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There are thousands of products in your home that contain silica gel, so you should know if it can cause an allergic reaction.
An allergy to silica is uncommon but well-known. Thousands of people suffer from allergies to various chemicals including sodium bisulfate (a common food additive), aspirin, lactose (from milk), aluminum, and many others.
However, only 1% of all humans have an allergy to shellfish such as lobster or shrimp. This condition called pisciditis occurs almost exclusively in men.
About 10% of people experience some symptoms after eating or breathing in seafood with histamines. Symptoms include watering of the mouth, runny nose, red eyes, and muscle pain. Such problems begin within 30 minutes to two hours after consuming the product.
Another group of people who may develop symptoms after eating or breathing in fish includes those suffering from acid reflux disease. However, doctors note that while there’s no proof that lemon oil helps prevent this condition, it does help reduce inflammation associated with it.
Silica gel particles enter the lungs where they provoke an immune response like other foreign substances do. Once inside the body, these particles stimulate molecules known as proinflammatory cytokines which increase inflammation. Inflammation occurs when blood vessels become more permeable, allowing extravascular fluids, proteins, and cells to leak into surrounding tissue.
These reactions are neither pleasant nor harmless, resulting in
Identify if your cat is allergic to silica gel
In order for your cat to be sensitive to allergens, it must first come into contact with them. Dust mites, grass, and pet dander are all potential allergens your cat may come in contact with.
However, there is one type of material that most cats do not seem to like: silica gel. This is the sparkly substance you sometimes see bag people use to seal their packages.
Although it’s usually used for packaging food and snacks, this shiny coating is hard enough to stay intact while being peeled off packaged goods when it’s opened.
Silica gel comes in two forms: micro-encapsulated and macro-encapsulated. Micro-encapsulation means there are hundreds or thousands of small capsules inside a larger capsule, which makes it less potent but allows for greater control over the product. Macro-encapsulation uses several layers of plastic as opposed to micro-encapsulation, which makes the process more expensive than the average consumer looking at cost containment measures.
Most traditional grocery stores don’t carry either form of silica gel, so you will have to look online for products. There are also many brands available at any given store that only contain silica gel.
Take your cat to the vet
If you suspect that your cat is allergic to silica gel, take it to the veterinarian immediately. An allergic reaction can be life threatening for your cat.
A doctor will run some tests and give an examination to determine what’s causing any health issues. They may also order a skin test if they believe the patient is suffering from allergies.
The patient would then get an injection of a chemical into the skin that causes a rash or swelling. A bandage holding the material in place overnight is required so we can assess the results.
If there are no symptoms after 24 hours, patients stop coming back because doctors assume there is nothing wrong. However, many people come back with hives, red blotches, and severe itching.
This indicates a positive result even though there were no adverse effects.
Use an oral or injected medication
Oral medications are available over-the-counter and by prescription. In some cases, they’re used for symptoms associated with allergies, such as runny nose and watery eyes.
If you experience significant symptoms after exposure to silica gel, also known as rice powder, there are two types of medication that can be administered instead of an injection :
oral options include chewable tablets and liquid gels. These provide relief through ingestion and come in many shapes and sizes.
The main benefit of these medications is that they are cheaper and more accessible than injections. With proper information, you can find out if you are sensitive to any ingredients in these products.
However, this form of treatment does have some side effects. Nausea and vomiting are common when taking oral medications. Both chemicals depend upon your individual reaction to them and their effect on your body.
Slow the process
There is something called desensitization therapy that can help people who are allergic to dust mites- even if they don’t have asthma. This type of therapy takes several weeks and calls for multiple exposures to the allergen to be effective. One study done on children with grass pollen allergy found that after undergoing this treatment, their allergies improved by 40 percent.
However, there are other ways you can try to reduce your exposure to silica gel dust. The most common way is by spraying the product onto vents or opening windows/fensters. But you can also cover your vents and open areas with plastic wrap or tape; find another route through which to release the fumes.
You should always work in a room with an air purifier because breathing in these particles may indeed harm your health. In fact, prolonged exposure to high levels of silica has been linked to respiratory disease, including lung cancer.
Take extra precautions
Even if you don’t have a cat, it is still important to take precautionary measures regarding silica gel capsules.
Although there has not been enough research done in humans to determine symptoms associated with contact with this element, there has been sufficient evidence collected for its potential harmful effects.
Silica gel can cause severe respiratory stress with inflammatory reactions and lung disease. This is of particular concern due to the higher amount of silicon dioxide found in dry air environments (gels) versus wet air conditions.
In fact, one study in miners showed that prolonged exposure to crystalline silica was linked to early onset of many chronic diseases, including some cancers.
Interestingly, cats are also susceptible to these findings as they share similar physiological processes with humans. Miners who work with this material develop what we call “silicosis”, which involves scarring of the lungs much like anthracosilicosis does in smokers.
Given the high concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) inside cells, the risk from silica gel may be more pronounced than the overall average risk from CO outside the cell.
Therefore, individuals who use therapeutic drugs such as tamoxifen or interferon may want to avoid using silica gel products because treatment with these medications increases the risk of developing cancer.
Go ahead and use it
Many people are aware of the tendency for dry skin to create an irritating environment that can feed another kind of allergy.
If you’re concerned about your sensitive skin, then don’t worry about using moisturizer. The silica gel in your product will help reduce any itching and swelling associated with eczema.
It also has small amounts of vitamins A and E, which aid in skin health and repair. Note that these ingredients do not promote moisture at all, so if you have very dry skin, avoid this one!
Tell your friends
Don’t assume that everyone knows about the product
Many people do not know that they can use silica gel to keep allergies hidden. With dry skin, it is often difficult to determine what is causing the itching and discomfort.
If you tell someone that you have an allergy, they may view your reaction differently if they already use the product. It could be preventing itchiness or inflammation!
Also let others who don’t suffer from symptoms try the product to help them understand these things. Again, some people will just avoid the item because of its scent or look different than others, but this should never prevent anyone from trying it.
Results may vary when people attempt to treat their eczema with natural routes other than taking ointments.