Superior Air Duct Cleaning: What is Pet Dander?
Most everyone has heard of pet dander. If you want to share your life with pets and you also suffer from allergies, dander has likely caused you some sneezing — or worse. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes that between 15 and 30 percent of allergy sufferers experience an adverse reaction to pet dander. But what exactly is pet dander and how does it affect health? In today’s blog, the professionals at Superior Air Duct Cleaning take a closer look.
What is Pet Dander?
At Superior Air Duct Cleaning, we are experts on pet dander. Pet dander is composed of tiny flecks of skin shed by cats and dogs or any animal with fur or feathers. But that’s not all. Even animals with short hair and those classified as “hairless” produce dander and release it into the environment. These bits of skin can trigger reactions in allergy sufferers. Dander, in fact, isn’t the only issue allergy sufferers have to worry about. Dried saliva containing allergens can flake off from an animal’s coat and become airborne. When inhaled by an allergic person, problems begin.
Pet Allergens Tend to Stick Around
Pet allergens are very lightweight and small — much smaller, in fact, than other common allergens such as dust mites. Not only are pet allergens microscopic but they also have a jagged shape, allowing them to stick to furniture, fabrics, and bedding. Because of their ability to stick to nearly anything, they can very easily be carried in and out of the home. Dander is easily carried to public places like schools and grocery stores, and can even be found in homes that have no pets.
Are Some Pets Worse Than Others?
Cats are kept in about 27 percent of homes in the United States and dogs are kept in about 32 percent. However, statistics show that more people are allergic to cats. In fact, twice as many people report cat allergies as compared to dogs. More specifically, people tend to be allergic to female cats more than males. Research indicates that male cats produce less specific allergens than female cats. The reason for this is not known.
What Are the Health Effects?
The concentrations of an allergen required to cause a reaction vary greatly among individuals. Some may experience only minor issues such as sneezing or watery eyes. Others may have asthma that is triggered by pet allergens. For these people, breathing animal allergens can make respiratory symptoms worse and decrease lung function.
How to Control Pet Allergens
One way to protect indoor air quality for pet allergy sufferers is to not have pets in the home. For those who don’t see this as an option, keep pets out of the bedrooms of allergy and asthma sufferers. Also, try to keep the pets off of furniture and try not to let dust accumulate.
Let Superior Air Duct Cleaning Help
The pros at Superior Air Duct Cleaning know you love your pets, even if they make you sneeze from time to time. Superior Air Duct Cleaning also knows that your home’s air ducts can become littered with pet dander, which then blows throughout your house. You and your pets can breathe easier, however, after a thorough residential air duct cleaning. Contact us today to see how we can help.