Sources and Symptoms
Fur bearing animals such as dogs and cats can be a source of allergic symptoms in susceptible individuals. Other fur bearing animals such as horses, cows, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and goats can also produce dander that provokes allergic symptoms. Bird feathers are another source of allergens.
Dust mites are microscopic insects that feed on human dander. They thrive in warm-humid environments and lower altitudes. The largest reservoir of dust mites in the home is the bedding. Carpets, draperies, upholstery, shelves, books, picture frames, stuffed animals, and furniture are other sources of dust mites.
Daycare centers and schools are also sources of significant exposure to dust mites. Although dust mites can be controlled with environmental measures, their large prevalence in Oklahoma means most allergic patients will also need immunotherapy.
Cockroaches are a common indoor allergen with a proven relationship to asthma. The allergens are derived from saliva, fecal material, shed skin, and the dead bodies of cockroaches. Cockroach antigen can be measured in 20% of homes with no visual evidence of roaches. Daycare centers and schools are sources of significant exposure to cockroaches.