If your dog makes you sneeze or your cat starts your eyes watering, you're not alone. Having a pet allergy whether to dogs or cats, or even to hamsters or birds is fairly common. Pet allergies affect about ten percent of the people in the general population. Most of us have dogs, cats or other pets that we dearly love and many of us find a comforting companion in these animals. Some of us people end up with a new child, new spouse or companion with a pet allergy. These pet allergies could cause some discomfort for the person with the pet allergy and possibly an emotional upset for the pet owners. he pet allergy could cause a reaction that is most uncomfortable, and these people often have to consider giving up the pet. Some people feel awful that they have to consider this dilemma. At times, people learn to live with these pet allergies because they cannot face parting with their pet.
You may be surprised to learn that in most cases it's not your pet's fur or feathers that cause the allergic reaction. Instead, it's the small, invisible flakes of animal skin (dander) that trigger the itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and stuffy nose in people with a pet allergy. Less frequently, pet saliva may cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Signs and Symptoms Of Pet Allergies
When you have a pet allergy, you may exhibit the signs and symptoms of hay fever (allergic rhinitis). If you have direct contact with the cause of the allergy (allergen), you may experience a rash and itching.Signs and symptoms of a pet allergy may include:
Sneezing Itchy, watery eyes Nasal congestion Itchy nose, roof or mouth or throat Postnasal drip Runny nose
Many with pet allergies also have asthma which can be exacerbated by exposure to certain pets. If you have asthma, you may also experience increased signs and symptoms of asthma, such as:
Wheezing Shortness of breath Cough Lung congestion
Some pets produce pet allergies that people often keep in their homes. These pets include dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs. Larger animals that live outside of the home can also cause pet allergies. These animals include horses, ducks and geese. The people who are affected by these allergies end up with reactions because of the hair or fur from these animals. They also have reactions because of the droppings of these animals. Signs and symptoms usually occur within minutes of exposure to pet dander or saliva. If your sensitivity to the allergen is low, however, signs and symptoms may not appear until hours after contact.
Solving Your Pet Allergy Problems
Symptoms of a pet allergy often occur within minutes after exposure to the pet. A pet allergy can range from mild to severe. The most effective way to alleviate the signs and symptoms of a pet allergy is to find a new home for your pet, although for many people, separating from a loyal companion can be difficult to do.
People with these problems do not have to get rid of their pet because of allergy problems. There are some possible solutions short of the removal of the pet. The people who face this problem but do not want to give the animal away have some steps to follow to minimize the problem. These people can try to keep the person with the pet allergies away from the animal. The pet might be kept in only one room of the home. They should also try to keep the pet dander and droppings away from the person. They might keep the animal outside in the garden if possible.
The person with the allergies should never handle the animal to avoid a reaction. Air purifiers added to the home may help the person avoid allergic reactions to the pet. Although many pets may be kept by taking these steps, there are some cases that cannot be fixed. People who have severe breathing problems because of their allergies cannot remain in the home with the animal. The reactions to the pets could be debilitating. Solving your pet allergies may not be easy but it can be done.
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