Virtually all animal fur or feathers can cause allergies in people. However, it is necessary to share common environments for prolonged time with these animals. And a person with a genetic predisposition to develop allergies can see their life turned upside down. With that being said, the animals most frequently involved in allergies in humans are dogs and cats. Once this happens, he or she should consult an Allergist in Elizabethtown KY.
Allergies to these animals (cat and dog) occur in approximately 15% of the population. However, the percentage rises to over 20% for people with asthma. In general, cats are more allergenic than dogs (frequency and severity). Certain animal proteins found in saliva, dandruff (scaling of the skin) or urine may be allergenic to man. People are not allergic to the hair itself as many believe. The proteins detach from the skin or are dried and pulverized (in the case of urine and saliva) and are carried by the air in the form of very small particles of dust, which are contaminated with time. These allergens are airborne and can reach the eyes or respiratory tract (nose, bronchi) causing allergic symptoms there or at distant sites including the site of entry of these particles. The skin may also react directly with a reaction (hives or itching), especially when it comes to saliva.
While there may be delayed reactions (over 12 hours), symptoms usually occur within minutes after contact with animal allergens (direct contact or through the air). For some people, symptoms can develop over several hours and can be more severe 12 hours after he or she has broken contact with the animal. Contacting an Allergist in Elizabethtown KY is vital at this point. The most frequently reported symptoms are rhinitis (sneezing, nasal itching, fluid mucus, nasal blockage) and conjunctivitis (redness, whining, itchy eyes, etc.). But the effects may be more severe: Asthma (bronchospasm and difficulty breathing with coughing, phlegm in the chest, etc.) or the pet may even cause urticaria, angioedema (swelling of various body parts), contact or generalized dermatitis, anaphylaxis (severe reactions to attack various organs or body parts, with or without low blood pressure or shock) or pruritus. Visit the Accredited Asthma Allergy And Food Intolerance Center to learn more.
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