Pet allergy symptoms appear during or shortly after exposure to the animal. Allergies to pets, particularly to cats and dogs, are a common cause of allergic disease, including asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).These symptoms may linger long after the animal is gone. This is because the dander remains in the air, on furniture or on your clothing. The allergy results in: Sneezing, Itchy, watery eyes, Runny nose, Congestion. Additionally, contact with a pet may trigger skin allergy symptoms including itchy skin or raised, red patches (hives). Pets can also trigger asthma symptoms, causing wheezing, difficulty breathing or chest tightness.
The most effective way to manage pet and other allergic rhinitis symptoms is to avoid the allergen(s) causing the symptoms. Antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, Benadryl, or Zyrtec and other over-the-counter allergy medications may help relieve symptoms, but they are not ideal as a long-term treatment. Decongestants, which reduce swelling in the nose and relieve congestion; examples are over-the-counter Sudafed and Allegra-D. Other drugs, which affect allergy or asthma symptoms in different ways; prescription steroids -- such as Flonase or Nasonex sprays -- are a common treatment for allergies. Both Flonase and Nasonex are available over the counter and by prescription. Allergy shots have a proven track record as an effective form of long-term treatment (immunotherapy).
Allergies need to become a medical discipline in Hong Kong. Government and many other organizations are undertaking several projects.
Allergy incidence in Hong Kong is somewhere in the middle of the international league table. But unlike most established urban centres, in Hong Kong it appears to be rising - something the city's medical services might increasingly struggle to cope with, given that there's no formal medical training for allergy specialists here. Allergies affect up to 40 per cent of people globally, according to the World Health Organisation, and the rate is on the rise, particularly in industrialised nations. They occur when the body mistakes a normally benign substance for a toxic one, triggering the release of an antibody called immunoglobulin which affects white blood cells, provoking an inflammatory response.