Dander – whether from canines, felines, or even birds – can leave a lasting impression when it embeds itself into couches, drapes, and carpets in your home. Shedding and allergen production by pets presents a persistent problem for allergic pet lovers who can’t live without their favorite furry friend.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, approximately 10 percent of people have an allergy to household pets. So, what’s a pet person to do?
The Nature of Pet Allergies
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, if you have a pet allergy, your body’s immune system has a negative reaction to the proteins that make up your pet’s urine, saliva, and dander.
Dander consists of microscopic flecks of skin that are shed by animals with fur or feathers.The pieces are so miniscule that they remain suspended in the air for much longer than other allergens, such as dust mites.
Steps You Can Take
If you already have a pet that’s causing problems, you may not need to resort to finding a new home for Fido. To help minimize the severity of your allergies, take these helpful steps:
An allergy and immunology specialist can test you to determine if you are truly allergic to your pet or other animals.
Where to Keep Your Pet
Keep your pet outside as much as possible (while paying attention to weather, of course). When inside, try to keep pets out of the bedroom to minimize allergen exposure while sleeping.
Additionally, hard surfaces, such as wood floors and leather furniture, tend to be better for pet allergy sufferers because they trap less dander and are simpler to clean.
Keep It Clean
Try to limit the times you pet your animal, and when you do, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap to remove residual dander.
Keeping your home clean may help reduce your exposure to pet allergens. Vacuum frequently using double or micro-filter bags. Also, don’t forget to wash your pet. Giving your dog or cat a good dip in the tub once per week may reduce the quantity of allergens they carry.
Best Pets for Allergies
If you’re in the process of shopping for a new pet, remember that contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “hypoallergenic” pet. However, you can seek out certain qualities that mitigate some of the most common allergy symptoms. Because fur is a vessel for dust, mold, pollen, and other allergens, finding a pet that sheds less may be helpful. However, breeds that do not shed can still cause allergy symptoms through their dander, urine, and saliva.
Get Professional Advice
Seek the advice of a board-certified allergist who can suggest tips and prescribe medications to minimize the effects of your pet allergy. Allergy medications, such as antihistamines and nasal sprays, are particularly effective for relieving the itching, sneezing, and runny nose associated with pet allergies. Intranasal corticosteroid sprays also reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.
Should you need more substantial treatment, your allergy and immunology physician may recommend immunotherapy or “allergy shots,” which can train your immune system to become more resilient and less affected by allergens.
Allergy Experts in Tampa
Whether your allergies are from pets or another source, the board-certified physicians at Allergy Tampa are here to help. We offer skilled, comprehensive, and compassionate care by renowned specialists.
To make an appointment, call (813) 971-9743, or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you breathe easier.