Allergies to cats: symptoms and causes
Allergies in children to cats are one of the most common types of allergies. Many people mistakenly think that it is the animal’s hair that is to blame, but this is not so! We will talk about what causes allergies to cats in a child, about possible symptoms, types of reactions and solutions to this problem in the article.
Cat Allergy: Causes
Indeed, the allergy to cats is not to blame for the hair of the animal. The main cause and catalyst for allergies are proteins – Fel D4 and Fel D1. These proteins are found in the saliva of cats, skin epithelium, and also in excrement.
For this reason, getting a sphynx cat or shaving your pet is not an option. Such measures will not solve the problem, since the source of the allergy is not hidden in the animal’s hair.
Symptoms of Cat Allergy
Symptoms of an allergy to cats in a child can manifest themselves in different ways.
This can be redness of the skin, rashes, dryness and peeling on the face, neck and hands. Most often, they are accompanied by itching.
This is the so-called allergic conjunctivitis. It is expressed by pain in the eyes, like sand in them, by burning and swelling of the eyelids and mucous membranes of the eyes. Often these symptoms are accompanied by tearing.
Rhinitis caused by an allergy to cats is usually expressed by swelling of the nasopharynx. This is accompanied by congestion, frequent sneezing, itching and runny nose.
On the part of the breath
Sometimes an allergic reaction can occur with a sore throat, shortness of breath, dry throat and a hoarse voice. Shortness of breath and even bronchial asthma may appear.
Allergic reaction rate
Allergic reactions to both cats and other pathogens differ in the rate of manifestation. So the reaction can be of two types:
Such a reaction manifests itself gradually, increasing. It so happens that your favorite fluffy pet has been living in the family for some time and there are no problems. And only after a long period does an allergic reaction occur. Or, after a long absence from the house in which the cat lives, for example on vacation, the child experiences a reaction to it. In both cases, it is important to visit an allergist who can help you decide whether to leave a pet or not.
This type of reaction is the most dangerous. It manifests itself immediately, immediately after contact with a cat, for example, at a party, in the yard, zoo, circus, etc. In this case, unfortunately, it is necessary to completely limit contact with the furry pet.
Many mothers wonder if a child can develop an allergy to cats. The answer to this question can only be given by an allergist doctor. If children have an allergy with a delayed type reaction, then there is a chance that the problem can go away on its own within a few years. This is due to the fact that over time, the body learns to produce the necessary antibodies that stop the action of the allergen. In this case, this allergen simply stops working.
However, with an allergy, an immediate type reaction from a cat, alas, will have to be abandoned. In any case, a problem such as an allergy to cats requires consultation and supervision by a specialist.