Dealing with Latex Allergy

Dealing with Latex Allergy
Dealing with Latex Allergy

Latex is known as a major component in the vast majority of rubber products, and it is made of the Hevea brasiliensis tree. Latex can be found in thousands of occupational and household products, starting with shoes and up to rubber bands. This material is ultimately common in the healthcare industry, since it is contained in surgical gloves and diverse pieces of medical equipment.

Considering latex allergy, there are certain confusions and misconceptions. In fact, there are two types of allergic reactions, which need to be differentiated. First of all, latex is not similar to other synthetic rubber materials, such as petroleum-based or butyl products. Paints and other products, which are labeled as ‘latex-based’, contain a specific synthetic product which is approved to be safe for patients with latex allergy.


According to the results of multiple studies, the tendency to develop allergic reactions is inherited. Similar to other allergies, the more frequent and intense exposure to latex, the higher risk of allergy development. 5-10% of healthcare workers experience latex allergy as a result of constant exposure to latex-containing items. Limited use of latex gloves decreases the possibility of latex allergy even in healthcare specialists.

Another group of people, who have an advanced risk of latex allergy, include those, who have a history of several surgeries, peculiarly the ones involving the genitourinary tract and nervous system. Children with symptoms of spinal bifida seem to have higher chances of latex allergy occurrence.

Symptoms of Condition Development

Generally, there are two major types of latex allergies, including immediate and delayed.
An immediate allergic reaction to latex is a potentially severe condition that appears within several minutes of exposure and can trigger itching, hives, wheezing, breathing problems, throat tightness, anaphylaxis and sometimes even fatal signs. An overwhelming majority of patients experience such reactions only after contact with latex items, while others can get the signs of allergy even after using a drug that was stored in a bottle with a latex stopper.

A delayed reaction to latex presupposes mildly swollen rashes, itching, redness and other symptoms that occur at the site of contact with latex-containing products. The symptoms usually appear 12-24 hours after exposure and are quite safe. The reaction resembles the one to poison oak, because of other chemicals used to produce latex.

Getting Diagnosed with Allergy

Patients, who have the symptoms of delayed latex allergy, do not usually have an allergic antibody, though the condition can be diagnosed with a patch test. The process involves placing other ingredients of latex on the skin for over 48 hours and interpreting the outcomes after 48-96 hours. The test should be performed only by the physician with experience in diagnosing allergies.

Nevertheless, an immediate latex allergy is caused by the IgE against latex and can be diagnosed with the RAST or skin testing. The latter can be quite complicated, as there is no commercial latex extract for skin testing in the USA. Some allergists produce their own extracts, while others rely on the RAST for diagnosing the condition.

Relation to Oral Allergy Syndrome

A considerable part of patients with signs of immediate latex allergy have accompanying symptoms of oral allergy syndrome. The condition triggers swelling of the mouth and itching after eating specific foods, most commonly avocado, bananas, chestnuts, kiwi and melons. The reason is in the presence of food proteins, which are similar to the ones, contained in latex.

While the majority of oral allergy symptoms are rather mild and last just several minutes, some patients can experience worse reactions if these products are consumed. It is preferable for people with latex allergy to avoid any products, which can trigger oral allergy syndrome.

How to Prevent and Treat the Disorder

An ultimate way to prevent an allergic reaction to latex is to avoid its exposure. However, since latex is exceptionally common, it is difficult to fully avoid its use. Tell your doctor and dentist about the existing condition, so that they could use latex-free medical supplies and non-latex gloves. Household latex, which is known to trigger allergic reactions, can be found in dishwashing gloves, latex balloons and condoms. Read the label of the product before its purchase or use to eliminate the risk of condition development.

Patients with latex allergy should thoroughly coordinate the procedure with surgeons, anesthesiologists and other medical workers during the surgery. Such people usually have the first surgery of the day to make sure the operating room is carefully cleaned and there are no latex remnants from previous surgeries.

Immunotherapy, allergy shots and similar measures can be used to prevent latex allergy. However, results of therapies are rather vague and unsure.

