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Worse than just being allergic to my cats

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm allergic to my cats. Thankfully, it is a relatively mild allergy. Now that I have three cats, my eyelids are perpetually red and swollen. Until I started taking Sheba to the groomer to be bathed once a month and Purdy once every two months, when they got too close to my face, I'd feel it a bit in my lungs, too. Not enough to have a breathing problem, but enough to be slightly uncomfortable.

But there is one thing that's even worse than the allergy. I keep getting cat hair in my eyes! I think I've finally managed to get a total of six cat hairs out of my eyes in the past two weeks! I have dry eyes and they just don't want to wash out. Some times they get stuck up under the eyelid and I can feel something there but can't get it out for a couple of days, so it keeps scratching my eyeball. Those hairs are so fine that I usually can't see them until I finally manage to capture one on the edge of the eyelid with a Q-tip.

There has been something in my eye again the past couple of days and I still haven't been able to wash it out. Don't know for sure that it is another cat hair, but those are the hardest to see. My poor eye is miserable!
post #2 of 13
Aw sweetie I know how you feel. I was horrified to discover I'm allergic to really short haired cats - something to do wtih dandruff and whatnot. I was only around them for the couple of days thankfully, but I was really uncomfortable. I can't imagine what you feel like Are you on Benadryl or something now?
post #3 of 13
Sorry to hear about your eyes! I too am allergic to cats - one OTC generic claritan helps me tremendously!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Don't antihistamines raise blood pressure? I was just able to get off my BP meds in January, after being on them for over five years. But my pressure is not much under the level which requires meds, so I try to avoid taking a generic Claritan if I can possibly avoid it. I took one today, though. Guess I should check my pressure and see how much it goes up.

But the problem of all those hairs in my eyes all the time is far worse! I don't know why it has happened so often lately. Maybe because it is too warm to have the furnace on so the air cleaner on the furnace isn't taking the "junk" out of the air. I do have a portable electronic air cleaner. Right now it is in the dining room. Maybe I should move that back into the bedroom again.
post #5 of 13
I hear you on the dry eyes bit, and I don't have allergies! Well, not to kits, anyway. Look the next time that you go to Walmart or your local drugstore, and see if they have any B&L Moisture Eyes eyedrops... I use them daily, and they're great! They also help wash out kitty hairs....don't know where I'd get kitty hair...not with 7 cats....
post #6 of 13
I think you won't know if claritin raises your blood pressure, unless you take it for a trial period. Say, take one a day for a week, and check your blood pressure several times. It may not make much of a difference, and those red itchy eyes can be painful.

Also, the suggestion to use eye moisturizer should help. Do the cats sleep with you? Thats another suggestion I have heard, to keep the cats out of your bedroom (and off your pillow!).

Good luck getting the hairs out of your eyes-I have had "clear strings" in my eye goop occasionally for years, and never considered that it might be pet hairs! But with no dry eye problem, it never hurts.
post #7 of 13
I have cat allergies too. I brush my kitties then wipe them down with damp paper towels. That really helps. I take an Allergra 30mg tablet when it gets out of control. I wash my hands frequently & my face too, when we have had a serious head bumping session. I just had my carpets cleaned ... I notice a big difference. Less sneezing. Oh well...such is the price a "cat slave" must pay.
post #8 of 13
I take allegra, but mostly during bad outdoor season, when I am working in my garden.

If you have BP problems, I would be very very careful about taking over the counter antihistamines without a doctor's advice. Both claritin and allegra were pulled from the shelves for over a year in Canada because of issues to do with heart problems. Better be safe.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh, I do use artificial tears. Enough that I have one by my bed, one on my desk and one in my handbag. It is not as good as the real thing, though, which bathes the eye with every blink. I think the worst is getting something in my eye overnight, as then one goes for hours without adding moisture or blinking. My eyes are always so painful in the morning.

Yes, all three cats sleep with me. I sure hate the thought of having to kick them out after all these years. Red Cat has slept with me for six years now, and bedtime is his major petting session. He's not all that much for sitting in my lap, but oh, does he become a lover boy in bed. He even wakes me up in the middle of the night to be petted occasionally. That might be a nuisance, but then there are advantages to having him there, too. He wakes me up from my nightmares when I scream for help. He has done this several times.

