skin-prick test or blood test for confirmation.
Avoid online or over-the-counter allergy test kits or other unconventional allergy tests.
Numerous are not evidence-based, and don’t provide precise results.
In specific, avoid unproven tests and treatments such asapplied kinesiology, the Vega test, hair analysis, serum-specific IgG tests, Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET), and cytotoxic tests such as ALCAT, FACT and Bryan’s test.
See your doctor for advice.
Symptoms of pet allergy
Pet allergy can cause:
Symptoms might appear as soon as you pat a cat or dog, or they might take a few hours to appear.
Pet allergies are rarely life-threatening.
But if you ponder someone is having a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis, and their breathing is affected, call triple zero (000) and enquire for an ambulance.