Treating Latex Allergy

The process of immediate latex reaction treatment is similar to the treatment of anaphylaxis. It can include the use of corticosteroids, antihistamines and epinephrine. The treatment of delayed form of the reaction usually requires only corticosteroids, creams or syrup, depending on the severity of the condition.

Patients with latex allergy should carry injectable epinephrine with them to block unwanted reactions. Additionally, such people should consider wearing a special medical bracelet with all the allergy information in case of emergency. It is inevitable for medical personnel to be aware of possible reactions to latex-containing materials and avoid its use.

Novocaine Allergy as It Is

Novocaine Allergy as It Is
Novocaine Allergy as It Is

The first mentioning of local anesthetics dates back to 1904. Currently, the medications are used to prevent major pain related to surgical and dental procedures. Besides, they are available in an injectable form to prevent the occurrence and eliminate the already existing symptoms of uneven heartbeats, in eye drops for specific surgical eye procedures, in topical form for numbing the skin and oral. The most frequently used anesthetics include Lidocaine, Procaine, Mepivacaine and Benzocaine.

Possible Side Effects as Reaction to Local Anesthetic

The use of local anesthetics may trigger many symptoms, including both allergic and non-allergic. They may include:

  • Heart palpitations or advanced heart rate;
  • Flushing;
  • Anxiety;
  • Symptoms of anaphylaxis;
  • Hyperventilation;
  • Contact dermatitis;
  • Itching, swelling, hives and similar signs around the body.

Potential Causes of Negative Reactions to Anesthetics

Despite reactions to local anesthetics are rather common, they are rarely stimulated by allergic causes. The reasons of symptoms appearing after anesthetics use can be various, including vaso-vagal reactions, anxiety, toxic drug effects, hyperventilation, reactions to epinephrine, etc. Besides, a patient can experience an allergic reaction to preservatives, which are added to local anesthetics.

The most common preservative that is added to multi-use vials of anesthetics is called Methylparabens. An allergic reaction to this component is more common that the reaction to local anesthetics. True allergies can also occur, but they are extremely rare. Despite a great range of investigations and studies considering adverse reactions from the use of anesthetics, in fact, they are few. Skin testing proved that almost all people using local anesthetic showed no evidence of allergic reactions to it, and they were able to tolerate the injection quite well.

During the procedure, it is important to take possible latex allergy into consideration, as standard latex gloves are widely used in dental and medical industries. Additionally, certain medications, which are used in spinal anesthesia, can contain Sulfites that may serve another significant risk factor.

Finally, contact dermatitis may also occur during the procedure. A blistering, itchy rash can appear at the site of application or injection of local anesthetic.

How Can Allergy to Anesthetics Be Diagnosed?

Skin testing can be of great help in estimation of adverse reactions to the medications. Allergists have several approaches to diagnosing the condition, still, an overwhelming majority of them will perform skin testing. Most allergists perform tests with epinephrine-free and preservative-free anesthetics to eliminate the risk of other reactions. If the test is negative, subcutaneous injections are used with specific local anesthetics.

Such process is called a ‘challenge”, when a person gets a typical dose of anesthetic he/she may encounter, either at the dentist’s or during a minor surgery. Once a person tolerates the medication well, it means this medication can be used in the future for this patient.

Other allergists will use the most common anesthetic while skin testing. Lidocaine with Methylparabens are generally well-tolerated by the majority of people, so it is a widely used form of local anesthetic.

If the skin test is positive, a person needs to undergo another skin test, using another local anesthetic with Methylparaben-free formula. The most common alternatives for Lidocaine are Etidocaine, Bupivacaine, Prilocaine and Mepivacaine.

Reactions to the anesthetic can appear at the site of the injection hours or even days after testing or challenge. This can serve the sign of contact dermatitis to anesthetics that can be diagnosed with patch testing. Generally, patients with contact dermatitis to certain local anesthetic can tolerate another one.

How Can the Allergy Be Treated?

The treatment of local anesthetic side effects is similar to that of other reactions, caused by other medications. Once you have noticed the symptoms of anaphylaxis, you may require antihistamines or epinephrine, as well as intravenous fluids to decrease shock and advance low blood pressure.

