Navigation Links
Cat Allergy Doesn't Have to Mean Giving Up Kitty
Date:4/23/2010

For many feline fans, there are ways to live together happily, experts say

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Brandy Pitman suffers from a lifelong allergy to cats, enduring regular bouts of congestion, sneezing, and watery eyes.

Even so, it hasn't stopped her from working as an office manager for a feline veterinary hospital in Louisiana, or from inviting four strays into her home.

"They showed up and never left so I took them in," Pitman said of her domestic shorthair clan Marbles, Miss Kitty, Teachy and Callie. "There wasn't really a choice."

For many allergic cat lovers, like Pitman, living without a feline companion isn't an option. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), nearly 10 million people choose to live with pets even though they're allergic to them.

"Most people who are real cat lovers elect to suffer some, or take medicines, rather than give up their pet," said Dr. Robert Wood, division chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore.

For people with mild to moderate allergies, controlling flare-ups involves managing their home environment, taking medication and having their pets groomed regularly.

Cat-induced allergies affect about 20 percent of the U.S. population, according to studies, and is caused by a protein found in the animals' saliva and dander (dead skin cells.) Because felines lick their fur to keep clean, the troublesome protein, called "fel d 1," is also deposited on their coats.

What's more, the super-lightweight allergen floats through the air, sticking to walls, rugs, clothing and other surfaces.

"Most people who are real cat-allergic know pretty quickly after they've walked into a house whether there's a cat there or not -- they'll sense the beginning of a reaction happening just from what's in the air," Wood said.

Reactions run the usual gamut of allergy symptoms such as a stuffy nose and red, itchy eyes. Asthmatics are at risk for experiencing more severe reactions, including difficulty breathing.

"We feel most strongly about not living with a cat if you have asthma that's hard to control because that can lead to life-threatening situations," said Wood.

For individuals who are not highly sensitive, living with a feline requires taking some simple steps to reduce allergens in the home and on the cat.

Veterinarian Vicki Thayer, president-elect of the Winn Feline Foundation, a nonprofit that supports studies to improve cat health, recommends owners regularly bathe their pets with a mild shampoo or wipe them down with a damp wash cloth.

Weekly brushings done outside by a non-allergic person are a good idea, too. A spray-on formula available through veterinarians and pet retailers may also help to reduce the amount of dander found on coats.

Another option, with reportedly mixed results, Thayer said, is adding tiny amounts of acepromazine, a prescribed tranquilizer, to a pet's food or water. The diluted mixture is thought by some veterinarians to reduce or remove the protein that causes cat allergies.

Owners, depending on their symptoms, may also get relief from prescription nasal sprays, eye drops or pills. Wood said shots given for cat allergies provide a little bit more comfort but several studies have shown they're not hugely effective.

Inside the home, keep cats out of the bedroom and put allergy-proof covers on the mattress and pillows. Wash bedding materials in hot water, wash your hands after contact, and limit the amount of wall-to-wall carpeting, especially in the bedroom. "Even if you keep the cat out of the bedroom, eventually the carpet gets loaded with the allergen just from what's carried around on your feet," said Wood.

Frequent steam cleaning helps remove allergens hiding in carpets.

Allergy experts also recommend running a good quality HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) air cleaner; changing forced air heating filters monthly and using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

"With those things, most people are able to co-exist with a cat," he said.

More information

Find out more about coping with pet allergies at the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.



SOURCES: Robert Wood, M.D., division chair, pediatric allergy and immunology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Vicki Thayer, president-elect, Winn Feline Foundation, and veterinarian board-certified, feline medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Mississippi Bill that Limits Consumer Access to Cold and Allergy Medicines Containing Pseudoephedrine by Requiring a Prescription
2. Statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Mississippi Bill that Seeks to Make Cold, Allergy Medicines Containing Pseudoephedrine Prescription-Only
3. Allegheny General Hospital Study Demonstrates Safety and Potential Efficacy of Oral Allergy Treatment
4. Pollen.com Launches Features to Customize Allergy Information - Top Allergy Web Site Provides ZIP-specific Allergy Information and Diary to Track Symptoms
5. NIAID media tip sheet: Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
6. Penicillin Allergy Might Not Include Related Antibiotic
7. News tips from the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
8. Global Warming Kicks Up Allergy Storm
9. New Allergy Testing Available for Patients Allergic to Penicillin: Determining the Presence of Penicillin Allergy is Essential to Patient Care
10. NIAID media availability: Food allergy-related disorder linked to master allergy gene
11. TechWorld Medicals NasalCare Nasal Cleanse Kit Named “Best New Product” at ECRM Cough & Cold and Allergy Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... February 27, 2017 , ... It’s no ... which often leads to a host of health issues, including urinary incontinence. However, ... Society discovered that good overall muscle strength in older women, particularly in ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 27, 2017 , ... ... for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, is happy to announce her “Spring ... mind and body, these individual customized retreats offer the winter-weary soul an excellent ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 27, 2017 , ... Elisa Guajardo Carothers is not your typical ... to studying to become a nun. Now, she writes about God, when she isn’t swimming ... Know BC and AD, Here is BS! (Before Satan),” she offers a comedic look at ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... Miro is the ultimate smart media center that ... songs, movies, TV shows and much more apps for user exploration. Its innovative acoustic ... view of 1280 x 720 provides crisp images with remarkable clarity and color. The ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Sunshine Coast Health Centre (SCHC), one of ... https://www.sunshinecoasthealthcentre.ca/ , is proud to announce the addition of a registered massage ... commitment to innovation in drug rehab and alcohol treatment strategies beyond a "punishment" ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Physician General Dr. ... and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith commended South ... training for and using naloxone, a life-saving overdose reversal ... , a recovery specialist and overdose survivor who was ... providers. "A significant part of fighting the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 The U.S. ... the PhenoTest BC Kit, performed on the Pheno ... organisms that cause bloodstream infections and provide information ... respond to (antibiotic sensitivity). The test also reduces ... this important information, which can guide antibiotic treatment ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Directors from Pharma To Market Pty ... have joined forces, resulting in the founding of Pharma To Market ... Pharma To Market are pleased to announce their expansion into ... Singapore . The company are delighted to appoint ... of the Singapore based entity. Joelle brings ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: