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pet danderPet dander is an extremely common allergen that affects millions of people every year. Many furry pets have dander, which are small flakes that fall from their skin. These flakes are hard to see, much like dandruff on a human.

To diagnose and begin treatment for your allergies, schedule an appointment with Dr. Langford today!

Dander often clings to the dust that hides under furniture or in the corners of your home. These minuscule flakes are often the cause to your nose and eye allergies. You may be allergic to pet dander if you have itchy eyes, runny nose, sensitivity to light, or redness while near a pet. If you have asthma, pet dander can make breathing difficult.

I’m Allergic to My Pet. What Should I Do?

There are many options for people that suffer from allergies related to pet dander. Options that can help you find relief from your allergies include:

  1. Schedule an allergy test to determine if pet dander is indeed causing your allergies to flare.
  2. Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that can help decrease your sensitivity to pet dander and provide lasting relief. Learn more about this especially effective treatment below.
  3. Wash your furry friend in allergen-reducing shampoo for five minutes twice a week. This will significantly decrease the percentage of dander falling off your pet.
  4. Certain medications can give relief to your allergy situation. Dr. Langford can help you determine which medication is right for you!
  5. Finding a new home for your pet may be a solution if the allergy is extreme. If this is too much to bear, consider keeping your pet in a certain area of the house. While this won’t eliminate dander altogether, it will help keep the dander isolated.

If you are unsure if your pet is causing your itchy eyes or runny nose, a simple test can help you determine the cause. If you constantly sneeze or rub your eyes when you are near a furry animal, the chance that you are allergic to pet dander is high. However, if these symptoms fluctuate and happen only certain times of the year, it is possible that you are not allergic to pet dander.

Immunotherapy: A Lasting Solution for Pet Dander Relief

Immunotherapy is a preventative allergy treatment which serves to alter the immune system so that through a long-term treatment plan the body will no longer react to the troublesome allergen(s). The allergy shot is given in the arm and contains a very small dose of the allergen. Because the shot does not require muscle penetration, patients typically do not experience soreness or pain.

During the build-up phase which lasts between 2-6 months, the dose of allergen is initially small but increases until the necessary dosage for immunity is met. After the patient has completed the build-up phase, they will move into the maintenance phase which lasts between 3-5 years.

Allergy shots or immunotherapy are the only way to successfully decrease your sensitivity to the allergy and reduce the number of allergy medications necessary. It is a treatment that requires a time commitment during the initial phase, but is well worth it as the bulk of your treatment course will likely be monthly visits.

To be certain, contact Dr. Langford today at 478-787-4728 to find relief!