Rodent Allergy – Symptoms, Precautions and Treatment
A rodent allergy is an adverse reaction by the body’s natural defence mechanism that is the immune system to rodents such as mice and rats. Rodent allergy normally occurs due to the skin, saliva and urine of rodents. The body’s immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) and a chemical called histamine when it comes in contact with the allergen.
Symptoms of Rodent Allergy
The specific symptoms among patients vary according to the affected area. Major symptoms are either dermal (related to skin) or respiratory in nature. The most prominent symptoms of rodent allergy include the following:
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose
- Watery eyes
- Sore eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Red eyes
- Breathing difficulty
- Chronic sore throat
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy skin
- Welts of the skin
- Asthma like symptoms
- Red skin
Precautions to Take while Handling the Rodents
- Avoid contact with the allergen.
- At least either minimise or take adequate precautions such as wearing gloves and masks while handling the animals.
Treatment for Rodent Allergy
The treatment options for the rodent allergy include the following:
Antihistamines are useful for treating skin related symptoms. They are however not useful for treating asthma. Only mild seasonal asthma can be treated with antihistamines.
Nasal sprays including topical steroids and antiinflammatory medication is used for treating allergic rhinitis.
The allergic conjunctivitis is treated by using medicines such as ketorolac, levocabastine, ketotifen and olapatadine.
If allergy is the contributing factor of asthma, medications such as inhaled beta agonists and inhaled corticosteroids are used.
The oral steroids are used to treat asthma conditions and skin conditions.
Evidence is mixed, and efficacy is dependant on the causative agent and specific type of reaction