The change in the seasons can cause multiple allergies, experts warn
With the wintry weather setting in it’s common for many of us to develop the usual sniffly cold. But cold germs aren’t always the culprit – it could be that you’re actually allergic to your own house! Airborne allergies expert and creator of HayMax allergen barrier balm, Max Wiseberg, explains why as many as 12 million of us could suffer with a condition he terms ‘house fever’. Here he talks about the symptoms and how we can help prevent them...
Max recalls his own experiences of house fever. “Knowing that I suffer from hay fever and that it should stop at the end of the summer, I always wondered why I carry on having horrible allergy symptoms, often throughout the winter. And then I realised that although the pollen had stopped, there are many other allergens hanging around the house, ready to give me grief when I start to hibernate though the winter – including dust mite, mould spores and even animal dander. I thought, ‘blimey, I’m allergic to my own house! Instead of hay fever, I’ve got house fever’.”
Max continues, “House fever could be nearly as big a problem as hay fever. Currently around 1 in 5 people suffer with hay fever in the UK and NHS Choices report that indoor allergies are very common and that 10-20% of the population has an indoor allergy. And we can’t even escape it at Christmas time as the mould, pollen and dust collecting on our Christmas tree can trigger symptoms.”
Max explains what we can do to ease our house fever...
• “Mould and dust mites thrive in moist environments. Try to keep the humidity in your house to a minimum to control these allergens. Make sure your house is well ventilated, avoid drying clothes on radiators and/or use a dehumidifier.
• Vacuum the house regularly using a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter, especially beds and fabrics to reduce the number of dust and pet allergen particles.
• Damp dust surfaces regularly, to reduce allergens on surfaces whilst avoiding dispersing them into the air.
• Wash bedding very regularly to remove allergens. Anti-allergy bedding made from ‘intelligent fibres’ can be very helpful for children and adults who suffer from dust mite allergies. They limit the growth of dust mite allergens and also keep them away from the skin.
• Apply an organic drug-free allergen barrier balm around your nostrils and the bones of the eyes in the morning, throughout the day and at night to trap dust, pet and mould allergens before they enter the body; less allergen, less reaction.
• Shower at night before going to bed, to remove dust and pet allergens from your hair and body.
• Ensure your pet is well groomed and shampooed as much as possible to remove pet allergens and dust particles, and try to keep pets out of bedrooms.
And at Christmas time...
• Hose down your Christmas tree before taking it into the house, or after getting it out of storage, as this can help remove some of the dust and mould spores – though it’s probably best to get someone who isn’t allergic to do this!”