A cockroach is known to trigger or aggravate various allergic conditions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis.
Cockroaches are present all over the world, especially in areas with warm climates. Even in cold climates, cockroaches are present especially in areas where humans live.
How is an allergy triggered?
The main allergens from cockroaches come from their droppings. The allergens tend to be heavy and only become airborne during certain tasks such as vacuuming or sweeping.
Once airborne, the cockroach particles move into the mucous membrane of the nose, eyes and lungs and trigger an allergic response among individuals with allergic antibodies to the cockroach.
How is it diagnosed
A cockroach allergy is identified in the same manner as with other allergies with allergy testing. A skin test is an accurate technique to diagnose the allergy but a blood test to check for IgE can also be used to come up with a diagnosis.
Management of cockroach allergy
The treatment for cockroach allergy generally involves 3 measures – avoidance, drugs and immunotherapy.
Avoiding exposure to cockroaches generally involves the removal of sources of food and water with proper cleaning methods such as eliminating any food scraps or leftovers, proper garbage disposal and storing pet food in sealed containers. In case there is serious infestation, it is best to utilize an insecticide spray or bait traps or call for professional extermination services.
In case avoidance is not enough to prevent the symptoms entirely, medications might be suggested. The choice of drugs for cockroach allergy is based on the symptoms that might arise.
Allergen immunotherapy using the cockroach allergen is also beneficial in managing different allergic conditions brought about by cockroach allergy. It also helps lessen or eliminate the need for allergy drugs.