Sue Southern, 68, from St Helens was advised by doctors to re-house her pet cat Timmy after a severe allergic reaction. She chose to keep him and manage her allergies.
“I got Timmy just over 10 years ago. As soon as he arrived, I started to suffer symptoms similar to hay fever but worse. My eyes started to itch and water from the first evening he spent in the house. This gradually worsened over the next four days until I had to attend the local A&E department.
“I’d had an allergic reaction to Timmy and had also suffered from corneal abrasions - probably due to the constant rubbing of my eyes. It was extremely painful and I was advised by medical staff that I should give him up.
“Obviously, I was very reluctant to do this so he stayed with my son Michael for a few weeks while I recovered and then he came back. After I got him back from Michael I took each day as it came and the days turned into weeks, months and then years.
“Thanks to a combination of careful management and medication, I found I was able to manage and he has lived here ever since. I was mostly OK but I had to take antihistamines more often than I would like and I take a preventative inhaler for the asthma. Occasionally, I have fits of sneezing and itchy eyes.
“As I live on my own, he's my only permanent companion and I love him to bits. When he was younger he used to disappear for a couple of days at a time and I used to be beside myself with worry until he came back in.
“I've had hayfever since I was a child, suffering from sneezing and itchy eyes. I think I'm probably also allergic to other things but this has not been confirmed. I was also diagnosed with asthma about five months before I got Timmy. When Timmy came to live with me and my allergies flared up, I was heartbroken.
“I decided to try the AeraMax air purifier because I had read that it might help my allergies. Happily, it has offered some real relief after only a short amount of time so it just shows there are ways of coping. I would say, don't give up, unless the symptoms are so bad that it becomes impossible. There are great rewards to be had in owning a pet.”
Tips to help you fight your allergies:
- Use hardwood, linoleum or tile. Replace carpeting and rugs with hard-surface flooring. Your carpet and rugs can trap in allergens within the fibres, as opposed to hard surface flooring which you can regularly dust.
- Clean carpeting. If you are unable or unwilling to remove all carpet, have your carpeting and rugs regularly cleaned to reduce the amount of allergens in them.
- Cover your bedding. Use a special allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers under regular sheets and pillowcases.
- Wash bedding. Wash your bedding in hot water and dry it on high heat weekly.
- Restrict pets to outdoors or to limited areas in the house - certainly not in the bedroom.
- Wash dogs regularly as well as their bedding and baskets
- Keep your pets healthy and well-groomed (where appropriate)
- Try an air purifier such as the AeraMax air purifier
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