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raum's avatar

Help! I’m allergic to my friends!

Asked by raum (3842points) 1 month ago from iPhone

Okay, not really. I’m allergic to their pets. But still.

So I wasn’t always allergic to cats and dogs. But for some reason my last pregnancy triggered a bunch of new allergies for me. One of them is pet dander.

I’ve tried taking allergy medication. But I don’t do so well on them. And they don’t seem to work for me either.

The last time they invited us to dinner, I popped some allergy meds. But still had to run home to use an inhaler.

So now I don’t go over to their house anymore. :(

When their daughter comes over for a play date, I get mildly wheezy just from secondary contact.

When my daughter comes back from a play date at their house, it’s even worse.

As soon as she got home, I gave her a plastic bag to change out of her clothes. And asked her to wash her hands.

Even then, as I was reading a bedtime story to her hours later, my eyes started getting puffy and my chest started feeling wheezy. I then asked her to shower, which helped a bit.

But I can’t exactly ask their daughter to shower each time they come over.

Help! What can I do?!

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16 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Unfortunately there’s not a lot you can do. I love cats but am highly allergic and puff and wheeze, especially indoor/outdoor cats. I simply can’t be in the room with them or where they hang out for more than 15 minutes, so I don’t.

janbb's avatar

Would it help to have the play dates be outside at a park with you watching the girls there? It is difficult. Like @KNOWITALL , I have allergies to some cat houses (!) and cannot visit them for long.

It might also be a question of finding an allergy med that helps your symptoms without bad side effects. I have developed seasonal allergies as well in middle age and find that Advil for Cold and Sinuses helps my symptoms without undue negatives. Maybe try several and when you find one, take it as a prophylactic when you are going to be exposed?

One of my daughters in law used to have terrible allergies when she visited us until we got new carpeting upstairs. After that, they moved to France and never come here but that is a radical solution!

zenvelo's avatar

It’s important that you communicate to your friends what is going on. Let them know you want to spend time with them but right now it is difficult.

And talk to your doctor for a reference to an allergist, they may be able to get you an allergy shot that works a month at a time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you take your allergy meds just before they come over?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I also think you should see a allergy specialist.

gondwanalon's avatar

I understand that you are suffering and your medications are of little help. And I’m not a doctor.

You might try “Emotional Freedom Technique”. You can check it out on YouTube. It helped me overcome heart palpitations and relieve stress. I have no idea how it works. I just followed the instructions. Perhaps it has something to do with the brain and nervous system.

Also you might try doing what I do each time that I catch a cold. I refuse to admit that I have a cold. I never mention it to anyone and when someone suggests that I have a cold I simply explain that I feel terrific and I’m sorry for confusing them. By not admitting that I have a cold I don’t suffer as much and I get over the cold faster and I very rarely catch a cold (maybe once every couple of years).

As you think so shall you be. What you think about comes about.

Good health to you!

raum's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s tricky because even if I avoid the actual pets, I still have a reaction just from secondary contact. I picked up my sister (who owns a dog) from the airport, gave her a hug and just that made me wheezy.

@janbb Outdoor play dates is a great idea! I’ll keep the option of moving to France as a last resort.

@zenvelo Yeah. I think that’s the hardest part. I don’t want them to feel bad. And I don’t want my allergies to affect our friendship. :/

I’ve looked into getting a shot. It’s both appealing and scary! Appealing because I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. But scary because I don’t know how I’d react to it. I don’t even take long-lasting allergy meds because I’m wary about if I’ll react poorly to it. Tinnitus, heart palpitations, numbness in my fingers. Usually a sign of peripheral neuropathy. My sister ended up in the ER after taking allergy meds because she wasn’t able to urinate in over 72 hours. Our gene pool and allergy meds don’t do well. :/

@Dutchess_III I wish it were that simple. Haven’t found an allergy med that works for me yet and I’ve tried several.

@Hawaii_Jake Yeah. I really do need to see an allergist. But wheezing after playdates is actually not the highest health priority at the moment. Other more pressing matters before I get to seeing an actual allergist. Hoping for some strategies to tide me over until then.

