Cockroach allergy is caused by the feces, saliva and bodies of these insects. Cockroaches have a protein that is an allergen to people. An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction. Even dead cockroaches can trigger allergic reactions. People with severe bronchial asthma are more susceptible to cockroach allergy. Individuals with chronic stuffy nose, constant sinus infections, skin rashes, ear infections and asthma are also at a high risk of developing cockroach allergy.
Causes of cockroach allergy
The cockroach allergen comes from droppings called frass which is heavy and like the dust mite allergen. It becomes airborne when performing activities such as sweeping or vacuuming.
The airborne particles enter the mucous membranes of the nose, eye and lungs and cause a reaction on people having allergic antibodies against the cockroach.
- Runny nose
- Persistent sneezing and watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Throat itching
- Nasal congestion
- Coughing episodes
- Postnasal drip
- Skin rash and itching
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Take the prescribed antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids to lessen the symptoms of the allergy. The medication can be in the form of tablets or sprays. It relieves the symptoms of sneezing and itchiness of the eyes and nose as well as nasal congestion and runny nose. A nasal corticosteroid is a spray that works by lessening the swelling of the neck due to cockroach allergy.
- Use the prescribed cromolyn sodium which is a nasal spray which blocks the release of chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. Use the spray for at least 4 times every day.
- Take the prescribed nasal decongestant in the form of liquids, pills, sprays and drops. The medication shrinks the lining of the nasal passages and lessens the nasal stuffiness.
- Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and bronchodilators to prevent the flare-ups of asthma together with the symptoms of the cockroach allergy.
- Avoid exposure to cockroaches to prevent developing the allergy.
- Cover garbage cans properly and avoid leaving them open
- After eating, clean dishes properly and avoid leaving them dirty on the sink or on top of a counter.
- Keep foods in airtight containers.
- Clean kitchen counters thoroughly and avoid leaving food particles on top of the counters.
- Repair leaky pipes under the sinks which are the perfect breeding grounds for the cockroaches.
- Seal all cracks in the walls or floors to prevent cockroaches from entering the home