I have a cat allergy. Am I only affected by it if I breathe in cat dander? Do I have to avoid contact at all cost? I was wondering if wearing a N95 mask around my cat will prevent my allergic reaction.
I am sorry to hear about your cat allergy. The major cat allergens are in the dander, saliva, and urine. So contact with the cat has the potential to cause itchy skin or even localized hives. The more likely symptoms are going to be respiratory. If you have asthma, living with a cat may worsen asthma. If you do not have asthma, the most likely symptoms will be nasal and or eye symptoms. I would guess the most common symptoms would be postnasal drip and chronic nasal congestion. This can worsen at night. Cat allergens are very “light” and “sticky” so they can stay airborne in your home for long periods of time. They can stick to carpet and furniture. So wearing an N95 would only be helpful if you wore it the entire time you are in your house. A better option would be to discuss treatment options with a board-certified allergist. This may include mediation and/or allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots).
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