A cat allergy can add up to continuous allergy symptoms. Contact can occur at school, workplace, day care or in other enclosed environments even if there is no cat around.
It is important to note that cats produce several allergens. These allergens are present on the skin, fur and saliva. Remember that all cats generate allergens. Houses that have more than one cat has higher amounts of cat allergens.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of cat allergy range from minor to severe, depending on the sensitivity of the individual and degree of exposure to the allergens. Individuals who are highly sensitive can experience symptoms including breathing issues or rashes, usually within minutes of being exposed to a cat or visiting a house with a pet cat.
The usual symptoms include the following:
- Skin rash or hives
- Sneezing or runny or stuffed nose
- Watery, itchy or red eyes
- Facial pain
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Chest tightness
Management of cat allergy
Avoidance is the ideal way to manage a cat allergy. If an individual has a cat and allergic to it, he/she should consider removing the cat from the house.
Other measures that can help keep the symptoms minimized include the following:
- The cat should be kept out of the bedroom and limit access to only a few rooms.
- The individual should avoid petting, kissing or hugging the cat.
- Utilize cleaners integrated with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) in the bedroom or living room to reduce the number of allergens over time.
- Use a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or central vacuum regularly to lower the level of allergens.
- Provide the cat a bath at least once a week.
The doctor can determine the suitable medications to manage the symptoms of cat allergy. The nasal symptoms are often managed using steroid nasal sprays, oral forms of antihistamines or other oral drugs.
As for the eye symptoms, they are managed using antihistamine eye drops. As for the respiratory symptoms, the doctor usually prescribes inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators to either for relief or prevention.