Your daughter just adopted a cat from The Atlanta Humane Society. She’s thrilled. Your grandkids are thrilled. They can’t wait for you to visit. The only problem? You are allergic to cats.
If you have found yourself in a situation where someone you love has a cat, but you are allergic, fear not. There are ways you can find relief from your allergy symptoms while still getting to visit your loved ones and their feline friend.
If you know you are going somewhere where there is a cat, take your allergy medication before you go over. You could also bring antihistamines with you that you can take if you start experiencing symptoms. If you don’t currently take medication for your allergies, ask your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription options.
Wash Your Hands and Clothes
Even if you don’t pet the cat, if there is one in the home, their dander will likely be all over the house. Remember to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face or eyes if possible. When you get home, you should change clothes right away and wash the ones you wore in hot water to avoid bringing allergens into your home.
Consider Immunotherapy for Lasting Relief
If you suffer from cat allergies that don’t respond to medical treatment, you may find relief from immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a method of building tolerance to an allergen by introducing it to the body in small doses over a period of time. It is usually given as injections (allergy shots) but can also be taken orally. This is referred to as sublingual immunotherapy or allergy drops.
Allergen-specific immunotherapy has been found to have a success rate of 85-90%. It’s a very promising treatment for pet allergies and has the potential to eliminate your allergy symptoms completely.
However, before you think that you can get a quick shot at the allergist’s office and then run off to adopt a cat worry-free, know that it takes time for immunotherapy to take effect. It can require anywhere from 3-6 months before any symptom relief is felt, and up to five years before full benefits are seen.
If you are curious about immunotherapy or wish to book an appointment with an allergy expert, call ENT of Georgia North today.