It is a known fact that not everybody out there is sensitive to pet dander, but individuals who are allergic can suffer from symptoms that range from mild to severe. The best way to prevent an allergic response is to avoid animals. In case animals could not be avoided, there are available treatment options. The symptoms are strikingly similar to other aerial allergies especially hay fever.
Pet dander is not actually harmful to the body. An allergic reaction simply shows that the immune system reacts to dander as a threat. As a result, the immune system transmits messages to various parts of the body to produce histamine to eliminate the dander. The histamine is responsible for causing all the symptoms during an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of pet dander allergy
When it comes to the mild cases of pet dander allergy, the common response include itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, tickling sensation in the rear of the throat and itchy nose. In severe cases, the reactions include nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, thick drainage of mucus at the back of the throat, sinus pressure and pain, blue coloration under the eyes and frequent waking. Take note that it is not unusual for the symptoms to start as mild and then steadily worsen if the individual has been exposed extensively to pet dander.
Aside from the respiratory symptoms, allergic reactions on the skin can also occur is called allergic dermatitis. Oftentimes, this rash includes hives or elevated, red-colored patches of skin that are itchy.
Sources of pet dander
Pet dander is present in animal skin cells, urine or saliva. Both dogs and cats shed skin and hair cells wherever they go. The allergic reactions can be triggered by these animals. Based on statistics, it points out that more individuals are considered allergic to dogs and cats.
When these animals lick as a way to clean themselves, the saliva from the tongue can leave dander on the fur that is shed. Take note that many pets lick as a way to show affection but it can trigger an allergic response, particularly allergic dermatitis among sensitive individuals.
Treatment for pet dander allergy
Regular vacuuming can help reduce the presence of pet dander but it is not likely to completely eliminate the allergen. It can take several weeks for the allergens to completely die down in a house.
Individuals who have pet dander allergy must live without any pets or take an antihistamine on a daily basis. The antihistamines work by blocking the production of histamine triggered by the presence of pet dander. Once there is no histamine, the body will not produce the annoying symptoms of an allergic reaction. Those who suffer from topical allergy can simply wash the saliva right away and apply an antihistamine cream. Other commonly used treatments include corticosteroids to fight off the inflammation, decongestants for sinus congestion as well as nasal irrigation using saline solution.
Complications of pet dander allergy
Individuals who have both pet dander allergy and asthma face a higher risk of an asthma attack once exposed to pet dander. Exposure to dander can result to difficulty breathing, pain in the chest, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and waking due to shortness of breath. If you will register for first aid training, you will learn the appropriate measures to handle the symptoms of an allergic reaction.