It’s hard being an animal lover who has allergies. All you want to do at the end of the day is snuggle up with your four-legged furry friend, but as soon as your dog or cat gets near you, the problems begin: runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, breathing problems and even hives. There are over 130 million dogs and cats in the United States, and millions of pet owners who have allergies. Here are a few tips and tricks about allergy treatments for pet owners that can ease cohabitation with your pet.
What Causes Pet Allergies
When it comes to pet allergies, we’ve all heard the horror word: dander. Just what is dander, however, and how does it cause allergic reactions? Dander is on every creature with feathers or fur. It is a substance that can resemble dandruff in humans and is often related to how animals clean themselves.
The dander itself is not the culprit when it comes to allergies. It is a specific kind of protein that is in the dander which acts as the trigger, or allergen. Allergies are always caused by a reaction to a protein. Since these proteins are microscopic and airborne, they easily trigger allergies.
Why You Have Allergies
The truth is we are not entirely sure why allergies develop. Many people have or develop allergy symptoms for a variety of reasons. There can be a genetic predisposition, or it can be associated to asthma or other illness. You can also develop allergies after years of having none. Something triggers an abnormal immune response in your body to a substance that should not be harmful, and that’s what an allergy is.
Managing your environment can be a good way to cope with pet allergies. Keep pets out of the bedroom, giving you a place to go when your symptoms get bad. Use a vacuum or air fan with a HEPA filter to remove particulates (including dander) from the air. Keep your home clean to avoid the buildup of dander and its associated allergen protein.
Hygiene and medication are also vital to keeping yourself symptom-free. Wash your hands and face frequently to keep dander off of your body. Keep up with the laundry. Above all, see a qualified Allergist or ENT doctor to get medicated.
For those who see limited effectiveness from over-the-counter or even prescription medications, a series of allergy shots can desensitize you from symptoms and help you build up a long-term resistance to allergies. These allergy treatments for pet owners involve a series of injections with increasing levels of allergens to help your body build a sensitivity. The procedure is safe and closely observed by a doctor, and can provide long-lasting relief.
If you are a pet lover with allergies in the Atlanta area, we may be able to help control your symptoms. Read over our website and feel free to drop us a line today for a consultation about all the allergy treatments for pet owners we have to offer.