Apart from the treatment, prevention is a significant aspect. Skin testing and other procedures should be performed under directions and supervision of a qualified allergist. Once the doctor has proved a certain local anesthetic to be safe and effective for you, only this specific medicine should be taken in the future. Still, reaction to different local anesthetics may be possible.

Allergies at the Dentist’s Office

Allergies at the Dentist’s Office

A routine visit to the dentist for teeth cleaning is not of great importance for the vast majority of people. Each person has his/her own reason for delaying this process, with the need to undergo a painful procedure being the major one. Some patients may have a real excuse for not visiting the dentist – allergic reaction during the procedures. From simple latex allergy and local anesthetic allergy up to allergic reactions to fillings and bridges, specific people can be getting more than they ever bargained for during the trip to the dentist.

Once you have an appointment with a dentist and suffer from any of the mentioned reactions, make sure the doctor is aware of your health complications before he/she starts performing the procedures.

Latex Allergy

Since latex is the main ingredient in the majority of rubber items, which are commonly used in the health care sphere, many of such things can be found at the dentist’s. Latex examination gloves may serve the first cause of allergy development. There are some patients, who can develop a serious allergy to latex, which will further result in throat tightness, hives, breathing problems, wheezing, anaphylaxis and others. Such problems can bother people when visiting a dentist, who uses latex examination gloves.

Local Anesthetic Allergy

Reaction to local anesthetics is more common, even though it is not always caused by allergy. The symptoms, which appear after local anesthetics can also be triggered by hyperventilation and anxiety, as well as adverse reactions to Epinephrine that is usually added to anesthetic to last longer.

Methylparaben, the preservative that are frequently added to anesthetics, also serves a common reason of allergy occurrence. Since visiting the dentist may presuppose the need for fillings, susceptible people can experience serious allergic reactions.

Dermatitis as a Result of Dental Work

There are many materials and chemicals, which are used at the dentist’s and are capable of triggering contact dermatitis on the gums, lips and face. The components of dental amalgam, including porcelain and bonding, can cause swelling, redness and gum irritation. Flavorings in various toothpastes, mouthwashes and fluoride treatments can result in itchy rashes on the lips and around the mouth. Finally, dental dams, which include rubber different from latex, can also activate the signs of contact dermatitis.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

According to the definition, the syndrome of multiple chemical sensitivity is a subjective disease, when diverse symptoms are blamed on different environmental chemical influences. The symptoms of the illness are frequently vague, with the most spread being muscle pains, fatigue, memory loss, nausea and several others. The problem about the issue is that there are no laboratory or physical ways to diagnose the condition.

Symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

Signs of the disorder vary greatly, depending on a person and his/her overall health state. Therefore, there is no defined set of MCS syndrome symptoms. Nevertheless, the illness is more typical for adults, preferably women.

People, who have primary symptoms of the disorder, relate it to environmental exposures, peculiarly odors. On average, cleaning and solvents agents, scented products, perfumes, air pollution, new carpet, formaldehyde, car exhaust and cigarette smoke serve the source of such odors.

Other people suffer from MCS symptoms as a result of specific foods consumption, especially additives, mercury in dental feelings and medications. The results of recent researches have shown that silicone breast implants can also stimulate the development of MCS syndrome and related Gulf War syndrome. According to the latest investigations, higher doses of the condition advance the risk of symptoms occurrence and further development. Nevertheless, there are no studies, which prove the toxicity of triggers being the cause of complications.

Reasons of MCS Syndrome Appearance

Over a few years, there have been numerous theories concerning the reason of MCS syndrome development.

Commonly, they include toxicologic, immunologic, sociologic and psychologic theories. Some experts connected MCS causes to immunodeficiency or autoimmune reasons, which were triggered by chemicals in the environment. However, there are no proofs of such a theory.

According to another therapy, which is called neurotoxic, symptoms of the condition are related to stimulation of the olfactory system within the brain. Besides, the condition is sometimes related to the toxicity of foods, odors, medications and similar conditions.

Finally, MCS syndrome is considered to be a personality or psychiatric disorder and currently it is attributed to panic attacks.

Diagnosing MCS Syndrome

It has already been mentioned that there are no effective tests to define the condition. Thus, the syndrome is diagnosed based on person’s symptoms. Additionally, some desperate practitioners try to perform specific tests, including neutralization-provocation tests, striving to identify the reason of the condition development. However, there is no scientific proof or evidence for this investigation.

