Having birds in your home adds beauty and color to your house. Their intelligence makes them interesting to watch every day. The way they learn so many things also makes them a great companion in the house. However, some people have developed an allergic reaction when they start bringing birds inside their own homes.
So, is this true? Can you be allergic to birds? Yes, some people can develop allergic reactions to birds. The common reason is the bird’s dander which is the combination of the bird’s feather, dust, and other particles that comes from the bird. More details on the causes of these allergic reactions below:
Bird Dander Can Cause Allergic Reactions to Birds
The bird dander is the possible reason for someone to have allergic reactions to birds. The dander is the combination of the feather, the feather dust, and all the small dirt particles coming from the bird. When the birds flap their wings, they can spread around your place and cause some allergic reactions.
Danders are exceptionally thin particles which can be transmitted in the air. The issue is when a person inhales and breathes a massive amount of these particles, causing an allergic reaction in the body. If you have been sneezing frequently or having some itchy eyes, there is a probability of having a bird allergy.
Bird dander can be annoying to anyone who has birds as their pet at home. When someone develops an allergy related to the birds, it is necessary to find a way to control, reduce, or completely eliminate the effect of bird dander.
Danders can be extremely small or tiny to detect with the human eye. Other people used lenses to detect these tiny particles and confirmed the presence of dander in the birds. In fact, when going to a physician, a dander hypersensitivity analysis will be done to test your allergy to birds.
Bird’s Feather and Feather Dust Can Cause Allergy
Apart from dander, the feather and the feather dust can also cause some allergic reactions in humans. There are certain bird species that produce too much feather dust. These birds usually come from drier climates where water sources are limited for them to take a bath or clean themselves.
This feather dust usually develops from constantly growing powders coming from the bird’s feather. This powder is designed to disintegrate into small particles. These tiny particles will be used by the birds to clean themselves in lieu of the water. But the problem is that this powder can irritate humans and cause allergies.
If you want to know what birds are dusty, cockatoos are arguably the dustiest bird you can encounter. In fact, the large white cockatoos are considered very dusty, while the smaller cockatiels will have less dust in their feathers.
Other dusty birds include African greys, eclectus, lorries, and ringnecks. The new world parrots, such as amazons, conures, macaws, caiques, etc., are also bird species that can cause allergic reactions because of being dusty.
Bird’s Preening and Feather-Ruffling Can Cause Allergy
When the bird is preening or feather-ruffling, it can also cause allergies to anyone. This situation usually happens when you own powder-producing birds as your pets. These birds include cockatoos and parrots, which produce sticky and oily powder in their body.
While other birds produce dander, these powder making birds produce a huge amount of oil dust in the body. When this oily powder goes into the air, there is a possibility that humans can inhale or breathe it, causing an allergic reaction instantly.
There are also parrots that come with the preening gland. This body part of the bird produces an oil-based substance which will be used as a waterproofing agent for the bird’s feather. During the preening process, some small parts of the feather and the feather sheath are broken and separated, causing the substance to go into the air.
When it is airborne, the substance will become tiny particles which will be spread around your house. Those people with a history of allergy can develop allergic reactions to these small particles once they inhale them.
Fraying Feather Can Cause Allergy
Most parrot family members have this natural trait of the feathers fraying at the end part. This fraying situation creates a fine powder which is risky to those already sufferers of bird allergies.
There are many reasons for frayed feathers, but the notable reason is the lack of minerals in the body. When your bird’s skin looks itchy, or your bird is experiencing feather loss, it can be a sign of mineral deficiency.
The possibility of birds developing allergies to birds is real. There are many causes of the allergy to happen, but there are also many ways to mitigate the issue or prevent them from happening.
But the easiest way to prevent the allergy from happening to you is to follow the cleaning and maintenance schedule for your birds and the bird cage. You will need to frequently bathe and clean your birds while changing the cage paper is essential. Overall, keeping the bird cage and the bird clean all the time is extremely important.
It is also worth doing to allocate a specific area in your home where you restrict the bird’s presence. These places will be called your allergy-free areas and should be equipped with allergy resistant covers on the mattresses and pillows. Minimizing the use of carpets can also lessen the effect of the powder-causing allergy.
You will also need to take extra precautions when caring for the birds. First, using a face mask when changing the cage mask is essential. It is also important to wash your hands every time after touching the birds.
Can you be allergic to birds? Yes, it is a great possibility for anyone to develop an allergic reaction when caring for a bird in the house. There are possible causes for this situation to happen, as stated in the article. However, there are also many ways to prevent or minimize the allergy from happening to you.