When someone is allergic to a particular allergen and comes into contact with it, an allergic reaction occurs. Allergies are in fact the most common chronic disease in Europe with up to 20% of allergy sufferers struggling daily with the fear of a possible asthma attack, anaphylactic shock, or even death from a reaction.
Many people who suffer from allergies stay indoors when the air outdoors is full of pollen and fungal spores. However, the air indoors can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor air due to house dust mites, volatile organic compounds, animal dander and mould spores.
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
While it is relatively easy to avoid eating foods that you are allergic to, it is harder to avoid allergens that are present in the very air we breathe - particularly in the home.
Opening a window is the obvious way to let in fresh air, but this can also let in pollen that will worsen an allergy and you will lose a lot of heat within the property. The best way to deal with the presence of a variety of toxic airborne substances is to use a positive input ventilation system (PIV) or mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system, fitted by a knowledgeable and experienced installer.
This should be used alongside sensible precautions such as removing shoes before entering the home and regularly grooming pets outside of the property. Dealing with allergies is largely a matter of avoiding exposure rather than treatment of the allergy.
To help you to understand the allergens that can be found in the home, we have put together a guide to allergies which explains in more detail what triggers an allergy and what can be done to reduce and in some cases prevent them from happening.
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