Treating MCS Syndrome

In certain cases, a healthcare provider will recommend an ultimate avoidance program for patients diagnosed with MCS.

Such measures will presuppose different detoxification methods, specifically taking expensive medications, vitamins, injections and similar products.

Other doctors will advise a psychotherapeutic approach to the illness, including psychotherapy to manage the symptoms of the condition.

Sulfa Allergy as It Is: Debunking Certain Misconceptions

Sulfa Allergy as It Is: Debunking Certain Misconceptions

Generally, sulfa allergy is the side effect to sulfonamides, a group of drugs, which presuppose both antibiotics and non-antibiotics. Sulfonamides trigger allergic reactions more frequently than non-antibiotic sulfonamides.
In fact, it is a common misconception that many non-antibiotic sulfonamides cause problems in patients with sulfa antibiotic allergy.


In most instances, a patient with “sulfa allergy” has undergone an allergic reaction to any of sulfa-containing drugs, including:

• Pediazole (Sulfafurazole and Erythromycin);
• Bactrim (Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole);
• Seprta (Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole).

Such side effects of sulfa antibiotics are not that rare, being experienced by 3% of users. This is very similar to Penicillin and other antibiotics.

Additionally, several groups are more likely to notice the symptoms of sulfa allergy, especially people, who metabolize medications more slowly or have immune issues.


• Skin reactions. Probably, it is one of the most vivid complications caused by sulfa medications. The disorder may start with benign rash and develop up to toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Advanced sensitivity to sunlight, hives and similar abnormalities are also possible. The already existing rash can aggravate and trigger more severe skin reactions if a patient does not stop sulfa medication use.

• Blood reactions. Sulfa allergy can interfere with blood circulation, affecting blood cells. Most frequently, the medications trigger reduction in red and white blood cells and platelets through the immunologic-mediated manner.

• Lung reactions. Another devastating impact of sulfa allergy is pneumonia-like condition, which triggers the appearance of vasculitis and asthma.

• Kidney and liver damage. Severe kidney failure, hepatitis and similar problems can develop as a result of sulfa drugs use.


Unfortunately, there are no blood and skin tests, which can diagnose sulfa allergy. Thus, the condition can be claimed only when a patient who takes the corresponding treatment feels certain signs and complications.


In the vast majority of instances, simple stop of the medication intake can decrease adverse reactions to sulfa drugs. Further, a patient may require special symptoms treatment, especially if he/she has got the signs of toxic epidermal necrolysis or Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Sometimes, a patient may be desensitized to treatment if a sulfa medication is required for treatment of certain infection. The process starts with the very small amounts of the drug, with constant increase in the amounts up to the time the remedy is tolerated by the organism. The intake of sulfonamide treatment can be continued, irrespective of all the adverse reactions. Such patients should get professional help of an allergist.

Drugs to Avoid

People, who are allergic to sulfa drugs, should consult a medical specialist before the beginning of the course. It means that people, who experience side effects and complications caused by sulfonamide antibiotics, should avoid other sulfonamide antibiotics, peculiarly Sulfadiazine, Dapsone, Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole and Sulfisoxazole.

Topical sulfa antibiotics, including silver sulfadiazine cream, sulfacetamide shampoo/eye drops/creams and sulfanilamide vaginal products should not be taken as well.

Sulfonamides, which do not belong to a group of antibiotics, do not provide such a negative influence on the body. For example, non-antibacterial sulfonamides, which can be safety administered even by people with a history of sulfa allergy include:

• Celebrex (Celecoxib), which is a COX-2 inhibitor. The medication is recommended for pain control and arthritis treatment.
• Oral diabetes medications, such as Sulfonylurea.
• Water pills (diuretics), peculiarly HCTZ and Lasix.

On the other hand, such drugs as Azulfidine belong to a group of sulfonamides, which are associated with aspirin and are taken to decrease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Such treatments should not be administered by patients with sulfa allergy, since the remedy is structurally related to antibiotics.

