Advertisement
 
Skip navigation links
About Us
Members
Fellows in Training
Allied Health Professionals
Alliance
Patients & Public
ACAAI Foundation
Newsroom
Sponsors
Annual Meeting
Skip navigation links
News Releases
Five Surprising Allergy and Asthma Triggers that Spoil Summer Fun (May 10, 2012)
Health Risks Greater for Asthmatic Baby Boomers over Age 60 (May 1, 2012)
Free Asthma and Allergy Screenings Offered Nationwide (April 23, 2012)
Record Pollen Counts Cause Even More Misery (March 20, 2012)
What Four Factors Influence the Severity of Allergy Season? (March 8, 2012)
Are You Making Your Spring Allergies Worse? (March 1, 2012)
Almost Half of Asthma Sufferers Not Using Needed Controller Medications (Feb. 25, 2012)
ACAAI Recognizes Teva Respiratory for its Support of Important Respiratory Initiatives
Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease Linked to Childhood Second-Hand Smoke Exposure (December 19, 2011)
Six Tips to Ensure Allergies And Asthma Don't Ruin Holiday Cheer (December 2011)
Thanksgiving Holiday Stuffed with Allergy, Asthma Triggers (November, 2011)
Unplug Indoor Pollutants for a Breath of Fresh Air (November 6, 2011)
Love Your Pet Not Your Allergy? (November 6, 2011)
Wine May Please the Palate but Not the Immune System (November 5, 2011)
Research Examines Asthma Control and Anaphylaxis Guidelines to Improve Outcomes for Adults with Allergies and Asthma (November 5, 2011)
Research Highlights New Interventions, Recommendations for Controlling Allergies & Asthma in Children (November 5, 2011)
Allergy Shots Fast-Track Relief and Cut Costs (November 3, 2011)
Don't Let Allergies, Asthma Spoil Halloween Fun (October 1, 2011)
Mold Exposure During Infancy Increases Asthma Risk (August 2, 2011)
Study Up for Sneeze and Wheeze-Free School Year (August 1, 2011)
Global Warming Extends Ragweed Allergy Season (July 28, 2011)
Childhood Asthma Linked to Depression during Pregnancy (July 5, 2011)
Allergists Update Stinging Insect Guidelines (June 16, 2011)
Don't Let Allergies, Asthma Spoil a Summer Soiree (June 15, 2011)
Cure Summertime Allergies - It's Worth a Shot (June 5, 2011)
Athletes with Allergies, Asthma Can Play it Safe (June 1, 2011)
Flood Water Can Make Air In Homes Unhealthy (April 29, 2010)
Free Screenings Launch in May's National Asthma Awareness Month
Pregnancy anemia linked to childhood wheezing and asthma (March 10, 2011)
Spring allergy Sufferers: Be Wary of Treatment Myths, March 4, 2011
Most Americans Recognize Allergies are Serious, Don't Know Who Should Treat Condition
Archives

Embargoed for Release                                              Contact:Ashley Mattys
November 6, 2011                                                                 312-558-1770
                                                                                          amattys@pcipr.com

                                                                                                                  
                                  Love Your Pet—Not Your Allergy?
                     Interventions Put a Leash on Miserable Symptoms
 
BOSTON – Good news for the millions of dog and cat lovers whose four-legged friend is causing them to sneeze and wheeze—removing the pet from the home isn’t the only option.  At the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in Boston, Nov. 3-8, allergists discuss the use of immunotherapy, allergy shots, combined with environmental changes to help control pet allergy symptoms.

“This is a common allergy that touches the hearts of so many,” said Dana Wallace, MD, ACAAI president. “More than 90 percent of homes have measurable dog and cat allergens and 52 percent of homes have a pet.  So not only is it a common allergy, but the allergen is everywhere.”

And although individuals who are allergic to dogs and/or cats are advised to reduce their exposure to the animal, case studies show that cat dander is present even in places where a cat has never set a paw. Allergists refer to this as “passive” exposure because the dander travels to school on students’ clothing and backpacks.

“Studies show that when asthmatic children who are allergic to cats attend classes with many cat owners, they have increased asthma symptoms,” added Dr. Wallace.  “We usually see a spike in asthma episodes at the beginning of the school year when students are reintroduced to the allergen after being away from it over the summer.”

In her presentation, Dr. Wallace discusses the benefit of specific environmental interventions and the effectiveness of allergy shots for individuals who want to live comfortably with their pet.

Change your space
What are pet lovers to do? Dr. Wallace suggests incorporating the following changes—not just a couple—to greatly reduce animal dander in the home:

• Remove the animal from the bedroom to create an “allergy free zone”
• Use bleach to reduce the allergen on clothing or bedding
• Cover mattress and pillows with tightly woven microfiber fabric to capture small cat and dog allergens
• Use HEPA room air cleaners and a HEPA vacuum
• Use whole-house filtration on central heating/ventilation, air conditioning systems (HVAC); a MERV 12 filter is recommended
• Limit carpeted surfaces; hard-surface flooring, like wood or tile, is recommended
• Substitute leather furniture for upholstery
• Bathe animals regularly

Treatments
While mild symptoms may be managed with over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines or nasal sprays, immunotherapy is the most effective treatment in most cases because it treats the underlying cause rather than masking allergy symptoms.  The treatment works like a vaccine, exposing the individual to tiny (but increasing) amounts of the allergen to build up the immune system’s tolerance. Studies show that immunotherapy may keep people from developing new allergies and help reduce the risk of developing asthma. And it is the only treatment that can potentially resolve symptoms for good.

Even though symptoms can be treated, Dr. Wallace cautioned that keeping a dog or cat in the household may not be the best choice for everyone.

“When the allergy is so severe that the individual is having increased asthma attacks or hospitalizations, the health of the person needs to be the top priority in making decisions about the family pet,” she added.

Those who suspect they have allergies to dogs or cats should be tested by an allergist—a doctor who is expert in diagnosing and treating allergies and asthma.
To learn more about allergies and asthma, take a relief self-test or find an allergist near you visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

Follow the ACAAI annual meeting on Twitter at #ACAAI.

The ACAAI Press Room is located in Room 204 at the Hynes Convention Center, November 4 -7, 2011; phone 617-954-2665, media@acaai.org.

 
Copyright 2012 - American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology | 85 West Algonquin Road, Suite 550 | Arlington Heights, IL 60005











website designed and maintained by Washington Graphic Services