Mayo Clinic

Cat Allergies Cure

Millions of people are affected by cat allergies, which cause the body to react inappropriately to the proteins found in a cat’s dander or saliva. Cat allergies manifest most often with symptoms similar to hay fever: sneezing, coughing, eye irritation and runny nose. More rarely, cat allergies can act as the primary trigger for asthma and related conditions. Fortunately, immunotherapy can offer a reliable long-term cure for pet allergies and other allergies.

Allergen Immunotherapy

Allergen immunotherapy is the only reliable method for permanently eliminating any form of allergy. Because it requires long-term commitment and some degree of risk, immunotherapy is generally used only when allergy medicines have failed and the patient is unable to avoid the allergen. Some people with cat allergies pursue immunotherapy, especially if they have other allergies.

In clinical environments, immunotherapy typically involves the use of “allergy shots,” which contain small amounts of allergy-producing proteins. Over time, desensitization therapy can “train” the immune system to stop responding to allergens, including pet dander.

Allergy Cure Process

According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, cat allergy desensitization includes two phases: a buildup phase and a maintenance phase. Immunotherapy may take many years to desensitize cat allergy sufferers, depending on the severity of the allergy and the presence of other allergens. It is a process that requires dedication from both the patient and the treating physician.

The first phase of cat allergy desensitization involves shots given once or twice weekly. Over the course of three to six months, the amount of cat dander in the allergy shot is gradually increased. Thereafter, the patient must get maintenance shots every four weeks for at least three years. Some cat allergy sufferers may require a lifetime of maintenance shots.

Drawbacks and Side Effects

Unfortunately, immunotherapy can not provide instant relief from cat allergies–it is a process that requires years of dedication. Many people who suffer from cat allergies find it easier to avoid potential triggers than to undergo years of desensitization and painful injections.

Allergy shots are also associated with numerous side effects and risks. The Mayo Clinic reports that the injections frequently result in localized pain, swelling and inflammation. Less often, patients experience hives and congestion following the shot. In rare circumstances, some allergy suffers have severe (anaphalactic) reactions that require emergency treatment.