Sulfite and Sulfa Allergy

Another significant misconception is that if a person is allergic to sulfa drugs, he/she will also experience an allergy to sulfite. However, it has no medical proof and solid evidence.

Sulfites are preservatives, which are included in diverse medications and foods. The substances have been actively used for centuries, as food additives. However, they can naturally occur in wines, fermented beverages and other foods.

The most popular examples of sulfites include:

• Potassium Metabisulfite;
• Sodium Bisulfite;
• Potassium Bisulfite;
• Sodium Sulfite;
• Sodium Metabisulfite.

Sulfites are known to trigger breathing problems and their aggravations in patients with asthma. It happens after such people eat foods or drink beverages containing sulfites. Additionally, cases of sulfite-induced anaphylaxis are rare, though they still exist.

Sulfur and Sulfates

Salts or sulfuric acid, as well as sulfates, are widely used in production of diverse pharmaceuticals, including Iron Sulfate, Albuterol Sulfate, Codeine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate. Allergic reactions and other side effects to these remedies are possible, but the reason of their occurrence is not likely to be due to the sulfate group they belong to.

Generally, people with sulfa and sulfite allergies have no reason to avoid sulfate salt containing treatments.
Finally, sulfur is a chemical element, which is frequently used to produce an unlimited number of commercial and pharmaceutical chemicals. They are presented in Sulfates, Sulfite preservatives and Sulfa drugs. As a chemical element, sulfur is too small to cause any complications or allergic reactions. Thus, there no objective reasons for people with sulfite or sulfa allergy to eliminate the consumption of sulfur-included substances.


All in all, the peculiarities and nuances of sulfa allergy can be ultimately tricky even for professional healthcare providers. Therefore, it is inevitable to inform the doctor about all the reactions and disorders you have had, especially to sulfa drugs. Additionally, it is useful to mention the severity of bothersome symptoms.

Core Information about Aspirin Allergy – Ultimately High Risk in People with Severe Asthma

Core Information about Aspirin Allergy – Ultimately High Risk in People with Severe Asthma

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a group of treatments, which work decreasing pain and reducing fever. Taken in high doses, the medications can eliminate inflammation. The first NSAID that appeared on the pharmaceuticals market was Aspirin. Originally, the remedy was produced from chemicals isolated from the willow tree.
Irrespective of a great variety of positive effects Aspirin promotes on the body, it has been reported to cause a range of serious allergic reactions in certain groups of people. Additionally, if a patient experiences an allergy to Aspirin, it means he/she will not further tolerate the use of Naproxen, Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs.

An allergy to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications is reported to affect more than 1% of the world population.

Besides, one patient out of ten will experience the condition aggravation after NSAID intake (people with asthma). The danger of further complications can increase up to 40% in patients, who have asthma with accompanying nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis.

Peculiarities of Aspirin Allergy

Generally, aspirin allergy features three possible reactions, with each of them having exclusive set of specifications. Sometimes, reactions can overlap, resulting in a wide range of side effects, starting from mild and up to life-threatening.

Three groups of potential reactions include:

• Aspirin-exacerbated urticaria. The condition can develop with or without angioedema. Generally, the symptoms of the condition include hives and swelling, which can aggravate up to life-threatening reactions, such as anaphylaxis.
• Aspirin-exacerbated angioedema/urticaria that is characterized by dermatological signs, such as swelling and hives.
• Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease that leads to the development of asthma and rhinitis.

Additionally, NSAIDs can rarely launch such complications as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, aseptic meningitis and others.

How to Diagnose Aspirin Allergy

A specialized blood test for allergic antibodies can prove allergies to cat dander, pollens or foods. This type of antibody response is not always effective with NSAIDs. Therefore, such allergies are commonly diagnosed presumptively, based on timing and occurrence of the symptoms.

In severe instances, a doctor can recommend an oral challenge test, which will help see the body response to a specific NSAID. However, the procedure should be carried out under thorough supervision of a qualified allergist.

