While the change of seasons may offer some relief for those suffering from seasonal allergy symptoms, indoor allergens unfortunately exist year-round in some form or another. One of the lesser-known indoor allergens also just so happens to come from everyone’s least-favorite houseguests: cockroaches.
How Common Is Cockroach Allergy?
Cockroaches are not only pests but also major contributors to allergy symptoms.
One study found that 40% to 60% of people with asthma in urban environments possess IgE antibodies for cockroaches. IgE antibodies trigger immune system responses toward allergens — they’re basically what cause allergies.
Cause of Cockroach Allergies
In terms of what causes a cockroach allergy, the answer is simple. Cockroaches exist (in some places more than others), and their bodies, saliva and waste contain a highly allergic protein, even in their dead exoskeletons.
[Related: Guide to Seasonal Allergy Triggers]
Cockroach Allergy Symptoms
Additionally, studies have shown prolonged exposure to allergens, such as those cockroaches produce, causes asthma in some children. So if you have asthma, cockroaches are a potential trigger. If you don’t have asthma but are allergic to cockroaches, you’re at increased risk of developing the condition, especially as a child.
Other cockroach allergy symptoms may include the following:
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus infection
- Ear infection
If you suffer from year-round allergy symptoms, it’s possible that a cockroach allergy is to blame. And for many people suffering from an allergy to cockroaches, their symptoms can become chronic, occurring no matter the season.
[Related: Tips for Traveling With Allergies]
Cockroach Allergy Treatment
At the Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center, we rely on allergy tests to determine your sensitivity to allergens. If a physician finds you’re allergic to cockroaches, you can take various steps to relieve your symptoms.
The first step is avoidance. However, cockroaches aren’t going anywhere, and even when they die, their carcasses become dust components. In fact, many people who have “dust allergies” actually have a cockroach allergy.
In the case of cockroach allergies, avoidance involves covering furniture with dust protectors. Don’t worry — dust protectors don’t have to be the crinkly vinyl covers your grandparent used. These days, you can find surprisingly stylish cloth covers with tiny pores too small for dust to travel through.
[Related: How To Create an Allergy-Proof Home]
Many people may consider antihistamines as a treatment for a cockroach allergy. However, antihistamine medications have side effects like dryness and do not offer long-term results.
Another step you can take is purchasing high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to help purify the air in your house. HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
Pest Control Tactics
It also wouldn’t hurt to step up your pest control game — but that doesn’t mean spraying harmful pesticides over every inch of your house. We’re talking about more meaningful (and safer) actions. Here are a few to start with:
- Keeping food in sealed containers
- Reducing clutter around the house
- Generally polishing your housekeeping routine
Avoidance isn’t always effective for cockroach allergies, especially in urban environments where a high human population supports much higher bug populations. If avoidance doesn’t work for you, immunotherapy is the remaining option.
Immunotherapy is by far the gold standard for a long-term solution. Allergy specialists expose you to allergy triggers (e.g., pollen, dust, mold) without triggering symptoms by “building up” your immunity.
[Related: What To Know About Non-Allergic Rhinitis]
Visit Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center Today To Alleviate Your Cockroach Allergy
We’ve been administering home immunotherapy safely since 2001. In fact, we designed our program to educate you at your own pace, so you have the confidence to perform your own immunotherapy correctly. We also thoroughly instruct you on safety and on handling any side effects or potential emergencies.
Once trained, you have to return to the office only every two to three months for a higher concentration of serum.
Whether you’re allergic to cockroaches or other indoor allergens such as pet dander or mold, why continue to suffer when relief is within reach? If you’re suffering from year-round allergy symptoms, consider visiting the Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center.