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Could You Be Allergic to Your Own Home?
It would seem that there is a new and growing allergy concern out there. Perennial Allergic Rhinitis, aka home fever, appears to be on the rise, with around 12 million people within the UK believed to be allergic to their own homes.
House dust mites are tiny insects that feed upon flakes of dead human skin. The mites live in mattresses, carpets, soft furniture, pillows, cushions and beds. House dust mite allergies are not caused by an allergy to the dust mites themselves, but to a chemical found within their faeces. Although dust mite numbers peak during the autumn months, they are present all year round. In fact, it’s estimated that 1m² of carpet could contain around 100,000 dust mites*.
Home fever and other indoor allergy symptoms are often mistaken for cold and flu symptoms, with a common symptom for both being a runny nose and sneezing. This results in the allergy not becoming treated properly and as a result symptoms are unlikely to disappear. In addition to this, people are not doing enough to combat the house dust mite allergens within their homes. 59% of indoor allergy sufferers* say that their symptoms tend to be worse in the bedroom. This could be due in part to the fact that the average bed contains around 2 million dust mites, while the average pillow can double in weight within 6 months as a result of a build up of dust mite faeces.
There are some simple steps that can be taken in order to reduce the number of indoor allergens. Firstly it is important to dust regularly using a damp duster first to remove the dust and then use a dry cloth. Bedding should be washed at 60°C or higher to remove dust mites, while curtains and carpets should be regularly steam cleaned. It can also be helpful to use allergen proof covers on pillows, duvets and mattresses. New pillows should be purchased every year and a new mattress should be bought every eight to ten years. An air purifier can also be used to help remove and reduce the presence of allergens, such as house dust mite debris, pollen and mould spores from the house.
However, if you feel that you are suffering from the symptoms associated with an indoor allergy then there are a range of products available from online pharmacies, such as Chemist.net, that could help to relieve these symptoms. These products include allergy nasal sprays, allergy relief tablets, allergy eye drops and allergy relief suspensions.
*According to Allergy UK
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