Cockroaches have the distinction of being among the most common allergens. They share that dubious honor with dust mites and cat dander. Sadly, those who suffer from an allergy to cockroaches or experience asthmatic reactions often have strong reactions. Fortunately, it's a problem that can be uncovered. Once uncovered, it can be dealt with using a little effort and care.
How Long Have Cockroach Allergies Been a Problem?
The first time an allergic reaction to cockroaches was noted was in 1943. Cockroaches cause a variety of allergic and asthmatic responses. The patient in 1943 experienced only one type of reaction, an allergic rash, where cockroaches had touched the skin.
What Is It About Cockroaches That Triggers a Reaction?
Roaches have several potential triggers. A cockroach's saliva and body are both potent allergens. If those were the only allergens, then extermination would seem to solve the allergy problem. Unfortunately, the waste left by the roaches can be another significant trigger. Using the naked eye, the waste is not distinguishable from household dust. It lingers even after the cockroaches have been exterminated. For those with sensitivities, it's a good idea to seek professional assistance, not only to eradicate the cockroaches, but to deal with any wastes and residues.
Dust, which might contain cockroach wastes, can move freely through the air. Fortunately, house dust can be scientifically measured to detect whether it's high in cockroach waste. When concentrations are significant, the problem should be addressed.
What Sort of Reactions Do Cockroaches Provoke?
Asthma attacks are among the most dangerous reactions. Many of the severe asthma attacks of inner city children, attacks that result in hospitalization, could be triggered by cockroach allergens. Those who suffer persistent stuffiness, sinus infections, or ear infections may also be experiencing their symptoms because of cockroach allergies. Like the example from 1943, this allergy can also produce a skin rash. An allergy to cockroaches can produce less dangerous reactions too. Those include mild irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Whether it's a severe or a mild allergy to cockroaches, reactions will often persist all year round.
Can Cockroach Allergy Be Proven?
Proving an allergy to cockroaches exists is fairly simple. An allergist can provide a diagnosis. The most common test is a skin prick test. Less often, a blood test may be ordered.
What Can You Do If You Have an Allergy To Cockroaches?
The person with the allergy shouldn't handle extermination efforts directly. A friend, family member, or professional exterminator should take it on. The sufferer shouldn't be in the home when the process is under way. In the case of asthmatics, try to avoid using chemicals, since they can also be problematic for the sufferer. Professionals can devise a plan to cover all of these concerns.
Extermination of cockroaches can be difficult. Some are not affected by certain control methods. Make sure to read the other articles we've posted about cockroaches. If the situation proves too hard to handle, then contact professional exterminators. They can bring results more quickly, including handling of cockroach waste problems. When eradication comes faster, allergy sufferers can enjoy better health sooner.