SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – Nearly one in four dog owners in South Korea have experienced allergy symptoms in the past, a new survey has found.
The survey of 537 individuals conducted by Professors Lee Sang-pyo and Lee Sang-min from Gachon University Gil Medical Center and Yang Min-suk from the Seoul Metropolitan Goverment Boramae Hospital revealed 25 percent of dog owners and 35 percent of cat owners have experienced allergies in the past because of their pet, with common symptoms being a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, itchiness, and shortness of breath, the researchers said on Thursday.
People who have experienced pet allergy symptoms in the past were found to suffer from other types of allergies, such as food allergies, atopic dermatitis, and allergic conjunctivitis.
Among those suffering from pet allergies, between 74 percent and 80 percent had a nasal inflammation, while others experienced itchy and watering eyes, which are symptoms of eye inflammation.
Chihuahua owners had the highest rates of allergies, more than any other dog, with 4 in 10 South Korean pet owners having been allergic to them.
Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese dogs were among the top three with the highest rates of allergies, according to the survey.
When it comes to their feline counterparts, Persian cat, Turkish angora and domestic cat owners reported high allergy rates.
Despite the high incidence, only 35.3 percent and 24.4 percent of dog and cat owners went to hospital after experiencing allergic symptoms, with even fewer people having been prescribed drugs.
The researchers say people with allergic diseases or genetic risks are more likely to suffer from pet allergies, and it is ideal to choose a less allergy-inducing breed for those vulnerable to allergy.
“To reduce the risks of allergy from pets, indoor environments need to be managed more thoroughly, by washing bedclothes, cleaning, keeping the pet’s hair tidy, and getting rid of animal hair. When you experience allergic symptoms after touching animals, it is important to go to hospital to get appropriate treatment. In severe cases, allergen immunotherapy needs to be considered,” said Lee Sang-pyo.
The findings from the survey were published in the January edition of academic journal Allergy Asthma Immunology Research.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)