ZocdocAnswersCan you have an allergic reaction to a cat after three weeks of living with him?

Question

Can you have an allergic reaction to a cat after three weeks of living with him?

He slept in the same room as me about three times during these three weeks. I went to urgent care and was told that I was having a severe allergic reaction (labored breathing, wheezing) and had to get a steroid shot. Could this be from the cat? Or is it unlikely that the symptoms would show three weeks after him being in my apartment?

Answer

Sorry to hear about your reaction and it is important that you discuss it with your doctor. Certainly it is possible that you could be having a reaction to your cat even though it is some time after you have had your first exposure. If you have had a problem in the past with other allergies, specifically cat allergies, that could be a clue to whether or not this is likely to represent a reaction to your cat currently. This could be happening for several reasons. First, allergies often take some time to develop after any exposure. Next, the initial effects of allergies are sometimes more mild, and they will often build over time. This could be how something more mild ultimately built into your presenting at the emergency department. Your past history of allergies to other things can also be a clue, as people who have allergies to one thing can be more disposed to have allergies to other things as well. Atopic conditions such as allergies can also have other manifestations, such as asthma and eczema. This group of people will often need to have intermittent treatments to help them manage their different symptoms from their hyperactive immune systems. Please speak with your doctor more about this question.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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