How to know if you have a pet allergy
While there are plenty of popular medications that can help alleviate allergy symptoms, sometimes the trickiest dynamic to these types of immune responses is knowing what you're actually allergic to.
While there are plenty of popular medications that can help alleviate allergy symptoms, sometimes the trickiest dynamic to these types of immune responses is knowing what you're actually allergic to. One of the most unrecognized triggers for allergies is pets. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, of the U.S. population may be allergic to animals. What's more, 50 percent of Americans own a dog or cat. While you might be infatuated with your furry friend, it's important to know whether you are experiencing symptoms of pet allergies so that you can know which types of over the counter antibiotics will work best for you.
Causes of pet allergies
Essentially, pet allergies are histamine reactions to proteins found in an animal's skin cells, saliva or urine. In most cases, it's an animal's dead skin flakes or fur that exacerbates the symptoms. Sometimes, being diagnosed with asthma can also lead to a higher likelihood of being allergic to your pet, and while various medications and treatments are available, reducing time spent around animals as much as possible is the best bet for avoiding symptoms.
Being allergic to pets will produce inflammation in the nasal passages, which can result in any of the following:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Facial pain
- Difficulty breathing
Skin-related symptoms can also occur occasionally with pet allergies. When encountering direct contact with an animal, individuals could produce itchy skin, hives or eczema. What's tricky with pet allergies is that for the most part, symptoms are extremely similar to that of the common cold or flu. If you own a pet and continue experiencing such conditions, it's best to seek a professional medical evaluation with your doctor.
Living with pets and allergies
More often than not, people are willing to put up with their symptoms in exchange for the companionship of their friends. If you do choose to keep your pet, there are still several precautions you can take to help reduce allergic reactions. Try to keep your pet outside as much as possible. Make sure to give your animal frequent baths, and establish various pet-free zones around the house so that not every room provokes your symptoms. It's also recommended to remove any carpeted floors in favor of hard wood or tile furnishings, which are less likely to entrap pet dander.