I even wash my bedspread every two weeks to keep the cat hair down, but obviously that isn't enough. Of course, it would help if I'd vacuum the bedroom every day, too, but golly gee, I hate to spend that much time in housework. There are always more interesting things to do.

Glad you mentioned getting the carpets cleaned. I really am due. Think I'll call the professionals this week and get that scheduled.
post #10 of 13
How about getting rid of the bedroom carpet, and go with a pretty tile. And since cats hate lemon (supposedly), what if you use a lemon scent on the pillowcases, so at least the cats will tend to stay away from your face when you are sleeping?

I used to work one day a week with an allergy specialist, and he believed that food allergies and environmental allergies work in tandem. For example, if you know you are mildly allergic to eggs, and have more environmental allergies in the spring, don't eat eggs in the spring, because it makes the environmental allergy symptoms worse. If you know of any food allergies, be more careful to eliminate them.

Or if the summer allergens are the worst, have your cats bathed more often in summer.

Maybe shut the cats out of your bedroom all day, so they are only spreading their "cooties" when you are in with them to enjoy it! LOL!

Good luck, it is worth it to do all you can to stay comfortable and keep the close relationship with your furkids.
post #11 of 13
I am allergic to Abby also. I wold love to have two cats, so she has a playmate, but I am pushing it with having her. I have to wash hands, face, etc after holding or petting her or any of her toys, etc.

When we had Molly, Molly had a lot of rules - she wasn't allowed on the second floor of the house where the bedrooms are, wasn't allowed up on the furniture. She only had 2 pieces of furniture that we had designated as "hers", and they had throws over them. She was allowed to go on the other furniture just to look out the windows, but couldn't lay on the cushions. She always followed her rules and our friends used to laugh that we had her trained like a dog. All it took to "train" her was a few "No's". It was amazing.

After we lost Molly, along came Abby. We adopted Molly at age 3, which is much mellower than the psycho 8 month old that Abby was. Little Abby knows no rules and will go anywhere and do anything no matter waht we do or say. ALL of my furniture is covered with throws. She is allowed upstairs into this room with the computers, but is not allowed in the bedrooms.

Our last house had carpets. Cleaning the carpets and upolshtery makes a HUGE difference. We bought one of those small Bissel cleaners that looks like a vacuum cleaner. My allergies woudl be worse they day I cleaned because I was kciking up all the cat ahir, but then woudl improve greatly. This hsoue has hard wood floors and I am amazed at how much cat hair can accumulate in one day. I can watch it blow across the floor like tumbleweeds. When I think back and realize that was getting stuck in the carpet at the other house, I am amazed.

Acording to my doctor the "D" formulations allergy meds (Allegra "d". Claritin "d" ) are the ones that raise blood pressure. The regular versions are fine. I am currently on Zyrtec.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I managed to get both another cat hair and an eyelash out of that eye that has been bothering me for days. But it still feels like there is something in there. I guess I'll have to call my ophthalmologist again tomorrow. I have an eyelid condition (blepharitis) that sometimes causes an eyelash to grow backwards and scrape the eyeball. It usually has to grow (and scratch) for at least a week before it gets long enough for me to see it to pluck it out. The doctor can get it sooner. Usually I can see that it is there, though, which is why I've kept delaying calling the doctor. If it is just something in the eye like a hair or something (which I've thought it was), she just tells me to continue washing the eye until I get it. I've washed that eye so much it is really sore.

I took another generic Claritin today, but my nose is still running and my eyes still itch. I've washed my hands so many times after touching the cats that my hands are on the verge of cracking and bleeding. (Don't like to put lotion on them when I'm sewing and get the oils on the fabric.) Phooey! I'm tired of this! But the feeling of having something in the eye is far worse. A constant annoyance.
post #13 of 13
Allergies aside...All of your kitties are adorable but I can see from his siggy photo, that Red Cat has a really beautiful tail. I love the rings in it. .
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