- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Common Cures for Cat Allergies
Cat allergies account for roughly 25 percent of all allergies in people. While there is no cure for cat allergies, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce symptoms. Even among people that are extremely sensitive to cat allergens, it is common to develop an immunity to cat allergies over time. The more that the body becomes used to the exposure to cat dander, the less likely it is that allergic reactions will occur. However, some people are much more sensitive to certain allergens. These highly-sensitive people can sometimes have dangerous allergic reactions to cat dander, leading to breathing problems, hives, and internal swelling.
For these people, over-the-counter antihistamines can help reduce the severity of allergy symptoms caused by cats. In addition, there are several things that can be done around the house to eliminate cat dander from the air and surrounding environment. Cat allergies are so prominent because of the fact that cats shed a lot more than other animals. While allergens are typically not found in the hairs themselves, saliva is often found on cat hair because of the fact that cats are self-groomers. Allergens can be found in both the saliva of cats and the oils excreted by the skin. These allergens are left behind wherever pet hair is deposited.
Also, cat allergens can be found in the air in homes where cats are present. Cat allergens can suspend themselves in the air for much longer than other types of allergens. Those whoa re susceptible to cat allergies often breathe in the allergens unknowingly. Reducing pet dander in the home, as well as allergens in the air, can reduce allergy symptoms in those who are allergic to cats.
Bedding, drapes, and other cloth items in areas where cats lay can be washed frequently in hot water that is at least 140 degrees. While this does not always remove all of the fur from fabrics, it will effectively remove cat allergens. Keeping cats off of the bed and other cloth surfaces can be tricky, but doing so will also help reduce allergic symptoms. In some cases, cats can be confined to certain areas of the home. This provides additional relief from cat allergies when it is an option.
Vacuum cleaners that contain a HEPA filter can effectively remove cat allergens from carpets and furniture. Some vacuum cleaners are even specially-designed for pet owners and include brushes for removing pet dander from surfaces. Room air filters also use HEPA filters to remove allergens and cat dander from the air. The use of room air filters has proven to be the most effective method for reducing cat allergy symptoms in pet owners who are allergic to cats.
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