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Good News: You Don’t Have to Get Rid of Your Pet to Cure Allergies

allergy-treatment

Your pet gives you so much: company, love, unconditional acceptance – and don’t forget, Allergies! If you are one of up to 30% of allergy sufferers whose allergies are caused by companion animals, you may be thinking there are some sacrifices you just can’t make for Fluffy.

Sure, you would let them ravage everything from your roses to your slippers, but put up with sneezing, hives and a plugged nose? No way.

The good news is, there is an alternative to telling your kids they can never have that puppy. Read on.

Pet Allergy FAQ

How many times have you said, “I’m allergic to cat hair”? In reality, it’s not your pet’s hair, but their flaking skin (dander), saliva, urine and oil glands that are the most common allergens.

Touching or breathing in these substances can cause allergy symptoms that range from mild (itchy, watery eyes, coughing) to severe (hives, swelling of the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing).

While cats are the most common culprits, any animal that can be kept as a pet, including birds and mice, can cause allergies. And it has nothing to do with long hair/short hair.

So, remove the pet, remove the problem, right? It’s not that simple. Most allergic people suffer from multiple allergies and intolerances, often to commonly found household substances like house dust, dust mites, pollen and mold.

It’s not so much about eliminating one vector as it is about reducing the total allergen load.

Breathe Easier: How to Decontaminate Your Life and Keep Your Pet

Since your pet probably isn’t the only source of your allergy, the first thing to do is find an ENT who can find the root cause(s) of your allergies and help you manage them. He or she will likely recommend the following steps for improving your immediate environment:

  1. Cleanse the home. First, commit to making some changes: go from carpeting to laminate and try to reduce rugs, curtains and fabrics as much as you can, or at least clean them frequently to prevent allergen buildup. Regular maintenance, like vacuuming or steam cleaning rugs, dusting surfaces, and washing bedding, pet bedding, pillows and blankets, will also keep allergens at bay. And this should be obvious but…keep your bedroom off-limits to your pet! It’s a sacrifice, but worth it if you want to keep your pet.
  2. Cleanse your pet. Some animals can be bathed weekly, others can be brushed or wiped thoroughly and regularly to reduce dander and shedding.
  3. Cleanse yourself. Wash your hands after handling your pet, especially before touching your eyes or face. Wash any clothing that has come into contact with your pet – you might want to designate a comfortable outfit just for playing with him!

Still Affected by Allergies?  Get Help from a Sinus Doctor

Even if you reduce the factors that can cause allergies, you may still be suffering.  At Houston Sinus & Allergy, we treat patients with every kind of allergy, and pet allergies are common, and completely treatable.

Dr. Nguyen has over ten years experience specializing in Allergy treatments, and can assess your situation to provide you with the relief you seek.  Contact us for an assessment, so we can begin gradually desensitizing you to your pet allergies, making it possible to love your pet and keep him, too.