Allergies and cockatiels what you need to be aware of.

Every year more than fifty million people in the United States suffer from some kind of allergy, which happens when your immune system reacts to a substance foreign to your body. People are allergic to all sorts of things like food, plants, and yes, animals. Animals carry dander, a specific allergen, something we will break down for you later in this text. 


First, let’s answer the question,

Can cockatiels cause allergies? 

As a Whole Cockatiel dander can cause allergies. That can cause immune systems to create antibodies if they perceive this invader as a threat. When the feather’s shaft breaks down, the dust accumulates is called dander. Dander also consists of dust mites, which can collect between your bird’s feathers.

Also, check our our article – What do Cockatiels Like To Play With? for more info on other Cockatiels and must buys for your feathery pet!

Some common reactions to allergens include rashes on the skin, sinus headaches or sneezing, airway congestion, and even digestive issues. Allergies are high on the scale when it comes to causing chronic discomfort, and the dander from a cockatiel or any bird is as likely to cause an allergic reaction as a dog or cat. 

Bird lovers out there need not fear that this means they can’t live with their beloved cockatiel. There are preventative measures and ways to create a living environment that can be shared between your friend and whoever in the family is allergic to their dander. 

How can you tell if your allergic to cockatiels?

The following is a chart that outlines the Potential Allergenic Effects and preventive measures of Cockatiels on Humans

Allergen SourcePercentage of Allergic ReactionsCommon SymptomsPreventive Measures
Feathers40%Sneezing, Itchy EyesRegular Cleaning, Air Purifiers
Dander30%Sneezing, Runny NoseAir Purifiers, Limited Exposure
Saliva15%Coughing, Itchy EyesRegular Cleaning, Limited Exposure
Droppings15%Runny Nose, SneezingRegular Cleaning, Air Purifiers

You can know several ways if you or someone in your household may be experiencing an allergic reaction to your cockatiel. 

  • Itchy eyes
  • Puffy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus pressure
  • Allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes)
  • Itchy mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Stuffy throat
  • Persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Chills

While these symptoms are signs of cockatiel allergies, they are also indications of many different immune sensitivities. Diagnosing yourself is not a good habit to get into because you may not be allergic to your cockatiel at all. You may be allergic to something else in your home. So the best way to find out if you have an allergy to cockatiels or anything else for that matter, you should see an immunologist specify what is causing your allergic reactions. 

Also known as an allergist, an immunologist is a doctor who specializes in immunity and how to treat these types of issues. There are tests available that will pinpoint your allergy as opposed to making a guess after you sneezed a few times. Besides, if you or one of your loved ones is experiencing severe allergic reactions like a fever or their throat is starting to close up it is imperative you contact your doctor immediately. They will be able to refer you to a specialist. 

Are cockatiels hypoallergenic?

As a general rule, cockatiels are not considered hypoallergenic. While some individuals with allergies may have less severe reactions to these birds, they can still produce dander, feathers, and saliva that may cause an allergic reaction. It’s important to consider your personal allergies before getting a pet.

To be considered hypoallergenic something has to be relatively unlikely to ignite an allergic response. You may be wondering why we said that cockatiels can cause an allergic reaction earlier in this piece and now, it seems, we are implying the opposite. The key term there is relatively unlikely, and, in comparison to other birds like parrots, cockatiels are considered the best alternative when you suffer from a dander allergy. 

Cockatiel dust. The reason why cockatiels are less likely to cause an allergic reaction than an African Grey or a cockatoo is simply due to their size. The bigger the bird the more dander you will find in its wake. There are larger birds that are hypoallergenic as well. Some that you can consider along with your cockatiel include the Pionus Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Macaw, Toucans, and Parakeets. 

Can you get sick from a cockatiel?

As a general rule, it’s possible to get sick from a cockatiel. Practice good hygiene, like washing hands after handling bird or belongings, to reduce risk of illness. Regular vet check-ups are also recommended.

The symptoms we listed above are signs of a cockatiel allergy but the odds that you’ll get seriously sick from a cockatiel are not great. But, when married with another allergy sometimes symptoms can get out of control and then, yes, there could be more serious issues at hand. This is why we highly recommend you see a doctor if your symptoms are not bearable. 

We’ve broken down each allergic reaction, what other causes could be at play, and how to know when that symptom is out of hand. 

Itchy and Puffy Eyes. There are many reasons besides allergies that can cause this to happen. You may be suffering from a fungal, viral, or bacterial infection, may have a case of dry eyes, which can be brought about by age, your eyes could be strained, or it may be your contact lenses. 

