Posts for: June, 2016
Many people consider their pets to be an extension of their family. However, living with a furry friend sometimes comes the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Luckily, you can learn to control your allergies so you and your pet can have a happy life together. Learn more about avoiding pet allergies with help from your Manhattan ear, nose, and throat doctor, Dr. Richard Nass.
What causes pet allergies?
Every mammal sheds its dead skin cells, called dander and excretes urine and saliva. These elements create allergic reactions, not your pet itself. An allergic reaction occurs when an allergen makes its way into the body and the body reacts to it. The immune system’s way of dealing with a pet allergen is usually with sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and stuffy or runny nose. Since different pets produce different danders, you may be more allergic to one breed or species than another.
How can I tell if I am allergic to my pet?
While some cases of allergies are obvious from the symptoms alone, there are more concrete ways to determine if you are allergic to your pet. An allergy test tells you exactly what you are allergic to and helps your Manhattan doctor determine the best course of treatment for you. An allergy test may be administered using one of the following:
- Skin Prick Test: This test uses drops of solution placed onto the skin. A scratch or prick from a needle underneath the drop allows it to enter the skin so your doctor can measure its reaction.
- Intradermal Test: An intradermal allergy test injects a small amount of the suspected allergen into the skin to measure its reaction. This type of allergy test is more sensitive than the skin prick test.
- Skin Patch Test: The skin patch test involves placing the allergen onto the skin for 1-3 days to diagnose contact dermatitis.
- Blood Test: An allergy blood test detects the presence of allergy-fighting antibodies in the blood, but is less accurate than other allergy tests. This test is usually reserved for those who cannot undergo other types of allergy tests.
How can Dr. Nass help me control my allergies?
Some simple at-home changes may help relieve your allergy symptoms. Vacuuming your home more often helps cut down on the presence of your pet’s hair and dander. Keeping your pet out of your bedroom helps eliminate allergens while you sleep. Regularly wash bedding and upholstery to remove dander and hair. Dr. Nass may also recommend prescription medications or other treatments to help relieve your allergy symptoms.