Rhinitis, sneezing, watery eyes: millions of people in Germany suffer from animal hair allergies. A clinical picture that should definitely be taken seriously. After all, long-lasting symptoms can seriously damage your bronchial tubes. Our doctors at Avi Medical will help you with the long-term treatment of your allergy at all our locations.
Animal hair allergy, like all allergies, is an unfounded defence reaction of the body to supposedly dangerous, foreign particles. The body marks these as "danger" (antigen) on serious contact and then fights them in a similar way to harmful viruses or bacteria .
This means that it forms immune cells (antibodies) to eliminate the supposed pathogen. The result: The next time the body comes into contact with the allergens, it has an excessive immune reaction, which is intended to quickly remove the intruders from the organism. This includes well-known symptoms such as a runny nose or sneezing .
Good to know: Animal hair allergy belongs to the upper group of allergic rhinitis, i.e. diseases that irritate the nose. If this irritation is accompanied by irritation of the conjunctiva, doctors call it allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.
Unlike hay fever, which is seasonal , pet dander allergy is considered perennial and can occur all year round.
The presence of an animal hair allergy is usually diagnosed by a specialist by means of a so-called prick and intradermal test. This test can exclude the possibility that the pathological reaction of the body is due to other causes (such as an infection).
In the test, allergenic particles are applied to or under the skin of potential allergy sufferers. If the skin reacts with redness or wheals after twenty minutes, an allergy is diagnosed.
The prick and intradermal test is particularly suitable for type 1 allergies, the so-called "immediate type reactions", as these cause immediate symptoms.
An alternative to this form of diagnosis is the detection of elevated IgE antibodies (immunoglobulins E) in the blood. These substances help the organism to fight off foreign substances.
The triggers of an animal hair allergy are specific, objectively harmless allergens, such as animal hair, which are marked by the body as dangerous pathogens.
Typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
If it is allergic conjunctivitis, there will also be other symptoms:
The first step in treating an acute pet dander allergy is to take antihistamines and steroids (cortisone), which suppress the body's immune response in the short term. These are available as a nasal spray, eye drops or tablets.
If this symptomatic therapy does not alleviate your symptoms sufficiently or if you also have asthma, an allergen immunotherapy will follow.
For further diagnostics and to clarify whether you are a candidate for immunotherapy, we will gladly refer you to a specialist.