Blepharitis, which is known as an inflammation of the eyes, is another culprit when it comes to itchy and puffy eyes. If your eyes are relieved by over-the-counter drops then there is no need to rush to see a doctor but you should make an appointment. By all means, if you can’t see or your eyes are compromised in any way please get to a doctor as fast as you can. 

Runny or Stuffy Nose, Nasal Congestion, Sneezing, Sinus Pressure, Headaches. We grouped these symptoms because they tend to run hand in hand with one another. Like all the other symptoms on our list, there is no guarantee that your runny nose or sinus pressure is due to a cockatiel allergy. You could be allergic to your cat or the new pollen that comes around with seasonal changes. Or you could be sick with a cold. 

Sore Throat.  Here we have another symptom that could very well be the result of a cockatiel allergy, but it could also be an indication of something more serious like strep throat or a virus.  

Itchy Mouth. While this symptom is also a sign of an allergic reaction, it can also be a cold sore, yeast infection, oral thrush, or anaphylaxis, a SEVERE allergic reaction. It could be to a food you ate as well. If you feel this, then you need to seek medical attention. 

Persistent Cough. Besides allergies, infections, viruses, and chronic diseases like COPD can cause a persistent cough. You must take a look at your lifestyle and when these coughs come about. If you notice a distinct correlation between the cockatiel dust and your cough, it may be an allergy. 

Fever and Chills. Whether or not it’s an allergy or something else, if you are experiencing turmoil and chills, you should definitely seek medical attention. This symptom is an indicator of so many different illnesses we won’t waste your time listing them here. But, they are typically a sign of severe infection, so it’s time to call the doctor. 

How To Relieve Cockatiel Allergy Symptoms.

There are over-the-counter medications available for allergies. If they are severe enough to force you to find medical help, hen they will likely prescribe something more substantial. Natural remedies for all of these symptoms are available via a quick internet search for holistic approaches to allergic reactions. 

But, there are steps you can take to ensure that your environment is dander fee without sacrificing the love of a sweet cockatiel. 

Clean the cage regularly.

If you suffer from allergies, then another person should clean another person should cleanxposure to the dander. If you are the only person in the household, then you may want to wear a mask and goggles to avoid exposure. 

No birdcages in the bedroom. You want to keep all the dander from your sleeping quarters. 

Vacuum with HEPA filtered machine. Designers make pet-focused vacuum cleaners with allergies in mind. Take advantage of the technology. 

Don’t touch your face after handling your bird. For obvious reasons, do not touch your face or anyone else who suffers from allergies before washing your hands thoroughly. 

Bird allergies are easy to keep in check with a cockatiel since they are more hypoallergenic than other feathered pets. If you keep on top of the dander, everything should be fine. But don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional if your allergies are too much to handle. 

What about are cockatiels bad for Asthma?

Cockatiels, like many birds, can potentially exacerbate asthma symptoms in some individuals. This is primarily due to the allergens they produce, which include feather dust, dander, and particles from their droppings. Understanding the relationship between cockatiels and asthma is important for anyone considering these birds as pets, especially those with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

How Cockatiels Affect Asthma

  1. Feather Dust: Cockatiels produce a fine powder from their feathers, known as feather dust, which helps keep their wings healthy and waterproof. This dust can become airborne and, when inhaled, may trigger asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals.
  2. Dander: Like many animals, cockatiels shed tiny flakes of skin known as dander. Dander is a common allergen and can lead to allergic reactions and asthma flare-ups.
  3. Droppings: The droppings of cockatiels can also contribute to asthma symptoms. When these droppings dry out, particles can become airborne and irritate the respiratory system.

Signs of Asthma Exacerbation

Individuals with asthma may experience increased symptoms when exposed to cockatiel allergens. These symptoms can include:

  • Increased frequency and severity of wheezing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Increased need for quick-relief inhalers

Precautions and Management

If you have asthma and are considering a cockatiel as a pet, or if you already own one, it’s important to take precautions:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Frequent cleaning of the cage and the area around it can help reduce the amount of dust and dander.
  2. Air Purifiers: Using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier can help to remove airborne allergens.
  3. Ventilation: Ensuring good ventilation in areas where the bird is kept can reduce allergen concentration.
  4. Medical Consultation: Speak with your doctor about your asthma management plan if you’re exposed to bird allergens. They may suggest adjustments to your medications or other strategies to manage symptoms.
  5. Limit Exposure: If possible, avoid handling the bird and spending prolonged periods near its cage, especially if your asthma is severe.

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

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