Learn About the Most Common Environmental Allergens

by Olivia Coppola 01/09/2022

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

The number of people who suffer from environmental allergies is astounding. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million people in the country suffer from allergies, and allergies have become one of the leading causes for chronic disease in the country.

Environmental allergies are very common, and these are a few of the most well-known types of environmental allergens:


Pollen is a byproduct of plants and trees that many people find themselves allergic to. Pollen allergies tend to spike significantly in the springtime when the warm breezes blow this fine powder off of the trees and into the air. In some areas where pollen levels are high, it's actually possible to see clouds of yellow pollen in the wind. Insects and other animals also can transport pollen from plants and trees to other areas, and pets can bring pollen back inside the home with them on their paws and fur.


Mold is an environmental allergen that is unique because it can grow in both indoor and outdoor environments. When mold levels are high in outdoor environments, the mold spores can be carried on the wind in the same way that pollen can be transferred. In warm, dark and moist indoor environments, mold can grow unnoticed and can aggravate the allergies of the people who live inside the home. In some cases, mold growth indoors can actually lead to serious disease, so it's important to monitor for mold and remediate it quickly when it is found inside the home.

Pet Dander

Most people who are allergic to dogs or cats are not actually allergic to the animals themselves, but rather the pet dander that they create. Pet dander is essentially dead and dry skin cells that fall off of pets, and become embedded in carpet, upholstery and furniture. Pet dander allergies can result in mild symptoms that are tolerable for some people, or they can lead to serious symptoms that prevent people from having pets in their home.

Dust Mites

The problem with dust mites is that they can go virtually unnoticed, as humans cannot see them living in their bedding and carpet. Dust mites increase in population when the weather is warm, so most people with dust allergies report that their symptoms flare up most during the spring and summer months. However, if dust mites are living in an indoor environment, they can cause allergy symptoms throughout the entire year.

The type of symptoms and the severity of those symptoms will vary based on the individual and the type of allergy that they have. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, so it's important that individuals who suffer from environmental allergies work closely with their physician to determine the best course of action. These are a few of the symptoms of environmental allergies:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal drainage
  • Hives
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing

Many people are able to control their allergy symptoms by reducing their contact with environmental allergens or taking over-the-counter medication. However, those with severe symptoms may need prescription medication or access to other tools in order to combat severe allergic reactions.

About the Author

Olivia Coppola

Hi, I'm Olivia Coppola and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.