Possible Solutions of Aspirin Allergy

The first step in the treatment of allergy is elimination of NSAID intake, which can even potentially trigger adverse reactions. This is ultimately true for patients, who are extremely hypersensitive. These measures do not only presuppose the stop of Aspirin intake, but all the aspirin-containing tablets and capsules, especially Pamprin, Alka Seltzer, Kaopectate, Doan’s, Pepto-Bismol, Maalox, Vanquish and Sine-Off. Contrary to these treatments, Acetaminophen is considered to be safe, as well as COX-2 inhibitors.

Desensitization of Aspirin

In certain circumstances, a specially adjusted form and dose of aspirin can be useful in overcoming personal hypersensitivity. Such example includes people with severe asthma symptoms, who require a surgery in order to remove nasal polyps. Usually, after the procedure, the doctor will recommend aspirin desensitization to assist people with AERD benefit from aspirin impact.

The main aim of manipulation is eliminate aspirin sensitivity by using individualized, low aspirin doses with gradual increase up to the time the patient can tolerate 650 mg. You need to start and undergo the process only under doctor’s supervision. Consult a professional allergist to ensure you get a safe therapy, which will result in the so much needed relief.

Pet Allergy – Do You Need to Get Rid of Pet Once You Have Noticed the Symptoms of Allergy?

Pet Allergy – Do You Need to Get Rid of Pet Once You Have Noticed the Symptoms of Allergy?

Question: I have noticed I am allergic to my pet. Does it mean I need to get rid of my favorite dog or cat? Is there any alternative solution, since I want to keep the pet?

What Does Allergy to Pet Mean?

Definitely, the moment you have learnt about the pet allergy you have, you feel disappointed and anxious. Do you need to get rid of the pet?

There are some instances, when people really have to give up their pets because of allergy. However, nowadays there are too many effective methods of reduction and controlling the signs of allergy, so you may not need to part way with your friend.

Many patients can still keep animals in their homes, even if they cause allergic reactions. However, there are too many things for it to work out. Avoidance techniques and other measures allow keeping pets even inside the house.

Realistic Point of View on Keeping the Pet with Allergy

Once you have decided to keep your pet, you need to realize that the symptoms of the condition will continue anyway. You will have higher chances to minimize them, but some of them will regularly bother you.

Definite symptoms of the allergy you experience may determine how realistic it is to keep the animal. Once you have only minor adverse reactions, such as itchy eyes or runny nose, you can cope with the problem. Nevertheless, it can become a bigger problem for people, who have serious asthma associated with pet dander.

Therefore, there are many pros and cons of leaving a pet, as well as yes and no questions you need to answer before making a decision. Moreover, it is always a personal choice based on severity of symptoms and extent they can be controlled.

How to Decrease Exposure to Pet Allergens with Avoidance Techniques

Below you can read a list of effective avoidance techniques, which will help you decrease exposure to pet allergens and reduce the symptoms. They include the following:

1. Vacuum regularly with a special HEPA-equipped vacuum cleaner.
2. Wide down the pet with baby wipes or wet cloth on a daily basis.
3. Make sure your animal is neutered. Neutering male cats and dogs decreases their production of allergens.
4. Keep the pet in the garage or inside the house, but in an uncarpeted area. Mind the climate of that place and whether the conditions are suitable for the type and breed of the pet.
5. Bathe the animal minimum 1-2 times a week. Some cats and dogs carry considerable dislike to bath time, so do it cautiously to avoid scratches and bites.
6. Take the pet out of the bedroom. Close the door and all the air vents leading to that room.
7. Buy a HEPA room air cleaner to use in the bedroom and other frequently visited parts of the house.

Clean the House to Remove Dander (Necessary Even after the Animal is Gone)

Once the above mentioned measures are of no help, you may need to say goodbye to your friend, especially if you are diagnosed with uncontrolled asthma. Even if you have got rid of the pet, the allergen may persist for months within your home. Clean the house thoroughly to avoid negative influence:

• Vacuum all the floors;
• Steam clean upholstered furniture and carpets;
• Replace heater vent filters and air conditioner;
• Launder all curtains and bedding;
• Wide down the furniture and hard surfaces;
• Clean the vents (ensure your dryer vent is cleaned. Despite it is not related to pets and allergies, it is a considerable cause of home fires. Additionally, dryer vents tend to collect more lint, especially if there is an animal in the house).

