Who Let The Dogs In?

Many people do not realize that allergy and asthma triggers lurk inside their homes.

Severe allergy season is here, which means you will probably spend significant time indoors. Unfortunately, you may not realize that allergy and asthma triggers may be lurking inside your home. Spending more time indoors increases your exposure to indoor allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and even cockroaches.

More than 40 million people in the United States suffer from indoor allergies year-round. Perennial allergy sufferers experience symptoms such as a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and wheezing, which are symptoms triggered by airborne particles or allergens. In many cases, the root cause of these allergens is the sufferer’s canine friends. In fact, 70% of people suffering from dog allergies, whether they know it or not, react to the allergen scientifically known as Can f 1, which is found in dog saliva.

You can effectively minimize exposure to airborne particles or allergens by removing the pet from the home. Less-drastic measures you may want to consider include keeping pets out of the bedroom and other common rooms where people with allergies spend a great deal of time, and washing your hands after touching your pet.

Animal dander has been found to be a primary cause for nasal allergies, ocular allergies and allergic asthma. The good news is that you can engage in dog allergen immunotherapy, which has been shown to be effective in managing the symptoms. Fellowship-trained and board-certified allergist and immunologists are specially trained to administer immunotherapy to patients suffering from nasal allergies, ocular allergies and allergic asthma.-Vicki Lyons, MD

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