Allergies related to rabbits vary in intensity because some people are more severely allergic to rabbits than others. However, most people who show signs of mild allergies find they symptoms include itchy red eyes or a runny nose. Severe allergies are more extreme, causing a person to develop asthma, hives or other life-threatening symptoms. Visit a doctor for a skin patch allergy test prior to considering a rabbit as a pet.
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Allergy-induced conjunctivitis, also called "pink eye," causes swollen eye lids and red eyes along with a white discharge. This symptom is painful and often results in blurry vision. Allergy-related pink eye creates the same symptoms as viral pink eye, but allergy-induced pink eye is not contagious; it only affects the person with the allergic immune response. If you develop pink eye after contact with rabbits, wash your hands thoroughly and see a doctor. Avoid touching your eye area and stay away from the rabbits.
Anaphylactic shock is a severe life-threatening allergic reaction to rabbits. The first signs are hives and a scratchy throat. A person may also experience a rapid heart rate, red face and severe anxiety. The person's throat may close up causing difficulty breathing. Get help fast by phoning 911 or rushing to the closest hospital emergency room. This reaction to rabbits is a rare, but serious.
Watery eyes are a common non life-threatening allergic reaction to rabbits. People who develop this symptom generally have a very mild allergy to rabbits. Touching the eyes after petting a rabbit can result in itchy, watery eyes. Watery eyes are clear and not red like allergy-induced pink eye. This reaction is more of annoyance than other more severe and even painful symptoms.
A runny nose is another common allergic response to rabbits. People with mild allergies may experience both a runny nose and watery eyes. These reactions lesson after hand-washing and keeping distance from the rabbit. Some people may never even realise they are allergic until they pet or spend time with a rabbit.
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