Whether we share our house with a dog, cat, bird, or other animals, the relationship we have with pets is a strong and complicated one. Going as far back as the domestication of wolves 30,000 years ago into the multitude of dog breeds we have now, pets have been a part of human society, providing things like protection, companionship, and unconditional love.
But, no matter how much you love your pet, having a pet allergy can be frustrating and make it difficult to be around the beloved non-human member of the family. Let’s explore how to deal with pet allergies by looking at what triggers them, the common symptoms you will encounter, and some tips on how to manage those symptoms.
Pet lovers in the Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida areas looking for help with their pet allergies can find help with Drs. Wade Han, Elvira Livigni-De Armas, and the skilled medical team at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center.
Pet allergy triggers
Your body’s immune system is designed to defend against bacteria, viruses, and other invaders, but sometimes it forms defenses against things that aren’t a threat to your health. Allergens are a type of substance your immune system may overreact to, causing you to experience allergic reactions.
In the case of your pets, proteins found in their saliva, urine, or skin cells are the source of allergens, with animal dander (dead skin flakes) being the most common. These reactions are quite common in dogs and cats, but these proteins from any pet carry a risk of creating an allergic reaction.
Like most allergic reactions, pet allergies can create a variety of symptoms affecting your sinuses and throat, including sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, cough, facial pressure, and swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes. Symptoms that affect your skin include itchy skin, eczema, and hives (red, raised patches of skin).
Many of these symptoms may be mistaken for other conditions like a cold, but if they persist for longer than a couple of weeks, an allergy becomes more likely.
Managing your symptoms
Coping with your symptoms, especially if they get really bad, can be very difficult for being around a beloved pet, but here are some things you can do:
Keep your pets clean
To prevent the buildup of allergens, be sure to wash your pets regularly, and when you handle them, be sure to wash your hands. Ensure that whoever is washing the pet isn’t allergic to them.
Clean the house frequently
Keeping the house clean will also prevent the buildup of dander and other allergens that trigger reactions. Clean as much around the house as possible. For dogs and cats, be sure to keep sleeping areas clean, and for smaller pets, clean their cages or other habitats frequently.
Get an air purifier
Air purifiers can be very helpful in capturing allergens in the air, and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in air ducts can also help in clearing the air of allergy triggers.
Wash your bedding regularly to avoid dander and other allergens from getting trapped in them, and synthetic or hypoallergenic bedding can help to reduce the chances of triggering an attack.
Dealing with allergies from your pets can be a complicated process, but you can take steps to reduce your triggers and when all else fails, we can help. Make an appointment with Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center today to get relief from your allergies.