What does it feel like to have cat allergies
Nearly a third of Americans with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And twice as numerous people own cat allergies than dog allergies.
Pinpointing the cause of your allergies can be hard when an animal lives in your home. That’s because homes contain other allergens, such as dust mites, which could cause similar symptoms. It’s significant to see an allergist to confirm a pet allergy.
It can be hard to confess that the cat you love is causing health issues.
Numerous people select to endure symptoms rather than get rid of their pet. If you’re sure to live with Fluffy, you can take steps to minimize the symptoms of your allergy.
Read on to study about the signs of cat allergies and what you can do to prevent them.
You don’t own to own a cat to be exposed to the allergen. That’s because it can travel on people’s clothes. Cat allergies may not appear for several days if your sensitivity or allergen levels are low.
Common signs of a cat allergy generally follow shortly after you come in contact with cat dander, saliva, or urine.
The cat allergen that over of people with cat allergies react to comes from cat saliva and skin. It’s found in higher levels on male cats and is transferred to a cat’s fur during grooming.
The allergen can cause swelling and itching of the membranes around your eyes and nose, generally leading to eye inflammation and a stuffy nose. Some people may develop a rash on their face, neck, or upper chest in response to the allergen.
Fatigue is common in untreated allergies, as is an ongoing cough due to postnasal drip. But symptoms such as fevers, chills, nausea, or vomiting should be considered related to an illness rather than allergies.
If you are cat allergic and cat allergens get into your lungs, the allergens can combine with antibodies and cause symptoms. These can include difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Cat allergies can cause an acute asthma attack and can be a trigger for chronic asthma.
Up to 30 percent of people with asthma can own a severe attack upon coming into contact with a cat. You should talk to your doctor about a treatment plan if your symptoms become disruptive or uncomfortable.
How to treat cat allergies
Avoiding the allergen is best, but when that's not possible, the following treatments may help:
- antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- cromolyn sodium, which prevents the release of immune system chemicals and may reduce symptoms
- corticosteroid nasal sprays such as fluticasone (Flonase) or mometasone (Nasonex)
- leukotriene inhibitors, such as montelukast (Singulair)
- over-the-counter decongestant sprays
- allergy shots known as immunotherapy (a series of shots that desensitize you to an allergen)
Buy Benadryl, Claritin, or Flonase now.
Nasal lavage is a home remedy for symptoms of cat allergies.
Salt water (saline) is used to rinse your nasal passages, reducing congestion, postnasal drip, and sneezing. Several over-the-counter brands are available. You can make salt water at home by combining 1/8 teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of distilled water.
According to , butterbur (an herbal supplement), acupuncture, and probiotics may improve the symptoms of seasonal allergies. However, research is limited. It’s not clear how effective these products would be specifically for pet allergies.
Herbal remedies that show potential benefits are those that share a similar action in the body compared to traditional medications.
Shop for butterbur supplements.
Best air purifiers for cat allergies
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are one of the best defenses against cat allergies. They reduce airborne pet allergens by forcing air through a special filter that traps pet dander, as well as pollen, dust mites, and other allergens.
Shop for HEPA air filters.
Cat allergies in infants
There is ongoing debate among scientists whether infants who are exposed to animals at a extremely young age are destined to develop allergies, or if the opposite is true.
Recent studies own come to conflicting conclusions. A 2015 study found that exposing infants to cats and dogs at home is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies during the first four years of the child’s life.
On the other hand, a 2011 study found that babies who live with cats, especially during the first year of life, develop antibodies to the pet and were less likely to acquire an allergy later.
A 2017 study found that cats and dogs may provide a benefit by exposing babies to certain healthy bacteria early in life. The study concluded that babies exposed to a cat or dog in the home during pregnancy may own fewer problems with allergies in the future than babies who weren’t exposed.
Your doctor will be capable to answer questions you may own about your baby and your cat.
For children who are allergic, removing fabric toys and stuffed animals and replacing them with plastic or washable ones may assist relieve symptoms.
How cat allergies are diagnosed
There are two ways to test for any allergy, including to cats: skin testing and blood tests. There are two types of skin allergy tests. A skin prick test and an intradermal skin test. Both tests give quick results and tend to cost less than blood tests.
Certain medications can interfere with skin testing, so talk to your doctor about which test is best for you.
Skin testing is generally done by an allergist due to the possibility of severe reactions during testing.
Allergy skin prick test
This test is performed in your doctor’s office so they can observe any reactions.
Using a clean needle, your doctor will prick your skin’s surface (usually on the forearm or back), and deposit a tiny quantity of the allergen. You’ll likely be tested for several allergens at the same time. You’ll also be skin pricked with a control solution that has no allergens.
Your doctor may number each prick to identify the allergen.
In about 15 to 20 minutes, the skin prick site may become red or swollen. This reaction confirms an allergy to that substance. A positive cat allergy will generally cause a red, itchy bump to the cat allergen. These unpleasant effects generally go away 30 minutes after the test.
Intradermal skin testing
This test is also performed in your doctor’s office so they can observe any reactions.
Possible allergens may be injected under the skin of the forearm or arm. Red, itchy bumps will appear with a positive reaction.
An intradermal test is considered more sensitive for detecting an allergy than a skin prick test, meaning it can be better at showing a positive result when an allergy exists. But it can also own more untrue positives than the skin prick test. That means it creates a skin reaction when there is no allergy.
Both skin tests own a role in allergy testing.
You doctor will explain which testing method is best for you.
Some people can’t own skin tests done, often because of an existing skin condition or their age. Young children often own a more hard time with skin testing. In these cases, the doctor will order a blood test. Blood will be drawn either at the doctor’s office or a laboratory and then sent for testing.
The blood is then examined for antibodies to common allergens, such as cat dander. The results take longer, but there is no risk of an allergic reaction during a blood test.
Genetics appear to own a role in the development of allergies, meaning that you’re more likely to experience them if you own family members who are also allergic.
Your immune system makes antibodies to fight off substances that might hurt your body, love bacteria and viruses. In a person who has allergies, the immune system mistakes an allergen for something harmful and starts making antibodies to fight it.
This is what causes allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, skin rashes, and asthma.
In the case of cat allergies, allergens can come from your cat’s dander (dead skin), fur, saliva, and even their urine. Breathing in pet dander or coming into contact with these allergens can cause an allergic reaction. Pet allergen particles can be carried on clothes, circulate in the air, settle in furniture and bedding, and stay behind in the environment carried on dust particles.