Allergic to a Cockroach?

As a sufferer of both asthma and hay fever since a young child, I have to admit I have never once blamed a cockroach for my latest attack. However I have come across some information that suggests perhaps I should…

Typically we associate triggers with plant pollens, dust, animals such as cats and dogs, and stinging insects, however many people do not realise that cockroaches can cause both asthma and allergies.

The first identification of cockroach allergies were confirmed in 1959 as a result of a skin test after a rash was contracted after contact with a cockroach. It wasn’t then until the 1970s that that the link between asthma and cockroaches was made, it was established that the inhalation of cockroach allergens could trigger an attack that would in some cases last for hours. It has since been discovered that between 23 and 60 percent of asthma sufferers are also allergic to cockroach allergen.

Fascinating isn’t it. I have been an asthma sufferer since I was about seven. I use to have quite bad attacks, but have it pretty well under control now. I have had numerous skins tests done to establish what my triggers are and not once do I remember them testing for cockroaches. Dust mites, cats and dogs – yes, cockroaches – no!.

Our home was always super clean and I can assure you that if my parents thought we had cockroaches in our home, whether I had asthma or not, the problem would have been dealt with ASAP (my mother is worse with pests then I am). It is interesting information to know though and Asthma UK has lots of useful tips and advice too.

I can’t help but feel I will be conscious of my surroundings next time I have an attack, wondering if a cockroach is the reason for my allergies…?

  1. Brigitta

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