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(GETTYIMAGES)If you could snap your fingers and make your allergies disappear, youd probably do it in a second.But what if your pet is the cause of your watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose?Next Page: What to do if youre allergic [ pagebreak ]What to do if youre allergic If an allergy test comes back positive, its decision time: Should you find a new home for your pet?
Vacuuming tends to stir up allergens without necessarily removing them, and can actually increase the number of airborne allergens, even when newer vacuums containing HEPA filters are used.
Although these steps wont eliminate dander altogetherdander is so pervasive that it can be found even in homes that have never had pets, as well as in schools, shopping malls, and other public placeslimiting the pets roaming area will reduce it.
Though their usefulness is debated, other measures may reduce dander further.
Plastic mattress covers help keep dander out of beds, and room air cleaners equipped with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can remove dander from the air.
“In contrast to, say, dust mites, which are heavy and sink quickly to the ground, both cat and dog dander are light and fluffy allergens, and they stay afloat for hours,” says Dr. “HEPA filters can really remove some of that dander from the air.” Replacing carpet with tile or wood floors is also beneficial, since carpets tend to trap dander.