You’ve adopted a new furry family member and you and the kids couldn’t be more excited. However, the minute you get home, you start to feel as if you were just hit with a terrible head cold with any number of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose and nasal congestion
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- Sinus pressure and facial pain
- Raised, red patches of skin (hives)
- Itchy skin
Maybe you figure the cold’s timing is just bad luck, or maybe it’s seasonal allergies, but after a week, you see little improvement — at least when you’re at home. When you’re out of the house, while you don’t feel 100%, you do feel a little better. And then you begin to think about when you began having your cold-like symptoms, and you realize it was the day you brought Fido home.
Pet allergies are commonly triggered by allergens that are present in the skin cells that dogs and cats shed. The shed flakes, called dander, can remain airborne for quite some time, which means that even when Fido isn’t around, his allergens still may be. Additional allergens can also be found in animals’ saliva, urine, and sweat. If you have a pet, or are around pets, the irritants are hard to ignore. At best, pet allergies can be annoying, at worst, they can have serious complications such as sinus infections or worsened asthma. (Important: If you are having difficulty breathing, whether or not you have asthma, seek medical help immediately.)
Now that you suspect you have a pet allergy, what are you going to do? Your kids have already fallen in love with your four-pawed friend, and the truth is, so have you. So before you panic and rush him to a shelter, take a deep breath and try out some of these home remedies:
- Give your pet a bath often. Full baths are very effective, but so are pet wipes.
- Run high-efficiency particulate air purifiers (HEPA) and let in fresh air.
- Eliminate as many dander-traps as possible, including carpets. If you can’t do that, steam clean your carpet as often as possible. For furniture, you may want to invest in allergen-resistant covers, which are available at medical supply stores.
If those remedies don’t do the trick, it’s time to schedule a consultation with CT Sinus and see what we can do for you. When you come in, our patient-centered physicians will take the time to sit down with you and thoroughly discuss your symptoms, diagnostic methods, and available treatment options. In some cases, you may be eligible for Balloon Sinus Dilation: a non-invasive procedure, available only at CT Sinus Center, that may put an end to your allergies of all kinds.