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Is Someone in Your Household Allergic to Your Pet?
Do you itch or get hives? Do you get puffy or itchy red eyes? Do you frequently rub your eyes or nose? Do you get a stuffy nose? Do you have a watery nasal discharge? Do you have shortness of breath? Do you find it difficult to breathe deeply? Do you wheeze and sneeze?
These are just a few of the many allergic reactions that can be triggered by exposure to the allergens of furred or feathered pets.
Allergies can be heartbreaking. Allergy is the most widespread chronic condition in the world, and sensitivities to animals are some of the most frequently seen allergies. Pet allergies are so prevalent that they affect almost every household. With 6-8 percent of the population allergic to pets, the United States alone has between 15 and 20 million people who are adversely affected. If you're allergic to pets, you have plenty of company.
Being allergic doesn't necessarily mean you can't have a pet or that you must give up the one you already have. Learning more about minimizing pet-related allergies and making some minor adjustments to your environment will frequently solve your problem.
Allergies to pets can be exceptionally heartbreaking. Sensitivity frequently develops years after acquiring a pet, by which time a strong emotional attachment has developed. Studies have shown that even though many allergists advise their patients to get rid of their pets, most opt to suffer with their symptoms rather than give away a loved dog or cat after years of companionship.
Most allergy patients are first handled by family physicians or pediatricians who will recommend an allergist if it is felt necessary. In choosing a doctor to treat your allergy, look for someone who will be sensitive to your feelings and will try to do everything possible to help you keep your pet. Giving it up for adoption should be your last resort.
If someone in your household has a pet allergy, please let us know. We have a detailed handout of recommendations to minimize allergy symptoms.