People who suffer from pet allergies know all too well the symptoms that come with it: a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath. But what many don't know is that pet dander can also harm the respiratory system, leading to a decrease in the ability of the lungs to function. Pet dander is microscopic in size and is often suspended in the air. Inhaling these particles, even if not allergic, can cause inflammation of the paranasal sinuses and nasal membranes.
Pet allergies are often associated with cats and dogs, as their allergens are found in their skin cells, saliva, urine, sweat, and fur. Dandruff is a particular problem because it is very small and can remain airborne for long periods of time with minimal air circulation. It also easily accumulates on upholstered furniture and attaches to clothing. So what is pet dander? According to the American Lung Association, “Pet dander is made up of small, even microscopic, patches of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds, and other animals with fur or feathers.” Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pet dander.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the impact of pet dander on your health. Regularly cleaning your home and vacuuming carpets and furniture can help reduce the amount of pet dander in your home. You should also bathe your pets regularly to reduce the amount of dander they produce. Additionally, you can use air purifiers with True HEPA filtration systems to help reduce the amount of pet dander in your home.
It's important to remember that pet allergies can be serious and should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, or shortness of breath after coming into contact with pet dander, it's important to seek medical attention right away. Taking proactive steps to reduce the amount of pet dander in your home can help minimize the risk of developing an allergy or exacerbating existing allergies.