Developing allergies later in life

I think I’m allergic to cats.

cat allergies, cat dander, nasal spray, saline spray, allergy relief

Some adults may find they become allergic to their furry friends later in life.

I know I’m not alone but what is strange is that I’m in my mid-40’s and have never had any trouble with felines – at least not the sneezing and sniffles trouble.

This realization came last week while taking care of our neighbors’ cat while they were away on vacation. They were gone for a week and their normally aloof cat suddenly wanted my company. I was happy to oblige until my nose started itching, I began sneezing and I even felt my throat close up.

Fortunately, I have an herbal-enhanced nasal spray that I use daily. I don’t have any chronic sinus problems but I find that regular use of the saline spray helps keep my sinuses clear and refreshed for when I am exposed to airborne pollutants.

The saline nasal spray helped immediately by rinsing out the dander so that I could tolerate cuddling with him until the neighbors came home.

Now, I have lived with dogs for most of my life and, thankfully, do not experience any discomfort other than when our dog spends time outside during allergy season and gets pollen in her fur. One of my roommates even had a cat but that was more than 20 years ago and I haven’t been exposed to a feline for extended periods of time since.

A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that the risk of cat dander allergies is lower if you had a cat as a child. It also found that if you have other preexisting allergies to other substances, it increases the risk of cat allergies.

Other recent studies have indicated the same that when children are exposed to potential allergens at an early age, they are likely to build up immunities that prevent allergic reactions.

Since my neighbors are now home, I’m pretty sure the cat will resume his aloof behavior so I won’t need to see additional insight from my medical practitioner.

Still it was eye-opening to learn that adults can develop allergies and that recognizing it and acting quickly can be the best way to avoid discomfort.

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