Allergist & Immunologist Questions Allergist-Immunologist

How should I manage my cat allergies?

Hello, I have had my cat for about 4 years, but my allergies towards him have gotten worse recently. I am able to use an antihistamine nasal spray which helps with the runny nose. So the problem left is the wheezing - it’s difficult to breathe. However, I cannot take antihistamine pills for this every day. I am currently on amitriptyline 20mg every day for an unrelated illness. So I’m wondering is there anything I can do to help with the wheezing symptoms without antihistamine pills?

Female | 19 years old

4 Answers

You will need to measure your lung function and find out how obstructed you are. There are good inhaled steroids for the wheezing. Now onto the cat dilemma. You will need to test for cat allergy and find out how sensitive you are. In many cases, the only alternative to having a cat in the house is allergy immunotherapy or allergy shots. The shots do work to decrease your sensitization, but many experts still recommend getting the cat out of the house.

Lynn A. Wiens, MD
Unfortunately, animal allergies can be debilitating. You may get long-term relief by getting immunized (allergy shots).
Wheezing from cat exposure suggests asthma, which would not respond to antihistamine therapy. Contact your PCP or see an allergist.
The start of wheezing with cat allergy means that you now not only have allergic rhinitis, but you have developed allergic asthma. you need to be evaluated by an Allergist/Immunologist who can evaluate your lung function, diagnose your problem, find out if there are other allergies complicating this and prescribe a controller inhaler. In addition you should strongly consider starting Allergy Immunotherapy if you insist on keeping the cat. This will take away your cat allergy instead of just controlling the symptoms by taking more medications.