RecommendationWho is affected by an allergy to animal hair, must unfortunately part with his animal companion. This applies in particular to patients who are affected by severe symptoms such as asthma and chronic rhinitis.
In the case of cat allergens, the allergen load in the air decreases by up to 70% when the cat is removed from the room. However, the allergens are still detectable for a long time despite intensive cleaning measures. It takes more than five years to get anywhere near the levels found in homes without cats.
However, only a fraction of those affected can part with their pet.
As an alternative, some authors suggest regular washing of the animal, especially since large quantities of allergens can be removed from the coat in this way.
However, there are three arguments against this measure:
1. if the allergen concentration in the coat rises again to normal levels after only a few days 2. The classic allergen stores (carpet, upholstered furniture, mattresses, etc.) can be used as a source of allergens.) continue to contain high concentrations of allergens and 3. it is very questionable whether an animal, especially a cat, will put up with being washed several times a week.
Bed, flooring and furniture
Pet hair allergens are especially common in mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture. This high prevalence explains why the symptoms can be present for a longer period of time even after the animal has been abolished.
To sanitize the bed, it is advisable to cover the mattress with an encasement. More on this topic can be found in the encasing article.
It is almost impossible to remove animal allergens from textile upholstered furniture. Ideally, they should be replaced with wipe-clean leather upholstery. Even the carpeting must be replaced with a wipeable covering if symptoms are severe. Vacuum cleaners offer here only conditionally an alternative, partly it can come even to the whirling up of the allergens.
Pet owners who come to visit
The clothing of pet owners usually contains so many allergens that they can cause severe symptoms in an allergy sufferer. Visitors should therefore put on fresh clothes outside the affected person's home and wash their hands thoroughly.
If a visit to pet owners cannot be avoided, an antihistamine and, in individual cases, a cortisone preparation, taken in advance, can be of further help.
Air purification devices
Air purifiers are no help for allergy sufferers. Although they can reduce allergen levels in the short term. However, no reduction in symptoms occurred in any study that reviewed these devices.
Which animals are suitable for pet allergy sufferers?
Animals that are kept permanently outside the home, such as farm animals, usually cause fewer problems. Horses are an exception. Some allergy sufferers already react with allergic symptoms at the smell from a greater distance. Even an indirect contact z.B. over the clothes of a rider or over contaminated car upholstery can lead to the most severe reactions. In the home, fur-bearing animals segregate for allergy sufferers. Especially for those with an allergy to animals in principle from. For those who already suffer from an allergy to animal dander are at great risk of developing another allergy to another animal. In addition, between dogs. Cats cross reactions possible.
Fish in the aquarium are only a limited compromise. An aquarium increases the humidity in the room, which can lead to increased growth of mold and dust mites. In addition, fish food with dried sugar mosquito larvae is an aggressive allergen.
The hay used as food for rabbits and other rodents may contain many mold spores and grass pollen. Both is very unfavorable for allergy sufferers.
Allergic complaints in keepers of reptiles occur very rarely. Since however ever more households take iguanas and Co with itself, is to be counted on increasing frequency of allergic reactions.
Are there hypoallergenic animals?
No. On the large animal market, there are always expensive breeds that supposedly do not trigger any symptoms. However, there is no guarantee that affected patients will not react to these animals.
People who already suffer from another allergy should not get pets. This also applies if a close relative (parents, siblings) is affected by an allergy.
For people without an increased risk of allergies, there is no reason to give up keeping pets. However, it is not suitable for preventing an allergy.