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!

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!