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    Looking for help with my animal allergy
    catne17 posted:
    In this day and age where people are losing their jobs, I was lucky enough to find one working for a wonderful elderly gentleman out of his home. Unfortunately, he who owns a cat and I am highly allergic to them. I do not handle the cat but the dander is around. I take antihistimines before I go along with a primatene tablet and my inhaler when I need it. When I return home I change my clothes and shower. I have only been working with him for 3 weeks but my symptoms are getting worse. I do not have medical insurance. Before I take the drastic steps in leaving my job, I am hoping others who also have the same allergy will share their ideas and remedies that have helped them. Thank you.
    Gregory M Metz, MD responded:
    Sorry to hear about your cat reactions. Do you have nasal symptoms? How is your breathing when you are there? Pre-treating with anithistamines can be helpful. Is it possible to wear a mask while you are there to limit your cat allergen exposure?
    sgbl88 responded:
    Hello, and welcome to the community.

    You didn't mention sinus rinses. You can purchase a NielMed bottle for around $12 at most pahrmacies. NielMed is the only rinse bottle I know of. Most of us here prefer the bottle over the neti pot because you get a slightly stronger flow that helps clear away more of the gunk. You can use the bottle a few times a day (up to 5) while you are working. I would recommend that last one be done after your shower at night.

    What antihistamine are you taking? Most of us don't find benadryl very effective and you have to keep taking it every four hours. We most prefer Zyrtec (generic is available as well). It costs more than benadryl, but you only take one a day.

    Lastly, there is one over the counter nose spray you can use, NasalCrom. It will have to be used every 4 hours, but it would be better than quitting your job.

    If you could swing a doctor's visit and get some scripts for nasal sprays they would be much more effective for you. There might be a free clinic in your area you could go to. I know our smaller city has at least 2. The doctor should be able to help you with assistence programs for any medication he prescribes. Assistence programs are bountiful right now.

    Take care and feel better.
    catne17 replied to Gregory M Metz, MD's response:
    Yes, sneezing and a runny nose. And I have taken antihistamines before hand but they only help just so much. My breathing gets worse the longer I am there. Someone else suggested to me that I wear a mask. Any special type I should purchase?
    catne17 replied to sgbl88's response:
    Thank you so much for your suggestions. It isn't so much the sneezing that bothers me. To me that is the least of it. The asthma is the worst of all of the symptoms. I did make a Doctors appointment for tomorrow and hopefully he can help me further.

    I have taken Benadryl and it has not help me either. I have taken Zyrtex, Claritan, etc. but it does very little if anything for the asthma. I have taken a Primatene tablet before I go and it does help but find I still sometimes need my inhaler.

    I will ask the Doctor about a nasal spray and hopefully he can offer more options regarding my breathing. thank you so much for your help and suggestions.
    Aqua14 replied to catne17's response:
    The kind of mask you want is one rated N95. The "95" means that the mask screens out 95% of particles. 3M makes some good durable ones, and you can find them at the hardware store as they are often used by people doing woodworking, grinding or sanding. They are reusable. I used to use them while vacuuming or dusting or gardening, and they work really well to protect your airways from allergens.

    I think you would still want to take an antihistamine beforehand as well as a couple of puffs of your inhaler. If your eyes are affected, there are some good OTC antihistamine eye drops out there (Zaditor, Alaway) that you could use.

    Hopefully this will work for you. Take care and good luck. Judy

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