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. This might be true in some cases. However, most allergies lie dormant within a person’s body. They do not actually begin to affect the person until later in life. A person may live with cats or dogs for decades before developing a reaction. If and when this time comes, pet owners then face the difficult decision. Get rid of the pets? Or keep the pets and endure their allergies to dander?
Those who suffer from allergies to pet dander most frequently complain about:
- itchy or water eyes
- running or stuffy nose
- 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.
Pet Dander Allergy 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 some, symptoms are not severe enough for a medical prescription. Therefore, it is possible to use over-the-counter or store-bought allergy medications.
Finally, you can take several preventative measures to relieve symptoms. This includes vacuuming your home and dusting regularly.