When you are asthmatic, the greatest concern arises regarding pet ownership. For example, if I have asthma, can I have a cat? The first thing to know to answer this question is the type of trigger that causes the asthma attack.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we address the topic of this respiratory condition from the perspective of pets, the real reason for owning animals when asthmatic, and ways to address its effects.
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asthma or allergy
Asthma is a disease or disorder that affects the airways. People with asthma suffer from swelling and narrowing of the airways, which causes shortness of breath. In addition, it causes a characteristic hiss during the intake of air and a constant cough.
The causes that provoke asthma are not identified in a hundred percent. There is a greater probability of suffering from asthma in families where there is this type of history, also in people who have suffered other constant respiratory diseases and who have not been well treated, such as cases of bronchitis , acute flu, pneumonia , etc.
Despite this, specialists have been able to detect the triggers of asthmatic attacks, which are the situations that put patients at greater risk. It is considered an attack when asthma symptoms worsen and the inflammation of the airways makes it partially or totally impossible to pass air. If the crisis is not treated correctly and immediately, it can be fatal.
Are Cats an Asthma Trigger?
There are three common types of asthma:
- Occupational: related to conditions that have to do with working life. For example, constant exposure to dust, toxic substances, gases, etc.
- By exercise: in this case, the seizures are generated by excessive physical effort, which is mainly related to exercise or training.
- Last and most common, allergic asthma. In this type of asthma, symptoms are increased by exposure to allergen triggers, which by nature irritate the airways, but in the case of asthmatics, trigger symptoms of attacks.
The most common agents that cause allergic asthma are:
- Substances found in the environment such as pollen, mold, mites.
- Respiratory diseases such as colds.
- Weather changes.
- Polluted air.
- Allergies to certain medications.
- Gastrointestinal reflux.
In the specific case of pets, people prone to allergies are more sensitive to animal dander , as well as to urine, saliva and sweating , which in the case of allergic asthmatics is a trigger for crisis or worsening of the symptom.
I suffer from asthma, can I have a cat?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not the animal’s fur that causes allergies or asthma symptoms. It’s all about the pet’s segregations. Although they can be minimized, it is important to bear in mind that it is a natural condition of the animal, that is, all animals urinate, some sweat more than others and most secrete dander because it is the way to protect their skin and fur.
In the face of constant symptoms of allergies or respiratory conditions, the first step should always be to go to the doctor. An evaluation will help determine the triggers for allergies or asthma attacks, even if it involves pets.
Once the diagnosis and recommendations are in place, there are some steps the owner can take before deciding to find a new home for their pet. The important thing is that these measures are done under medical supervision and approval of the treating physician:
- Take antiallergic drugs. One way to cope with the effects of pet contact allergies is by taking allergy medications. Despite this, it is important to keep a certain distance from the animal, such as kissing it excessively or spending a lot of time hugging it.
- Comply with the medical treatment indicated for asthma. For the treatment of asthma, inhalers are usually prescribed that keep symptoms under control and deal with attacks.
- Get a flu shot. In some cases, this helps reduce the chances of catching the flu or cold.
- Constantly cleaning common areas. Cleanliness is essential in the case of allergy sufferers, especially the area where the pet mostly spends time, such as their bed or space for their needs. Similarly, personal hygiene reduces the effects of triggers, for example, washing hands after playing with the pet.
Recommendations for coexistence between asthmatics and pets
When you have asthma and have decided to have or keep pets, these tips can help you lead a better life:
- Keep your pet out of your bed and room. This way, you prevent triggers from sticking to your bed.
- Bathe your pet regularly. It is not about bathing him every day, but on a regular basis. Another way to keep it clean is to ask a friend or family member to brush it constantly to remove flakes or dandruff.
- Limits your development around the house . If possible, give him space to stay out of it. Otherwise, try to limit its development in places where it may be sensitive to you, such as the kitchen.
- Keep their vaccinations up to date , as well as their vet checkups.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to If I have asthma, can I have a cat? , we recommend that you enter our category of Lung and respiratory tract .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.