Conclusion about Having a Pet and Allergy

People, who are allergic to home pets, especially the ones with asthma are not likely to keep their animals, irrespective of the measures they will take. However, a few simple steps may allow you to leave your small friend around and feel comfortable together. Make sure you have a proper allergy medication and Kleenex at hand.

Personal Sensitivity to Exotic Animals

Personal Sensitivity to Exotic Animals

It’s not strange that the vast majority of people have never heard about allergies to non-traditional pets. The tendency to buy exotic pets and originally undomesticated animals has developed within the last few years. From snakes and ferrets up to pigs and rabbits, the increase in allergies associated with pets is related both with the way we live and the way our animals do. Definitely, due to the increasing number of people living in small apartments, the likelihood of allergy occurrence is constantly growing. It is mainly related to the limited space for pets and their owners.

Generally, people tend to divide animals into more and less “allergy-causing” ones. However, it is not always true.
The certain fact, we know for sure, is that the signs of pet allergies include asthma and rhinitis (both for traditional pets, like cats and dogs, and exotic animals). Additionally, the allergens, which are considered to be the cause of allergy, differ a little from animal to animal.

Way Pet Allergy Begins

Daily exposure to domestic animals, peculiarly in urban environment can advance personal sensitivity to pet-related allergens. An overwhelming majority of them are airborne particles we breathe in. As a result, the organism mounts an immune response that can either produce the outward symptoms or not.

However, in certain instances, repeated exposure can trigger more dangerous response, when histamine and other substances are released into the body and produce severe side effects.

Types of Allergens Related to Uncommon and Exotic Pets

According to the statistics, around 10.6% of the US householders own non-traditional or specialty pets. They can be various, including mammals (monkeys, rabbits, pigs or ferrets), rodents (jerboas, rats or chinchillas), reptiles, exotic birds, spiders or amphibians.

Contrary to the standard belief, the main cause of pet allergies is not hair, but dander. The shed cells of animals contain allergens in the form of secretion and dried saliva from sebaceous glands within the skin. Though the differences in composition in one animal to another varies greatly, the protein family, which comprises all the allergens, can originate just from three potential families, including:

• Secretoglobins, which are classified as the most severe allergens in cats, though can be found in other pets as well.
• Serum albumin is originally associated with mammals and serves a cause for around 20-30% of all pet-related allergies.
• Lipocalin is related to vertebrates and invertebrates. The substance can be easily dispersed in closed environment, such as an apartment.

It proves that even though the animal can be exclusive and ultimately unique, the source of allergy can be rather trivial.

What Can I Do with Pet Allergy?

To make sure the symptoms of your allergy are truly related to your pet, consult a healthcare provider and undergo a special allergy test. Despite it will not specify the exact animal or breed, which has triggered the reaction, you will learn if it is your pet that causes the allergy.

Keep in mind that having an allergy does not presuppose getting rid of the pet. Instead, you can take several measures to warn or minimize the signs of the problem.

Once you own a caged pet, like rabbit or ferret, you need to keep it outdoors most of the time. Regular cleaning of the cage with rubber gloves can decrease allergen influence. Wash your hands with antiseptic soap after the manipulations with the cage.

Bathe your pet regularly to prevent dander transformation into airborne. A bedside air filter is another solution, which can contribute to the overall beneficial effect.

If you plan to purchase a pet, schedule an appointment with a professional allergist to check possible allergic reactions you have. It will help you eliminate the headache and heartache related to buying a pet which makes you sick and getting rid of it.

Importance of Hypoallergenic Pets

Importance of Hypoallergenic Pets

Pet allergy, especially to cats and dogs, is becoming more and more common in the US. According to the latest statistics, about 5% of dog owners and 17% of cat owners have different allergic reactions to their own pets. They’re quite reluctant to get rid of their dogs and cats, because they’re viewed as their family members, even if their presence means worsening of allergy symptoms.

What about Hypoallergenic Cats and Dogs?

It’s very common for people to gather more information about hypoallergenic cats and dogs, because pet allergies are so widespread. What do their mean? Such pets mean that they would produce less allergen, so they would cause fewer annoying allergy symptoms compared to standard cats and dogs. As a result of some poorly designed tests and studies, people used to believe that particular dog breeds were hypoallergenic. As an example, they included dogs with a single coat instead of the double one and with fur instead of common hair. These breeds include schnauzers, poodles, Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus and some others.

