The hayfever season may be done and dusted, but for many allergy sufferers winter is just as problematic as spring and summer.
Experts have warned that the time we spend indoors over the winter, plus mould, central heating and lack of ventilation mean thousands Brits will suffer hayfever or cold-like symptoms throughout the year, and the enemies are actually in our bedrooms.
According to Allergy UK, those enemies are house dust mites - two million of which live in your bed. So it’s no surprise that three quarters of indoor allergy sufferers notice their symptoms in the bedroom and almost half (41 per cent) admit the room makes theirs worse.
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As we spend an average of 52 and a half hours a week in the bedroom, here are Allergy UK’s 10 essential rules to keep us sneeze-free (especially helpful as even our partners don’t fancy us when we’re mid allergy attack!) indoors:
1. Keep the room well ventilated. Have the window slightly open overnight to ensure air flow and clean windows and frames regularly to stop mould forming. But close first thing in the morning
2. Throw back your covers. Forget a well made bed, house dust mites hate light so open your curtains and flood your bed with it every morning
3. Change your bedding. Use an anti-allergy mattress and bedding or bedding covers to prevent the escape of the house dust mite allergen
4. Get rid of your curtains. Though they’re common in bedrooms, they harbor mites so if you don’t want to wash your curtains every month at a high temperature to kill the mites, try roller blinds or black outs
5. Ditch your carpet. Instead a more allergy-friendly flooring. (Allergy UK has a list of recommended floors.) If you don’t want to get rid of your carpet, vacuum daily with a cleaning that has a HEPA filtration system
6. Anti-allergy kids' toys. Keep all children’s toys in a toy chest or cupboard and regularly wash soft toys at 60 degrees. If they can’t be washed on high temperatures, put them in the freezer overnight to destroy the allergen and then washed at a the recommended temperature
7. Using an air purifier in the bedroom. These can help to trap allergens
8. Avoid posters or pictures. Hangings on the walls of your room hold dust. Instead, try a transfer or paint directly onto the walls
9. Keep clothes in drawers. Put fabrics and clothes away in drawers and wardrobes that can be shut. Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth every day
10. No feather dusters. These flick dust particles and allergen into the air. Opt for an electromagnetic cloth instead