Airborne allergens: what to know

How do you tell the difference between a cold and an allergy? What are the different allergens? Can cleaning surfaces help control them? Find out the answers to these questions and many more.

What is an airborne allergen?

What is an airborne allergen?An airborne allergen is something in the air that causes an allergic response, such as itching and sneezing. Someone who does not have an allergy can be exposed to exactly the same substance, such as pet dander, and not have any response at all.

Common indoor allergens

The allergens most commonly found inside our homes include:

  • Dust mite debris
  • Pet dander
  • Mould spores
  • Pollen

Dust mite debris, pet dander and mould spores are often present in our homes, so these are referred to as ‘indoor allergens’. We usually think of pollen as being an ‘outdoor allergen’, but during the warmer months it often travels into the house through open windows and doors, and even on people’s hair and clothes.

These allergens float through the air, and can then be inhaled or enter the eyes. They can also land on surfaces. If the surfaces are disturbed, the allergens on them can disperse into the air again.

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