In case it passed you by, between the 20 and 26 October of this year Indoor Allergy Week took place. Organised by AllergyUK, it’s a time when they highlight the things we can all do to avoid household triggers for various allergies.
As winter comes around again and we all spend more and more of our time indoors, it becomes more of an issue for many people. So, it’s as important as ever to try and make this time easier for sufferers.
Currently, that includes about one in four of us in the UK. While many of those will be hayfever sufferers who struggle during the summer months, there are plenty of people who find the winter just as hard. And remember that for many indoor allergy sufferers, it can be a year round battle.
One of the key indoor allergies is the common dust mite. This often affects the quality of air indoors, causing symptoms such as congestion, shortness of breath, itchy eyes and headaches. They thrive at temperatures of 25 degrees or more. So, when we turn up our central heating to combat the cold in the British winter, the mites begin to thrive.
Other common indoor allergies are caused by pets. Cats in particular can spread allergens all around the house - we all know how nosy cats can be in the home. Bed lined is another rich breeding ground for allergens, which means there is sometimes no rest, even in sleep.
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to combat the allergens in your home. There are many allergy friendly products that you can use in your home to reduce the effect of indoor allergies. These can help to reduce the effects of allergens and ease the symptoms of asthma, sensitivity and intolerance. To find out more about the approved products that can help in your home, visit AllergyUK or look out for their logo on the back of any product you buy in the shops.
Of course, indoor allergies don’t just affect people in the home. As employees, we often spend many hours a day in environments that we can’t necessarily control. This can be a big problem and one that is not often understood by some employers. One of the aims of Indoor Allergy Week is to try and raise the profile of these sufferers so that workplaces are more friendly environments. It will also hopefully result in the increased use of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can help to reduce the impact of allergies in certain work environments.
It’s hoped that through efforts like this, we will all understand more about the conditions indoors and this will alleviate the suffering of some of the UK’s millions of allergy sufferers.