Pet dander, as we know, is among the most common particles found in indoor air and is also among the most common allergy triggers.
These particles usually measure between 2.5 to 10 microns in size, making them part of the PM2.5 and PM10 categories of airborne particles. Fortunately, air purifiers from Ionmax are able to filter out these particles from ambient air and provide you with cleaner air throughout your living space.
Although 1 in 5 Australians suffer from pet allergies, this won’t stop us from cuddling up to our furry friends. However, by taking a few steps and lifestyle changes, it is possible for some individuals to build a tolerance against pet allergies.
Understanding pet dander and pet allergies
Pet allergies occur when an individual’s immune system reacts to proteins found in an animal’s skin cells, urine or saliva. These proteins are present in pet dander that naturally shed off animals and can attach themselves to our skin, clothes, furniture and more. This causes allergic reactions even if there isn’t a pet present in the room.
When allergic individuals are exposed to pet dander, their immune system may mistake these proteins for harmful substances and trigger a defensive response that can vary from mild to severe symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, wheezing, skin rashes, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing or asthma attacks.
Different individuals may have different allergic reactions and severities to pet allergies and therefore, these tips for developing tolerance to pet allergies may not apply to all individuals. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or allergist for guidance tailored to your specific situation.
How to help develop pet allergy and pet dander tolerance
Building tolerance to pet allergies can be challenging, but it’s possible for some individuals. The first step that is to be taken is to ensure that pet dander is the source of the allergy. Dust mites, mould, and pests can also cause allergic reactions. An allergy specialist can help confirm exactly what it is you are allergic to.
A Swedish study found that developing a tolerance to pets and pet dander is best done in the early stages of a person’s life. So, if you have small children living in your home, exposing them to pets moderately can lead to a higher tolerance as they age.
However, if you’re looking to adopt a pet despite mild allergies, the following initiatives and precautions could be taken for best results:
- Gradual exposure: Gradually exposing yourself to small amounts of pet dander might help your body adapt. Spend short periods of time around pets and gradually increase exposure. Do also designate pet-free zones to reduce unwanted exposure. This can include areas like bedrooms or study rooms.
- Cleanliness: To also help reduce unwanted exposure, regularly cleaning your living space by vacuuming carpets, washing bedding and using HEPA air purifiers will help. This reduces the amount of pet dander in your environment. Maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands, changing clothes and not touching your face after handling pets can also help minimise exposure.
- Medications: Over-the-counter medication like antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants can help manage allergy symptoms. Do consult your doctor for suitable medications.
- Allergy immunotherapy: Allergy shots or sublingual tablets prescribed by allergists can help individuals become desensitised to pet allergens such as pet dander.
It’s important to note that results may vary from person to person and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to treating pet allergies. Consult your doctor before attempting to treat any pet allergies at home.
While managing pet allergies can be challenging, a strategic approach to reducing exposure is crucial. Ionmax air purifiers serve as a valuable tool in your quest to increase tolerance against pet allergies by effectively capturing and eliminating microscopic pet allergens from your indoor air.
Apart from this, those sensitive to pets would benefit from gradual exposure and maintaining a clean and healthy environment to make a notable difference. Consulting healthcare professionals for tailored advice and considering allergy immunotherapy could also be beneficial. Managing pet allergies requires diligence and careful steps.
Studies have shown that gradual exposure to pets at an early age can help build a tolerance against pet dander and other pet allergens as a person ages.
Browse through Ionmax’s wide range of HEPA air purifiers to find the right unit to suit your living space.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.