The Effects of Pet Dander On Allergic Individuals
Pet Dander: What Is It?
Pet dander consists of skin flecks falling from the animals that people normally keep in their households. These animals can be cats, dogs, birds, rodents and any other domestic creatures that have fur or feathers. Pet dander particles are very small, sometimes so small that they have a microscopic size. In certain individuals who are allergic to these particles, allergic reactions can occur.
The skin of pets is not the only source of allergens or allergy triggers. Other things produced in the bodies of animals can also be involved, such as urine, feces or proteins from saliva. The majority of allergies are related to proteins like Fel d 1 (from cats), Can f 1 and Can f 2 (from dogs). Saliva can be found dried in the fur and can contain allergens. From here, it can get into the air, and it can be inhaled by people who are allergic. A similar thing happens with the dust from dry feces.
Which Kind of Pets Create the Biggest Issues?
In the United States, 27 percent of homes host felines, while 32 percent of homes host dogs. Despite this, the number of people with allergies from cats is double the number of people with allergies from dogs. According to research, female cats produce more Fel d 1 allergen than male cats. The fur of these animals is not the main trigger. The dust that is carried by the animals in the fur is the main problem. Hairless pets or pets with short hair can still carry a similar amount of dust, so they generate the same air pollution as animals with fur. All dogs and cats carry allergens.
How Do Pet Allergens Manifest?
Pet allergens are tiny particles, and they can float through the air. Because they are lightweight, allergen particles from pets remain suspended in the air much longer than the ones produced by cockroaches and dust mites. Due to their jagged shape and microscopic size, these allergens can easily get stuck on furniture and various items that people transport from the outside to the home. Not only homeowners are affected, but also anyone who spends time in schools or hospitals. Even buildings that don’t host any animals can be affected by pet dander.
What Is the Impact of Pet Allergens on Our Health?
Many people are allergic to animals. Pet allergens can be triggers for asthma. Allergic individuals can have problems breathing, and these problems can become severe in time. Each allergic person can stand a different concentration of allergens until an allergic reaction is triggered. These are the common symptoms that allergic people experience: sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Additional symptoms can be watery eyes, rashes, eczema and itchiness.
How to Keep Pet Allergens Under Control?
The proper method of maintaining high quality air in the homes of allergic people is to stop keeping pets inside. Even when people choose to remove their pets, the air quality in the home will not improve until some months have passed. The dust in homes keeps allergens trapped. The symptoms of allergic people in this case will improve only in weeks or months. If homeowners want to keep their pets, they should not let them enter the bedroom. Also, pets should not be allowed on the furniture and carpets. Cleaning up the dust as often as possible is very important.