Airborne allergens

How well acquainted are you with the outdoor and indoor allergens in your life? Truth is, you don’t have to look far to get introduced. Whether inside or outside, spring or fall, here’s what you need to look out for.

Outdoor allergies

Tree Pollen

Trees are the first plants to produce pollen each spring. Depending on where you live, tree pollen season can start in late winter or early spring.4

Leaf mold

In the fall, piles of rotting leaves provide ideal conditions for mold to thrive. Leaf mold goes dormant in the winter but resumes growing as soon as the weather gets warmer.3

Grass Pollen

Grass pollen is released from late spring through early summer and, because grasses are so widely grown, they’re responsible for a lot of nasal allergy sumptoms.4


Ragweed plants produce pollen, which can drift for hundreds of miles outside. But it can also be brought inside on your clothing or pet's fur.7

Indoor allergies

Black mold

Extreme humidity, flooding, or other types of water damage spur black mold growth. It tends to grow on building materials like fiberboard and on paper, dust, and lint.2

Dust mites

It’s actually the waste products of dust mites (microscopic bugs that feed on the tiny flakes of human skin) that circulate as part of household dust and trigger allergic reactions.1

Cat dander

Cat dander (microscopic bits of skin and saliva)  is the most problematic among pet-related allergy triggers.5,6

Dog dander

Or the microscopic bits of your pet’s skin and saliva, is an airborne allergen that tends  to adhere to surfaces like walls, clothing, and  other surfaces.5


  1. Medline Plus. Dust mite allergy. Accessed February 5, 2015.
  2. Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum and Other Molds. Page updated September 18, 2012.  Page accessed February 24, 2015.
  3. The Lowdown on Snow Mold. Donna M. Boyle. McCauley News. Volume 32, Number 3. April 2011. Accessed February 23, 2015.
  4. ACAAI. Types of allergies: Pollen allergy. Accessed February 5, 2015.
  5. ASPCA. Are You Allergic To Your Pet? Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  6. 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographic Sourcebook, American Veterinary Medical Association. Accessed December 12, 2014.
  7. NIAID Health Info. Pollen Allergy Fact Sheet. Retrieved July 28, 2015