Millions of people in the U.S. are allergic to dogs, cats, or other animals. If you suffer from pet dander allergies, you probably aim to avoid the animals that trigger your allergy symptoms. While avoiding a type of animal entirely can be impossible, there are some ways you can ease your symptoms whenever you encounter an allergy-inducing pet.
What Should I Know About Pet Dander Allergies?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not the hair or fur of animals that causes an allergic reaction. If someone is allergic to a pet, they react to proteins in the animal’s skin cells, saliva, or urine, also referred to as the pet’s dander.
Symptoms of a pet dander allergy can include:
- Eye redness
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Swelling and itching of eyes and nose
Some people can experience skin symptoms as well, including:
- Itchy skin
There are many different animals that can cause a reaction, not just dogs and cats. Some of these include:
Different animals produce different proteins, so you could be allergic to dogs and not cats or other common pets.
What Can I Do if I Have a Pet Dander Allergy?
The easiest way to avoid an allergic reaction to pet dander is to stay away from the animal that causes you to react. However, people with allergies who have a pet or spend significant time around an animal may require other solutions.
Here are some ways you can manage your pet dander allergy:
Keep Your Pet Off Your Bed
While you may enjoy having your pet sleep in your bed with you, it may not be the best idea if you have a pet dander allergy. Dander all over your pillows, sheets, and blankets will cause reactions and make it more difficult for you to sleep. In general, keeping the pet out of your bedroom can help you live comfortably with your allergy, even if the pet still lives inside your home.
Use an Air Purifier
Most pet dander is airborne, so an air purifier can help eliminate harmful particles from your home. Putting an air purifier or fan in your home or in your room can help remove pet dander and saliva particles from the air.
Give Your Pet Frequent Baths
Keeping your pet washed and clean can help manage pet dander. If possible, see if someone without pet allergies can help you with this washing. Experts recommend weekly baths, and it’s good for your pet, too–bathing can help remove dirt from your pet’s coat and heal any damaged skin or hair.
Proper bathing techniques can differ by pet, so talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions.
Take Allergy Medication
Many people who suffer from pet allergies relieve their allergy symptoms by taking medication. There are many different types of medications that target different physical symptoms and aspects of your allergies, including:
- Allergy Shots
- Nasal Steroids
Not all medications work for each person, so it’s good to talk to your allergist about your options before starting something new.
Do you have a pet dander allergy? Contact Langford Allergy.