This may not always be the case, but pet dander affects your lungs. You read that correctly. Not only can pet dander cause itchy eyes and a runny nose, but pet dander can potentially be harmful to your respiratory system. According to the American Lung Association, this can “lead to a decline in the ability of the lungs to function.” Make sure that you and your loved ones are safe, especially during this time of year when everyone is indoors more and more susceptible to indoor allergens.
What is pet dander? The Mayo Clinic sums it up like this: “pet allergies are triggered by exposure to the dead flakes of skin (dander) a pet sheds. Any animal with fur can be a source of pet allergies. Pet allergies are most commonly associated with cats and dogs.” That means those dead flakes of skin are getting everywhere: the carpet, the bed, the couch, and even into the atmosphere.
How can I reduce the effects of pet dander? You’re probably thinking that you don’t want to get rid of your pet, but you also don’t want to live in agony for too long. Don’t worry. There are solutions that’ll let you take care of both. Here’s a list of things you can do to keep your pet and help your lungs at the same time:
Get rid of the carpets – they trap in pet dander and other allergens
Wash your pet on a regular basis
Keep pets out of your bedroom
Receive an allergy test and start at-home immunotherapy
If pet dander affects your lungs, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with specialists at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center. Our Allergist in Little Rock can test for allergies and make the best recommendation for you and your family.