What are pet dander allergies?
People who suffer from pet dander allergies have overly sensitive immune systems that cause you to react to harmless dander, urine, or saliva from an animal. These substances are called allergens. When an allergen is present, a person with a pet allergy usually experiences an allergic reaction.
What causes a pet allergic reaction?
A pet dander allergic reaction usually happens when a person is in direct contact with the animal. Sometimes, cat or dog dander that triggers an allergic reaction is called cat dander or dog dander. This dander is sometimes left behind, so it’s possible to have an allergic reaction after coming into contact with furniture, clothing, or another person that has traces of the allergen left on it.
What kind of animals most commonly cause allergies?
People can be allergic to any kind of pet dander, most commonly experiencing:
- Dog allergies
- Cat allergies
- Bird allergies
- Horse allergies
- Guinea pig, gerbil, and hamster allergies
- Rabbit allergies
- Mice/rat allergies
What are the symptoms of pet allergies?
If you notice any of the following symptoms of a pet dander allergy, visit a physician to determine if you are suffering from an allergic reaction to something in your home:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Difficulty sleeping/poor sleep hygiene
- Difficulty breathing
- Pressure in the sinuses
- Pressure surrounding the eyes
- Itching in the nose
- Itching on the roof of the mouth
- Chest tightness
Can pet dander cause sinus problems?
When a person who suffers from allergies is exposed to pet dander, the sinuses become swollen in an attempt to flush out the pet allergen. This sinus inflammation and irritation could lead to a sinus infection if allergies are left untreated over time. Chronic sinus infections can eventually lead to more serious health problems and result in the need for surgery or other treatment to resolve the sinus problem.
How do I prevent pet dander?
Some of the best ways to avoid pet dander around your home include:
- Keep pets out of your bedroom
- Vacuum and dust more frequently
- Change your air filters when needed
- Shampoo rugs and wash bed linens often
- Consider using an air filtration device in your home
- Switch to a bedding option that is less permeable to pet dander
- Wash your hands after touching pets
- Get a pet that you are not allergic to
How can I treat pet dander allergies?
Pet allergies can be treated in a number of ways, depending on your specific situation and the severity of your condition. Your ear, nose, and throat doctor might recommend one of the following:
- Over-the-counter allergy medications
- Prescription allergy medication
- Allergy shots
- Lifestyle changes under the direction of your doctor
- Home remedies under the direction of your doctor
If you are suffering from pet dander, the first step is to consult with a sleep health expert. Ear, nose, and throat specialists at eos sleep have extensive experience in treating ear, nose, and throat conditions as well as sleep-related problems. Call 212.873.6036 today or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or to learn more about eos sleep treatment options.