Testing Services – Allergens
If you’re one of the 70 million Americans that suffer from allergies or allergic illnesses such as asthma or sinusitis you already know how miserable they can be.
What you may not know is that in addition to mold, dust mites and pet allergens found indoors are one of the leading causes of allergic diseases.
Dust mite allergens lurking in carpets and furniture can cause a person who has asthma to have an asthmatic attack. With continued exposure to these allergens, even those people with relatively mild allergies can develop very serious, chronic and even life threatening illnesses.
Dogs and cats secrete fluids and shed dander that contain the allergens. They collect on fur and other surfaces. The allergens will not lose their strength for a long time, sometimes for several months. They appear to be sticky and adhere to walls, clothing and other surfaces. Pet hair is not an allergen. It can collect dander, though. It also harbors other allergens like dust and pollen. Cat and dog allergens are everywhere. Pet dander is even in homes never occupied by these animals because it is carried on people’s clothing. The allergens get in the air with petting, grooming or stirring the air where the allergens have settled. Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time.
Most people with asthma or hay fever or other outdoor allergies think of their home as a haven where they can escape their allergies. Unfortunately, houses and apartment buildings harbor their own allergens (agents that cause allergy symptoms). The inside of your home actually traps allergens, making them impossible to avoid.
Allergens are any substance that can cause an allergy. An allergen is an antigen capable of stimulating a type-I hypersensitivity reaction in atopic individuals. Humans mount significant Immunoglobulin E responses only as a defense against parasitic infections, however some individuals may respond to common environmental antigenic materials, called atopy.