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Home alone with house dust mites

12 November 2012

According to national charity Allergy UK, millions of house dust mites are lurking throughout our homes.  Mattresses, curtains, carpets, in fact any type of upholstery, is a breeding ground for these microscopic creatures.

House dust mites are regularly undetected and are often the cause of severe and persistent allergic symptoms all year round.

Closing doors and windows and turning the heating up, creates the perfect conditions for house dust mites to multiply.  In the autumn and winter months, millions of people start snivelling and sneezing.  All too often it is assumed it’s the start of a cold, but in fact it could be ‘home fever’ (perennial allergic rhinitis).

According to the charity Allergy UK the bedroom is the most allergic room in the house.  77 per cent of those with an indoor allergy suffer in the bedroom, but 41 per cent recognise their symptoms are actually made worse by that room.

The average person shares a bed with more than two million house dust mites and new research from Allergy UK reveals that people are spending on average 52.5 hours in the bedroom per week, meaning the nation is literally sleeping with the enemy.

Indoor Allergy Week runs from 12 – 18 November 2012 and is designed to raise awareness of the impact of allergic reactions to house dust mites, mould and pets.

Allergy UK is issuing an ‘Indoor Allergy SOS’ this winter to combat common symptoms.  The charity wants to help the nation better manage the triggers associated with house dust mite, mould and pet allergies.

The charity is stressing the importance of knowing what you are allergic to before you start any allergen avoidance programme.  The advice for those who are suffering from persistent allergic symptoms is to visit your GP who will be able to refer you for appropriate diagnosis. 

Allergy UK will be providing help and support throughout the week for the millions of sufferers in the UK.  For those suffering from an indoor allergy, follow the tips below to lessen your reaction and help rid your bedroom of allergens this winter:

  • Keep the room well ventilated and have the window slightly open at night
  • Wash curtains every month at a temperature of 60 degrees or above, and consider using a roller blind instead of curtains
  • Keep clothes stored away in shut drawers, and wardrobe doors closed to avoid them collecting dust
  • Wipe surfaces daily with damp cloth
  • Encase your mattress in an anti-allergy mattress cover and use anti-allergy duvet and pillow covering
  • Try to keep pets out of the bedroom and off of your bed to reduce allergen levels
  • Vacuum daily, but remember dust can stay airborne for three to four hours
  • Using an air purifier in the bedroom can help to trap allergens.

Allergy UK is the leading national medical charity providing advice, information and support to people with allergies and food intolerance.  It makes a difference through a dedicated helpline and network for sufferers.  The charity provides invaluable information and guidance to empower sufferers so that they can manage their symptoms and receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

There are allergens in every room in the house.  Read more about how to prevent allergens around the home at: www.allergyuk.org/allergies-in-the-home/allergies-in-the-home.

For more information call Allergy UK on 01322 619 898.

Allergy UK Corporate Partners, Filtrete Air Purifiers from 3M, are supporting Allergy UK Indoor Allergy Week.

3M and Filtrete are trademarks of 3M Company.

Contact 3M
Tel: 0845 603 5575
email:  filtrete.uk@mmm.com