Early studies and tests also proved that Can F 1, which is a major dog allergen, was found in lower amounts when collected from these dog breeds. However, the latest research determined that there’s no difference in its amount, regardless of the dog breed that lives in a house (whether it’s hypoallergenic or not).

Fel D1 is a major cat allergen, and it’s found in all feline types, including tigers, lions, domesticated cats and other wild cats. According to different studies, there’s no cat breed that is less allergenic than others. Another interesting fact is that the length of their hair or its complete lack doesn’t make any difference in the amount of allergen produced by cats.

When it comes to a scientific point of view, there are many technological advances that forced different companies, including Allerca Lifestyle Pets, to introduce unique hypoallergenic and genetically altered pets for sale. The official website of this company claims that its cats and dogs have one naturally occurring and rare gene mutation that eliminates and reduces the ability of pets to generate major allergens.

According to this company, there are some studies that prove that people with cat allergies don’t experience any symptoms when they’re exposed to hypoallergenic cats. The only drawback is that Allerca pets cost a lot of money, but they may still offer a new way for people with pet allergies to own cats and dogs without the necessity to take special medicines or feel miserable.


Different Ways to Make Cats and Dogs Less Allergenic

Many patients with cat and dog allergies make a decision to keep their pets, but they start searching for effective ways to relieve their symptoms. Based on recent studies, there are certain cat characteristics that make these animals produce either less or more allergen.

Only neutering male cats can result in a considerable decrease in the amount of cat allergen of all the other characteristics studied. It’s worth noting that spaying female cats don’t have any effect on their allergen levels. The amount of time that cats spend indoors and their hair length have no effect on these levels.

Everything is different with dogs. Studies have established different characteristics that can affect the amount of allergens, especially where dogs spend a lot of their time. Keeping them only in one part of the house, like kitchen, decreases allergen levels compared to dogs that run all over the house. Making them stay only outdoors also reduced the allergen amount.

Allergies to Different Dog Breeds

Allergies to Different Dog Breeds

It may seem strange, but it’s possible for people to be allergic only to specific dog breeds. Some of them are even hypoallergenic, which means that such dogs are less dangerous and cause fewer allergic symptoms. Some of the main allergens that people are sensitive to is dog albumin, a certain protein in the blood, and Can F 1 that comes from dog saliva.

Besides, there are differences in basic characteristics of these dog allergens between breeds, and they result in people who develop allergies to some breeds, while being resistant to others. This concept is quite different from hypoallergenic dogs, which is linked to the amount of this allergen produced by specific breeds.

A variety of dog breeds is so great that accurate allergy tests are required to test for different dog allergens with 5 or more breeds and deliver the right diagnosis. For example, the Labrador retriever of your neighbor may make you sneeze without control, while your German Shepard doesn’t induce any sniffle.

Allergy-Friendly Canine Breeds

If you have any allergic reactions to dogs, and you want to adopt a pet, think about the one that has less fur or produces less saliva. Some of the most common allergy-friendly breeds include the following:

• Maltese and Shih Tzu;
• Schnauzers and Lhasa Apso;
• Poodles and miniature Poodles;
• Kerry Blue Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier;
• Portuguese Water Dog and Irish Water Spaniel;
• Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

Effective Methods to Decrease Allergens in Dogs

If you suffer from dog allergies and you need to visit a dog or you already have this pet at home, the good news is that there are effective ways to decrease a risk of developing any reaction.

Allergy medicines and shots help people control their allergy symptoms, but there are other proactive measures that can be taken. It’s advisable to bathe dogs on a weekly basis, remove dander carried by pets and wipe them down with wet wipe each day. If your allergic symptoms persist, have good cleaning to get rid of any allergens shed by your dog. Try special HEPA filters to trap them all.

Comparing Cat and Dog Allergies

Although allergens differ according to dog breeds, these differences don’t exist between cat breeds. Fel D 1 is a major cat allergen, and it’s the same for all cat breeds and other feline family members, like tigers and lions.