Q & A. How to visit relatives when they have cats and you have allergies. Cat allergies and allergy relief with and air cleaner

 
Q. Mercia -- I am allergic to cats. I do not own a cat, but my sister and several of my friends do. When I go over there, I have about 30 minutes to and hour before I start feeling symptomatic. I have a hard time breathing and my chest becomes congested. My nose itches I sneeze, and a terrible flavor comes from my chest when I cough. I do not expect them to go to these extremes just for my benefit. So I ask you, is there anything I can take that will alleviate these symptoms? Is there a type of allergy medicine or anything like that I could take to prevent this? It makes me feel awful for days afterward. Thanks! If you can respond as soon as possible, that would be great!
-Ken


Ken,
For cat allergies, there is prescription medication available from your Allergist - Claritin and Allegra are the big ones. Claritin will soon be sold over the counter. Your pharmacist will know when it is available over the counter and how soon before a visit you would start to need taking it.
If you invest in a powerful but small air cleaner - say the Hamilton Beach on site (largest size) and put it on high for 2 hours before you came into the room, you would find that there should be a massive diminution of cat allergy symptoms (I have done this with my own guests- not perfect, but huge improvement). These two approaches together should get you through!