Please help -- can a dust mite allergy lead to a cat allergy? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 4 Old 01-27-2009, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted here before about my son's runny/stuffy nose. He's had it for about two weeks now, and we got a cat about a week ago. So while he did have a cold and might still have a cold, I wondered if it could be the cat, since his symptoms have only gotten worse, not better.

I had him tested at an allergist's today, and he came up negative for cats but positive for dust mites. And the allergist said he couldn't guarantee that a dust mite allergy wouldn't lead to a cat allergy.

We just got this cat a week ago, and my son is kind of meh about him. He's a sweet animal, but not a beloved family pet. I'm wondering if this could be a problem. And is there any connection to dust mites and cat fur?

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#2 of 4 Old 01-28-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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I'm curious where you live. Usually dust allergies present when the house is closed up. I live in CT, so my kids start their dust allergies in late October. My DD1 has a dust and cat allergy. I don't know which came first. One October she started the constant runny nose and throat clearing. Doctor had her doing Zyrtec. After about a year, I said "Can we test her so that I know what it I'm dealing with so I can just avoid it if possible?" So they said to go off the Zyrtec for a week. The night before the test, she went to my father's house (2 cats, 1 dog). Her eyes were so red, and she was sneezing non-stop, when I picked her up a couple hours later. I felt HORRIBLE. I had no idea she'd have a cat allergy (even though DH has allergy-induced asthma). So what does she end up with -- horrible cat and dust allergies. So we did all the anti-dust things in her room (roman shades instead of heavy dusty curtains, encased her mattress and pillows, took out all the stuffed animals, etc.) and now she really only needs the Zyrtec if we go to a "cat house" and we avoid it if at all possible because even on the Zyrtec, she gets itchy eyes within a couple horus and starts sneezing if she puts on any clothes that were stored in the house (learned that one the hard way). I've never heard of a dust allergy "turning into" a cat allergy. It's not like they're related. But maybe you could google it. It just seems curious that it started when you got the cat, unless you closed up the house at the same time.

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#3 of 4 Old 01-28-2009, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're in Wisconsin, so our house has been closed up for a while now. My son *did* have a cold before we got the cat, though.

But then I found this article discussing a study that showed increased allergic responses to cat allergens even among those without a confirmed cat allergy. So now I'm wondering if it would be prudent to get rid of the cat before we're attached to it. Sigh.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#4 of 4 Old 01-28-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by New Mama View Post
We're in Wisconsin, so our house has been closed up for a while now. My son *did* have a cold before we got the cat, though.

But then I found this article discussing a study that showed increased allergic responses to cat allergens even among those without a confirmed cat allergy. So now I'm wondering if it would be prudent to get rid of the cat before we're attached to it. Sigh.
That's really interesting. I wonder if it's because there's something about the cat dander that binds the other allergens together to make a more likely reaction. Even on all the asthma meds, DH can't breathe within 2 hours of being in a house with a cat (even a house that got rid of a cat up to 2 months before) no matter how "clean" that house is. He starts wheezing and saying it feels like an elephant is on his chest. Even though DD1 just sneezes and gets itchy eyes from cats, I severely limit her exposure to them because I don't want hers becoming something worse. So I guess I'd say if he had the dust allergy but it was okay before the cat, I'd choose the kid over the cat. I know there are people who don't feel that way (my father's girlfriend for one) and it's a decision that everyone has to make for themselves.

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