@gondwanalon There are definitely techniques to redirect anxiety. I’m glad to hear you’ve found one that works for you. Though not sure this would work for an allergic reaction!

raum's avatar

And to make matters worse, I don’t have the same reaction to all cats and dogs. Some dogs will have me gasping for air. While other dogs I could be perfectly fine with. And I can’t tell which ones are which ones.

I happen to have another friend who has a dog. I didn’t tell her I was allergic and she happened to bring her dog to meet me for a walk. I figured it might be okay since we were outside, so we went on a walk. At first I was giving her a wide berth. But after awhile, I didn’t feel any tickling in my lungs. So I even pet her and seemed totally fine.

So walking with my friend. And enjoying being around her dog. Because I actually really like dogs and miss being around them after my allergies.

Well…on said walk we run into my other friend whose dogs I am most definitely allergic to. Now I feel bad because I don’t want her to think I’m lying about being allergic to her dogs.

Sigh.

Inspired_2write's avatar

The real problem is the cats and or dogs are not healthy and require a vet to check them out. Some dandruff is actually caused by there food diets ,over bathing the cats /dogs, not using the correct shampoo type for this condition,parasites, liver disease as well as numerous other deceases that show dandruff as a symptom.
Online there are several articles outlining these reasons, sometimes its the owners using incorrect products, and or foods.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@raum Sorry, that would suck so much. My Teddy is hypoallergenic, but my black lab gets me a little wheezy sometimes still.

Is it the pollen and things from outside or the animal itself?

After a fresh bath, can you be around them easier?

raum's avatar

@Inspired_2write That’s interesting. And would be totally helpful to know if I were the owner. I just don’t think it would go over too well if I tried to suggest that my allergies were due to my friend not taking care of her pets properly.

@KNOWITALL That’s a huge bummer. Black labs are my favorite kind of breed. Have always wanted to get one once the kids were older. Really hoping I figure out my allergy issues before then.

I can be around my daughter easier after she takes a shower. Or did you mean the pet?

si3tech's avatar

It sounds like you have serious allergies. Have you seen an allergist? Do you have/need an emergency pack of some kind to use as a rescue for severe symptoms. Epi-pen comes to mind but that may not be what you need. But with your eyelids puffing you may be nearing an anaphylactic response. Not a doctor here. Good luck. That must be so so discouraging. God Bless.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@raum Maybe send a present of suitable allergy free shampoo for the cat and a pamphlet on how to curtail allergies? Or call a vet and ask about this and what they recommend as to the cause of your allergies from her cats?

janbb's avatar

@Inspired_2write I would be pretty offended if the mother of a friend of my daughter tried to tell me how to care for my pet.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@janbb That’s why I suggested that they talk with a vet on how to approach this problem.
Maybe give a free sample? If the friendship is well connected then they could talk about it without offending?

Inspired_2write's avatar

Cat Allergy Tips
Here are some other tips that you can try to keep your home allergen free:

Since most allergens are floating in the air you breathe, make sure that the ventilation of your house provided you with enough source of fresh air.

You can also install HEPA air filters to make clean out the air that circulates in your home.

Use washable carpets only. Vacuum them at least twice a week and wash them every weekend. If possible, remove all the carpets in your home and use wooden or linoleum flooring.

If you really want to keep your cat, his or her home should be outside your house. Provide him with a cozy space on your garden, garage, or yard. Make sure that it has enough water and food. Train your cat not to come in your house until you bring him in.
From allergysymptoms.com site
I think that the Hepa filter may be a good choice.

Before you bring your cat in your house, bathe it first using a specialized cat shampoo that can reduce the amount of allergens that are present in the exterior of your cat’s body.
After bathing, brush and groom your cat to ensure that it is well cleaned. If you experience allergic reactions while cleaning your cat, you should request someone to do this chore for you. Your cat should never get close to upholstered furniture and sheets for these items are very conducive to the storage of dust and allergens.

JUST offering suggestions, hope that this helps uyou solve your problems with cats?

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