Pet Dander Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Pet dander is commonly shed by animals and household pets at various times throughout the year. Specifically, pet dander consists of dead skin particles that are shed, usually along with fur, when the animal is exposed to sunlight. While dander is not usually obvious to the human eye, it is something that many people are seriously allergic to. Exposure to dander can lead to complications such as a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and more. The severity and specificity of the symptoms can vary from person to person.
How Do People Get Pet Dander Allergies?
Many people operate under the misconception that allergies are something that a person is born with. While this may be the case in some situations, many allergies lie dormant within a person’s body or do not actually begin to affect the person until later in life. Somebody who has no allergic reaction to pet dander may have dogs and cats as pets for decades before developing a reaction. If and when this time comes, however, the effects can be difficult to deal with. Pet owners often find themselves in a difficult situation where they are faced with making the decision to either get rid of their pets or to keep them and deal with their allergies to dander.
Those who suffer from allergies to pet dander most frequently complain of itchy or water eyes, running or stuffy nose, and coughing or sneezing. As the dander particles are inevitably inhaled, irritants immediately make their way to the lungs and respiratory system. Specific symptoms can vary from person to person as can severity of the symptoms. In serious cases, those exposed to dander with an allergy may even break out in a rash or hives.
Possible Treatment Options
Fortunately, pet owners dealing with an allergy to dander can find some kind of middle ground. For example, there are a number of treatment options currently available. Prescription medications can be a great way to enjoy allergy relief, especially from pet dander. For those who do not have symptoms severe enough for a medical prescription, it is also possible to use over-the-counter or store-bought allergy medications. Finally, taking preventative measures such as vacuuming one’s home and dusting regularly can reduce the amount of dander in the air and thus relieve symptoms. If you are an individual who suffers from pet dander allergies, give the wonderful pet dander specialists at Asthma and Allergy Associates a call today! We can help you treat your symptoms and live happily with your beloved pet. Book an appointment today!