Summer is a particularly difficult time for allergy sufferers and with so much pollen and dust floating around, it can even make some of us dread this time of year.
The good news is that if you’re prone to suffering from hay fever or allergies, there are a number of simple things you can do to your home to make it allergy-free.
Check your bed
It’s estimated that the average bed houses over 10,000 dust mites so if you find your allergies get worse when you’re trying to sleep, there’s every possibility that your mattress could be to blame.
If you’ve had your bed for a long time (anything more than eight years), it’s probably time for a new one. Also ensure that you look out for mattresses which carry the British Allergy Association seal of approval. If you can’t afford a new mattress, an anti-allergy mattress protector and anti-allergy pillows and duvets can also work wonders.
Carpets are a haven for dust and mites so make sure you vacuum regularly if you’re prone to suffering from allergies. If it’s really bad, a hard wood floor may be more suitable for your home and you can add rugs to make the place feel more cozy. Just make sure that these are regularly vacuumed and washed as well.
Double glazing might keep our homes nice and warm in the winter but draught-proof properties are a great place for dust mites to live.
Try to open your windows every morning to let some air in (just make sure you close them during the day when it’s pollen season) and also think about your window dressings. Heavy fabric curtains harbour dust so consider replacing them with something like window shutters instead. Shutters are very easy to wipe clean which means you can ensure that no allergy-aggravating dust can settle on them.
Freeze cuddly toys
Your child’s favourite toy could be contributing towards your or your child’s allergies because unfortunately, dust mites thrive in soft toys. In order to keep them as hygienic and anti-allergy as possible, every once in a while put them in the freezer overnight as this will kill any dust mites. After you have done this, put them in the washing machine to get rid of the allergen residue and they will be as good as new once again.
Invest in an air filter
If you really suffer from allergies then it’s well worth investing in an air filter because the cleaner the air around you, the better. An electrostatic air filter can help to remove dust, pollen, mould and other airborne allergens and are also great where smoke is a problem. Activated carbon filters help to remove odours and chemicals in the air and humidity monitors can also help because the more moisture there is in the air, the more hospitable the environment becomes to dust mites.
Cover house plants
Plants may look great but chances are that they’re making your allergies worse. If you can’t bear to part with them however, try covering the soil with a layer of pea-shingle. This makes plants less attractive to mould – something which can trigger asthma.