Alleviating Pet Allergy Symptoms

Posted on: 22 September 2015

If you suffer from wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and a stuffy or runny nose when you are around dogs or cats, there is a good chance you have a pet dander allergy. About ten percent of the United States population suffers from a pet allergy. If you suffer from a pet allergy, there are several different routes you can take to reduce the symptoms. Here are some of the treatment options available when dealing with a pet dander allergy.

Keep Dander Away

Making it a point to stay away from homes where you know there are pets within will save you the trouble from suffering from the symptoms, but this is not always attainable. If you do need to be in a location where pets are present, opt to sit down on a wooden chair rather than an upholstered one. Make sure you wash your hands as soon as you leave the area so you do not transfer pet dander to your face, triggering symptoms as a result. If you are visiting someone who has pets for an extended time, bring along a HEPA air purifier to help reduce pet dander in your sleeping quarters. 

Take Allergy Medication

There are several over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medications available that reduce the severity of symptoms after you have had an encounter with a dog or cat. While they work at blocking the histamines that cause the symptoms you suffer from, they may take a while to work effectively. Take the medication as soon as you come into contact with pet fur to help reduce your symptoms as soon as possible. You will want to keep medication in your purse, in your vehicle, or in your pocket in case of a surprise dog or cat presence. If you know you will be visiting a location with pets present, take the medication before you leave home so symptoms do not have a chance to begin.

Consider Immunotherapy

If you cannot keep yourself away from dogs or cats due to job requirements or living arrangements, you will want to seek a more aggressive approach to decreasing the symptoms you feel. Going to an allergist to start an immunotherapy treatment is a great option that will have positive results. You will receive a series of allergy shots given over time to help you build up an immunity to pet dander so it no longer causes you problems when you are around a dog or cat. 

The shots will be given frequently in the beginning of the treatment process, slowly building up the amount of allergen in the shot with each dosage. When you reach the highest amount needed to reach immunity to the dander, the frequency of the shots will decrease. You will still need to go to the doctor every month or so to have a dosage to maintain the level of immunity you had reached during the buildup phase of the process.

For more information, contact a center like Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Wyoming LLC.