A pet allergy can cause near-constant symptoms, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, hives or rashes, and wheezing—even if you’re not around an animal. Sometimes just being in a space that an animal has been in is enough to cause issues. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may occur immediately after exposure or only after prolonged exposure.
The usual culprits are cats or dogs, and you may be allergic to everything about them: their fur, their dander, their saliva, and their urine.
Get tested by an allergist first to determine if you are allergic to a pet or to the dust or pollen in it’s fur. Treatment options include steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamine, antihistamine eye-drops, and inhaled steroids or bronchodilators.
If your allergies are severe, you may want to consider rehoming a pet you live with. If you don’t want to rehome your pet, bathe it weekly, keep it out of your bedroom, and wash your hands with soap after handling it. Regular use of a high-efficiency vacuum or a high-efficiency particulate air cleaner (HEPA) may help.
Short of not being around a pet, probably not. Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may help lessen your symptoms over time.
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