Navigation Links
Even Homes Without Pets Have Pet Allergens

SUNDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- By taking steps to reduce pet allergens in their homes, pet owners can reduce the spread of pet allergens to people who may be allergic, experts say.

Pet allergens are found in more than 90 percent of U.S. homes, even though only 52 percent have a pet, said Dr. Dana Wallace, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, in a college news release.

That can pose a problem for pet-allergic children at schools, when classmates introduce allergens via their clothes and backpacks.

"Studies show that when asthmatic children who are allergic to cats attend classes with many cat owners, they have increased asthma symptoms," Wallace said. "We usually see a spike in asthma episodes at the beginning of the school year when students are reintroduced to the allergen after being away from it over the summer."

There are a number of steps pet owners can take to limit the amount of pet dander in their homes, noted Wallace, including:

  • Limit where the animal can roam, particularly the bedroom, to establish an "allergy free zone."
  • Wash clothing and bedding with bleach.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with tightly woven microfiber fabric.
  • Use room air cleaners and vacuums with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.
  • Use central heat and air; a MERV 12 filter is also recommended. (MERV is a rating system that signifies the size of particles a filter can capture)
  • Opt for wood or tile floor over carpeting.
  • Replace fabric upholstery with leather furniture.
  • Give pets regular baths.

These steps can also help pet owners who find out they're allergic to their own dog or cat, Wallace said. Pet owners can also consider immunotherapy, or allergy shots, advised Wallace.

Immunotherapy, she explained, exposes people to increasing amounts of an allergen to build up their immune system's tolerance for the substance. Although mild symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter drugs or nasal sprays, immunotherapy is typically most effective since it treats the condition rather than just the symptoms.

Although changes to people's surroundings and immunology can help control pet allergies, in extreme cases, the animal may need to be removed from the home.

"When the allergy is so severe that the individual is having increased asthma attacks or hospitalizations, the health of the person needs to be the top priority in making decisions about the family pet," she cautioned.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on pet and other indoor allergies.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, Nov. 6, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New study from NYUCN is the first to look at nursing error disclosure in nursing homes
2. NYUCN receives $299 thousand from NCSBN to study patient safety in nursing homes
3. Nearly half of physician practices do not meet national standards for medical homes
4. Nursing Homes Not Meeting Flu-Shot Goals, Study Says
5. Prevention of bedsores in long-term care homes cost-effective, study shows
6. Dementia Patients Seem to Benefit From Small Group Homes
7. Bilingual Homes Help Babies Exercise Their Brain: Study
8. Certain Antidepressants Linked to Falls in Nursing Homes
9. Bed Sores Afflict More Blacks in Nursing Homes Than Whites: Study
10. Cockroach allergens in homes associated with prevalence of childhood asthma in some neighborhoods
11. 1 in 7 U.S. Nursing Homes Cited for Poor Infection Control
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 02, 2015 , ... Ruth Pearson was struggling. She had been laid off ... assistance and quickly losing hope of recovering her former life, Pearson was desperate for ... attending a women’s retreat when she experienced a particularly impactful worship service. Without help ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... On Tuesday ... to NASDAQ to educate the personnel on spinal decompression therapy and offer his ... a nonsurgical procedure. The benefits come from creating negative intradiscal pressure which is ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Henderson, a ... to receive Gigabit Internet through a partnership this year with Aeneas Internet and ... is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs who want to build a business. Whether ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... Florida Hospital Tampa is the first health care provider in the region ... , vBloc® Therapy is a vagal blocking therapy, delivered via the Maestro® System, for the ... (BMI) of at least 40 to 45 kg, or a BMI of at least 35 ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia ... today announced that its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s ... The Company also announced that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... --> --> ... by Type of Drug (Monoclonal Antibodies, Interferon-Alpha, Interleukins, Vaccines, (Therapeutic ... Analysis - Global Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... Million by 2020 from USD 40,281.6 Million in 2015, at ... Browse 37 market data T ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 Assurex Health, Inc. today announced ... healthcare providers an expanded range of options in ... from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder ... i .   --> ... addition of two new drug classes, 17 FDA-approved ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  Six months of adjunctive metformin ... type 1 diabetes, according to new research from T1D ... it may have a beneficial effect on measures of obesity, ... issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association ... the effect of metformin on overweight and obese adolescents with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: