Do you know that your lovely pet can be a great threat to your health and comfort? This should not make you scream and get your cat or dog or whatever fur filled pet you have to the animal house. Instead, you need to read this blog article and be aware of the risks and learn to manage them. This article is not aimed at making you a medical expert in treating allergies or pet management; rather it is designed to make you aware of the health risks that come with spending much time close to the animals. We will begin by explaining the concept and then process to give practical tips on how to manage allergic reactions from pets.
What are allergies?
The phrase allergy is drawn from allergen, which means a foreign body. To make this simple to understand, we shall compare it to a national military force. Every nation has a military army that watches over its borders. The army would wear similar uniform and are therefore able to recognize a foreign army and fight it off. The process of fighting out another army is likely to cause injuries and strain. In the context of human beings, an allergen would be the foreign army which attacks the anti-bodies (the resident and natural army in the body). Just like is the case of two military armies fighting, the human body will experience strain and injury because the ‘fight’ between anti-bodies and allergens would lead to injury to body cells and discomfort.
Allergens or allergic reaction causing agents can be anything to which the body reacts. This may include particles in the air, in water, or food. Animal body parts are likely to cause similar reactions.
Why do people get allergies?
As we described in the above paragraph, allergic reactions are a function of the immune system. All of us have immune system, even though the effectiveness of the immune system may vary from one person to another. The cells that are often involved are Immunoglobulin E (IgE). The release of IgE will trigger release of mast cells and basophiles. These antibodies trigger release of histamine, a hormone which gets into the blood cells in preparation of attacking the allergens or foreign bodies. This process is usually uncomfortable and may lead to skin lesions or may affect the nose, lungs, throat and most body parts exposed to the external environment.
The fact that we all have immune cells does not mean that we are all likely to suffer allergic reactions. This begs the question, who is it that is likely to get an immune reaction?
Research has indicated that most people who suffer allergic reactions to animal fur, or pollen grains or dust, have a hereditary disposition. This means that the genes that contribute to development of over-reactive immune cells that are likely to react to allergens can be passed from one parent to children. This may not happen to all children, but the chances are higher where both parents suffer allergic reactions. This extreme or hyper sensitivity is called atopy.
It also follows that those who work with animals such as vet officers and people who work in animal houses such as researchers are likely to suffer allergic reactions.
Which pets are likely to cause allergic reactions?
Animals are generally a common source of allergens. This includes animal fur which may release small particles or may harbor fleas. Animal saliva or urine or fecal matter may also cause allergic reactions. The most common animals that are likely to cause allergic reactions are dogs, birds, horses and cats. Others are guinea pigs rabbits and even hamsters. As a general rule, animals with fur or protein eating animals are likely to cause allergic reactions.
How can you minimize allergic reactions from pets?
Allergies present in various ways. This include coughing, running nose, sneezing, itching of the skin, wheezing and in extreme cases shortening of breath. Because this is a reaction that is necessary to protect the body, it is prudent to stop it completely.
This means that we can only minimize the allergic reactions by reducing exposure to the allergens or managing the signs and symptoms.
The first step is to find out what allergens will cause a bad reaction to your respiratory system or the skin? Be clear on the specific allergen so that you can either avoid it or protect yourself. Make sure to stay away from animal fur or proteins in urine and saliva. This may include taking radical steps such as keeping the animal away.
Keeping your pet animal and the house very clean is another effective means of managing allergic reactions. Ensure that your pet gets the regular cleaning on time. Dust off the surface of the household goods especially the chair. If you love pets, do not buy seats that have much fur because this may lead to fleas.
In conclusion, allergic reactions from pets are a reality, but they do not stop you from enjoying moments with your cat or dog. All you need to do is know what makes you have a bad reaction, keep off it and keep the animals and space clean. Enjoy your pet!
This article is a guest post submitted by Aqeel Syed, who is a writer and passionate blogger. Aqeel blogs about wellness through meditation sharing his experiences.
Remember that you can help your allergies with an Air Oasis air purifier from BHI.