If your body reacts to something that is usually harmless, like pollen, dust, or animal fur, it indicates that you have an allergy. While the symptoms may not be serious for everyone, they might be very dangerous for others. Detecting what causes your allergy early at home would enhance your life quality since you can prevent the causes earlier.
Pets are people’s best friends and they have lots of benefits to improve mood while we are down. Some people can’t realize that they are allergic to cats until they adopt one and in that case it is both bad for the mental health of our furry little friends and the owner. Here is some information about cat allergies, the symptoms and solutions to test it at home.
Almost a third of people worldwide who have allergies also have allergies to cats and dogs. Cat allergies are also twice as common as dog allergies. When an animal lives in your home, it might be challenging to identify the source of your allergies. This is as a result of other allergens in homes, like dust mites, which may create symptoms that are identical. To confirm a pet allergy, it's crucial to visit an allergist. Admitting your beloved animal is harming your health might be difficult. Many people opt to put up with symptoms rather than put their pet down. If you're determined to coexist with your fluffy friend, you can take measures to lessen the allergy's symptoms.
What causes cat allergies?
Given that allergies seem to be influenced by genetics, having allergic family members increases your likelihood of developing allergies.
To resist elements like bacteria and viruses that could harm your body, your immune system produces antibodies. The immune system of a person with allergies interprets an allergen as dangerous and begins producing antibodies to combat it. Allergy symptoms like itchiness, runny nose, skin rashes, and asthma are brought on by this.
Cat dandruff (dead skin), fur, saliva, and even urine all include allergens if you have allergies to cats. An allergic reaction can be brought on by inhaling pet dander or coming into touch with certain allergens. Pet allergy particles can be spread throughout the environment by dust particles, circulate in the air, settle in furniture and bedding, and be carried on clothing.
What are the symptoms of cat allergy?
The severity of cat allergy symptoms varies according to an individual's sensitivity and the amount of exposure to allergens. These elements might also affect how quickly symptoms show after exposure. Highly sensitive individuals can have symptoms, such as breathing difficulties or a rash, within minutes of petting a cat or going into a cat's home.
Symptoms of a cat allergy also includes:
- Having a runny or stuffy nose or sneezing or a facial ache from nasal congestion
- Wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes
- Itching or hives
Your symptoms may also be a trigger if you have asthma :
- Trouble breathing
- Chest discomfort or restriction
- Whistling or wheezing that is evident when exhaling
- Resistance to bedtime because of coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath
How to medically diagnose cat allergies?
The most popular method for identifying a cat allergy is a skin prick test. A small amount of a cat allergen extract is applied to your skin as part of this test. A tiny, sterile probe is then used to puncture your skin, allowing the liquid to seep beyond the skin's surface. You will then be observed for any swelling, redness, or other reactions that might indicate an allergy. Results usually start to show after 15 to 20 minutes.
How to reduce your cat allergy?
Through reducing exposure to allergens and treating symptoms, there are several ways to manage and reduce allergies. As a result, the majority of people can maintain their dogs while managing their allergies. The easiest way to prevent allergies is to avoid them altogether. There are alternatives to getting rid of your cat if you find out you are allergic to it, though. Consider using these tactics to lessen your symptoms.
- Do not let your cat inside your bedroom
- When finished with spending time with the cat, wash your hands
- Take out any upholstered furniture and wall-to-wall carpeting. Clean walls and wood or tile flooring assist to decrease allergies
- Pick furniture covers or throw rugs that can be cleaned in hot water, and wash them frequently
- Use a dense filtering material, such as cheesecloth, to cover the vents for the heating and cooling system
- Filters on furnaces and air conditioners should be changed periodically
- Maintain a humidity level in your home of about 40%
- When cleaning or dusting, wear a face mask
- Hire a non-allergic individual to frequently clean the litter box and dust the house
However, it is always important to talk to a healthcare provider about your symptoms. Consult your doctor about immunotherapy for a long-term treatment option if you have a severe cat allergy.
The symptoms of cat allergies can be treated at home with nasal lavage. Your nasal passages are rinsed with salt water (saline), which lessens sneezing, postnasal drip, and congestion. There are numerous over-the-counter brands available. Making salt water at home is as simple as mixing 8 ounces of distilled water with 1/8 teaspoon of table salt.
One of the greatest ways to protect against cat allergies is with high-efficiency particulate air filters. By forcing air through a specialized filter that collects pet dander as well as pollen, dust mites, and other allergies, they lessen the number of airborne pet allergens that are present.