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Red eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion after bringing a pet cat. Do we get asthma as allergy reaction to cat ?

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Hello, My question is the following. A couple of months ago my fiance and I got a cat, the first day I had an allergic reaction immediately, red eyes, sneezing and nasal congestion. After she washed the cat I took anti-allergic meds for a some days, after that I stopped the medication and all my symptoms were gone until a week or so ago, my throat it sore, after doing some research online I found out that you can get asthma if you have an allergic reaction to cats, I don't think I have most of the asthma symptoms, but sometimes I feel lack of breath (barely noticeable) and nasal congestion. I would like to know your opinion, after living with the cat for so long, why are the symptoms showing up until now? is that possible? o am I just over reacting to a regular cold? can I become "inmune" to my cat allergy? I appreciate your time and answer.
Posted Tue, 12 Jun 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 5 hours later

I am a medical specialist with qualified sub specialist in Cardiology. Thank you for writing in. I read your question in detail.

Allergies to cat is well known phenomenon, facts as you might have seen online: saliva and hair being the culprit. The major point against it is when the cat was washed and groomed, you did not have ANY allergic symptoms (I am considering even mild lack of breath and nasal congestion which occurred later as also forme fruste of severer form allergy like Asthma).

Therefore, my feeling is one should keep in mind that even if you don't have an actual cat allergy, your cat can still indirectly cause your allergies to flare up. Outside cats can bring in pollen, mold, and other allergens on their fur. So, assign that cleaning and washing the cat as was done in the first instance can tell you it is what cat brings or cat's own saliva & hair as the source of allergy. You can then consult a doctor about medication and keep cat as pet. Last point if you wear a face & nose mask and gloves while washing nothing will happen even if you are allergic.

With Best Wishes

Dr Anil Grover
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