Allergies to Parrots

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Many people think that owning a parrot is a great way to have a pet and to escape from allergies, as well. While people might be allergic to dogs or cats, they do not tend to see themselves as being allergic to parrots--until they suffer from an outbreak.

Causes

  • Most people who have allergies to parrots are not allergic to the bird itself. Rather, they are allergic to the dander that the bird produces daily. Some birds tend to produce more dander than others. Parakeets and cockatiels create relatively little dander, but cockatoos and African gray parrots create the most dander. As such, they are the two worst kinds of birds to have for pets if you find that you allergic to parrots.

Symptoms

  • The symptoms for allergies to parrots tends to run along the same lines as those of other allergies. These can include runny nose and itchy or sore eyes--which can either be always watery or red and inflamed. In addition, there can be itchiness in the throat, caused by breathing in the dander produced by the parrot.

Diagnosis

  • A doctor can determine if you are specifically allergic to your parrot or if there might be some kind of secondary factor related to the parrot that might be causing your problems. For example, there are cases of individuals becoming allergic to the kind of parrot food that they're feeding their bird.

Treatment

  • Treatments will vary and can include a daily "misting" of your parrot, thereby keeping the dander down. In addition, wiping down the parrot's cage with a cold, damp cloth every day will keep down the bird dander that might be causing the problems. If the allergy is caused by the pet's food, you can try different brands until you locate one that does not cause your symptoms to flare up. Naturally, you can also medicate yourself with over-the-counter antihistamines as well as try using air purifiers and air filtering systems.

Prevention

  • While there are no guaranteed methods of preventing allergies to parrots from flaring up, there are certain things you can do to significantly cut back on an outbreak. Since parrots have a lot of dander, you can spray your parrot with a water bottle on a daily basis. This will cut down on the amount of dander that is produced and will also provide your parrot with a pleasurable grooming experience.

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References

  • Photo Credit Parrot image by Snezana Skundric from Fotolia.com
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