Are You Allergic to Cockroaches?
Roaches are everywhere. They can find their way into even the cleanest and best defended homes. Not only are they gross and creepy to be around; they also carry disease and, in some instances, activate your allergies.Yes, it’s actually possible to be allergic to cockroaches. In fact, it’s actually quite common especially among children. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says more than one in three kids could have a roach allergy. Cockroach allergies are most common in impoverished urban areas, where cockroaches are often prevalent.
Signs of a Cockroach AllergyThe precise symptoms of a reactive roach allergy vary by person and depend on the level of roach exposure. However, there are some common signs you can keep an eye out for.
- Mild to moderate asthma
- Persistent ear aches and infections
- Infection or stuffiness of the sinuses
- Inflammation of the eyes
Cockroach AllergensLike many other small allergenics, cockroaches themselves don’t actually cause a reaction. Instead, the allergic reaction is caused by disintegrated leavings from the bugs. When these leavings become dust, inhalation can activate a reaction. Examples of cockroach leavings include:
- Fecal matter
- Dried roach saliva and material broken down by it
- Lost or fallen body parts like wings or legs
- Shed exoskeletons and dead bodies
To prevent or reduce an allergic reaction, clean your home regularly to keep these roach leaving from accumulating and disintegrating. Most people aren’t naturally allergic to the dust particles; they develop the intolerance after prolonged exposure.
Coping With an Allergic ReactionAllergies as a result of roaches might be common, but luckily they’re usually not very severe. You can usually deal with a reaction with typical allergy medication. Treating symptoms is often cheaper and faster than treating your immune system. Over-the-counter allergy medication will help your sinuses, and eye drops will ease inflamed eyes. If an ear or sinus infection becomes chronic, consult a doctor for professional help.
Removing the responsible allergen is essential for relief from reactions. Initially, this means ridding your home of roach leavings and letting it air out as much as possible. Eventually, you’ll have to look at the root of the problem: the roaches themselves.
Getting Rid of Roaches
There are many different ways of dealing with roaches, depending on your individual situation. Be sure to check out the rest of our site for tips on that. However, if you have enough roaches to be causing allergies, it’s likely you have a full-blown infestation. In that case, calling in a pest control expert is likely your best solution.