Living with Pets and Allergies
TIPS AND MEDICATION OPTIONS
Millions of people enjoy sharing their homes and their lives with pets, even those who are allergic to animals. Unfortunately, some people believe that once they are diagnosed with a pet allergy, they have no choice but to remove their pets from their home. Thankfully, there are many solutions that can be explored that would allow allergy sufferers to keep their beloved pets while effectively managing their allergies. You’d be surprised to know how many people with non-life-threatening allergies are able to live happily with their pets.
Understanding Pet Allergies
Allergens found in pet dander, saliva, and urine can trigger an allergic reaction. Pet dander is made up of tiny particles that come from animal skin or fur and can be inhaled into the lungs when they become airborne. Saliva contains proteins that act as allergens, while urine may contain bacteria which also cause reactions.
Environmental elements, such as pollen or mildew, can exacerbate allergy indications by permitting allergens to enter the body through inhalation or skin contact. Pollen counts tend to be higher during certain times of the year depending on where you live, so if you have pet allergies it’s important to keep track of pollen levels in your area during those times. Mold spores are another environmental factor that can exacerbate pet allergy symptoms; these spores grow indoors on damp surfaces like carpets and walls and release allergen-filled particles into the air.
Minimizing Exposure to Pet Allergens
Pet allergens, including dander, saliva, and urine are often the cause of allergic responses in people. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can implement to reduce your exposure to pet allergens in the home.
Bathing and brushing pets regularly will help remove excess hair and dander, which is one of the most common sources of pet allergens. Bathing your pet with a hypoallergenic shampoo is important to prevent exacerbating allergic symptoms. Brushing your pet outdoors or in a well-ventilated area can reduce the number of airborne particles that enter other areas of the house.
Another way to minimize contact with pet allergens is by using air purifiers throughout the home. Air purifiers work by filtering out particles from the air including dust mites, pollen, and other microscopic contaminants that can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter since these are specifically designed for capturing smaller particles like pet dander that regular filters may not capture. Consider getting an ionizing air cleaner if you have multiple pets since this type of device helps neutralize odors caused by pet waste products more efficiently than traditional filtration systems.
Tips for Living With Pets Despite Having Allergies
Living with pets despite having allergies can be a challenge, but it is possible. Allergy sufferers must take extra precautions to reduce their exposure to pet allergens. Here are some effective tips:
If you can, wash your hands after holding or cuddling with your pets. Vacuum carpets and furniture regularly, especially where the pet sleeps or spends time. Change air filters in your home more often as well. Wash your pet’s bedding weekly in hot water (at least 130°F) using a detergent that kills dust mites and other allergens.
The Cleveland Clinic also recommends bathing your pets regularly to help keep pet dander to a minimum. That also goes for brushing your pet’s fur to keep excess to a minimum. Just remember to brush them outside so none of the fur or dander lingers in your house. Also, if your dog or cat goes outside a lot, it’s best to wipe them down before they come in.
If possible, keep the bedroom door closed while you’re sleeping at night. It’s also important to avoid contact with saliva from animals such as cats because this contains proteins that can cause an allergic reaction. To minimize exposure, don’t let cats lick you or groom themselves around you.
Using air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters will help capture pet dander that may trigger allergy symptoms. Place one near the area where your pet spends most of its time. You should also consider investing in hypoallergenic covers for mattresses and pillows if you share beds since these can trap dust mite droppings and dander.
Medication Options For Managing Pet Allergy Symptoms
Medication is often the first line of defense when managing pet allergies. There are several types of medications available to help relieve symptoms, including antihistamines, corticosteroids, and decongestants. Antihistamines work by blocking histamine production in the body, which helps reduce inflammation and irritation caused by an allergic reaction. Corticosteroids may be used to lessen swelling and inflammation caused by allergies. Decongestants may provide relief from nasal congestion due to pet dander or other allergens in the air. Consult a medical professional before taking any of these medications to avoid potential adverse effects.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) is an alternative option for those seeking long-term relief from pet allergy symptoms without relying solely on medications. SCIT involves injecting small amounts of allergen extracts over time until immunity builds up against specific triggers. SCIT has been found to be effective at reducing allergy symptoms in many cases while providing lasting protection against future reactions since it works directly on your immune system. SCIT treatments–which don’t require a prescription–are safe, non-invasive, and relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of immunotherapy that require a doctor’s visit every few weeks for maintenance doses.
Frequently Asked Questions: How Do You Live With Pets if You Have Allergies?
How Do You Live with a Pet if You Have Allergies?
Keep pets away from places where you usually stay, like the bedroom or other rooms. Vacuum regularly using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner and use air purifiers with HEPA filters in areas where pets are allowed. Also, wash bedding weekly in hot water and bathe animals frequently. Consider allergy medications that can help manage symptoms when needed.
Can You Live with a Dog if You Have Allergies?
With regular grooming and vacuuming, dander from dogs can be reduced significantly in your home. Washing bedding frequently and keeping dogs out of the bedrooms can help reduce symptoms. Allergy sufferers should also consider using an air purifier that has HEPA filters that capture small particles like dust mites and pet dander from the air.
How Do You Live with a Cat if You Have Allergies?
If you’re allergic to cats but still wish to have one, there are steps you can take to help reduce the amount of allergens in your home. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can be employed and used regularly. Wash all bedding and furniture regularly and vacuum frequently to remove any pet dander or fur that has accumulated. You should also bathe your cat weekly using hypoallergenic shampoo.
How Can I Stop Being Allergic to Pets?
Although you can’t stop being allergic to pets, minimizing exposure to pet allergens will help keep your symptoms at bay. Regular vacuuming and dusting, use of an air purifier with a HEPA filter, washing bedding and toys regularly, keeping pets out of bedrooms or off furniture, regular bathing, and avoiding close contact such as cuddling or kissing are all steps that can be taken.