Allergies Can Be A Real Pet Peeve

As many owners will confirm,​ pets are more than animals living in​ their house. They are part of​ the​ family. For allergy sufferers,​ this bond often means that it​ will take more than a​ stuffy nose and sneezing to​ separate them from their favorite Fido or​ feline.

An estimated 10 percent of​ the​ population is​ allergic to​ pets. But because more than 70 percent of​ U.S. households have a​ dog or​ cat,​ these pet allergy sufferers may frequently come in​ contact with animals,​ and sometimes even have pets living in​ their own homes.

"I work with lots of​ families who have allergies and chose to​ live with a​ pet anyway,​" said Dr. Jeff Werber,​ a​ practicing Los Angeles veterinarian and Emmy Award-winning pet health reporter. "Most people view their pets as​ beloved members of​ the​ family,​ and parting with them because of​ allergies is​ not an​ option."

Understanding Pet Allergies

Although most people think it​ is​ hair or​ feathers that cause allergic reactions,​ it​ is​ actually the​ saliva and proteins in​ animals' dander that trigger symptoms,​ such as​ sneezing,​ itchy nose,​ and nasal congestion. Surveys have found that sufferers consider nasal congestion to​ be the​ most bothersome allergy symptom. Bathing and brushing your pets regularly will help remove allergens from their bodies.

"Soap is​ not necessary and can dry out your pet's skin,​" said Dr. Werber. "Bathing with water alone is​ fine."

A common myth about dog allergies is​ some breeds cause less severe allergic reactions than other breeds. All dogs have dander,​ which means they all can cause an​ allergic reaction.

Household Tips

• Try keeping your pet in​ rooms that don't have carpeting or​ upholstered furniture,​ such as​ the​ kitchen.

• Train your four-legged friend to​ stay off of​ the​ bed and to​ rest in​ a​ separate room from where you​ sleep. Pets' dander and saliva can trigger symptoms all night.

• Minimize the​ time a​ pet spends outdoors on​ days with high pollen counts. Pets also can bring outdoor allergens like pollen from grass and weeds into the​ home.

• Visit to​ check the​ allergy forecast for your area before going out to​ throw a​ Frisbee or​ take a​ long walk.

• Vacuum floors and upholstered furniture frequently to​ remove pet dander. Surfaces like hardwood or​ tile floors are preferred over carpeting for allergy sufferers as​ dander can easily be removed from them.

• Have a​ nonallergic person clean your pet's cage,​ preferably outdoors.

Symptom Control

Rather than enduring symptoms,​ visit your doctor to​ discuss your allergies. Your physician can help properly diagnose your condition and prescribe medicine to​ help treat,​ or​ even prevent,​ your symptoms.

"If a​ patient is​ complaining of​ itchy eyes and throat,​ I'd suggest a​ nonsedating antihistamine. For the​ treatment of​ nasal allergy symptoms,​ including congestion,​ a​ prescription nasal-inhaled steroid is​ often recommended,​" said Dr. Matthew Clarke,​ Associate Director of​ the​ Occupational Health Center at​ North Shore University Hospital at​ Forest Hills in​ Forest Hills,​ New York. Nasal-inhaled steroids,​ which are available for adults and children,​ include NASONEX® (mometasone furoate monohydrate) Nasal Spray,​ 50 mcg (calculated on​ the​ anhydrous basis).

"I see patients who think they only need to​ use their medication when they are experiencing symptoms,​" said Dr. Clarke. "By following some simple steps at​ home and using medication daily,​ year-round,​ allergy sufferers and their pets can live comfortably together."

NASONEX® is​ the​ only once-daily prescription nasal-inhaled steroid approved to​ help prevent most seasonal nasal allergy symptoms,​ including nasal congestion,​ in​ adults and children 12 years of​ age and older when NASONEX is​ started 2 to​ 4 weeks prior to​ allergy season,​ and the​ only nasal-inhaled steroid approved to​ treat nasal allergy symptoms,​ including nasal congestion,​ in​ patients as​ young as​ 2 years of​ age. Take regularly,​ as​ effectiveness depends upon regular use. Maximum treatment effect is​ generally reached after 1 to​ 2 weeks. NASONEX also is​ the​ only nasal-inhaled steroid approved for the​ treatment of​ nasal polyps in​ adults 18 years of​ age and older. Side effects were generally mild and included headache,​ viral infection,​ sore throat,​ nosebleeds,​ and coughing. Please see accompanying full prescribing information.
Allergies Can Be A Real Pet Peeve Allergies Can Be A Real Pet Peeve Reviewed by Henda Yesti on August 15, 2018 Rating: 5

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