What are The Most Common Allergens in the Home
Allergic reactions are caused when a person’s immune system responds to the presence of a substance. There are many different types of allergies which can range from a mild reaction to a very severe response known as anaphylaxis, which can be fatal and requires medical attention. Allergies affect around a third of people in the UK, with the most common condition being hayfever which is caused by the presence of pollen.
Even relatively mild allergies can be miserable for sufferers, with symptoms like sore and streaming eyes, blocked noses, sneezing, and even difficulty breathing preventing people from enjoying life.
While food allergies can be quite easy to manage by avoiding foods that contain certain ingredients, allergic rhinitis – which is typically caused by breathing in an allergen – can be harder to avoid, because many of the allergens are present in the air around the home.
Common Household Allergens
Pollen causes hayfever. Pollen levels are at their highest during the summer months, and there are usually three waves that affect people. In late spring and early summer, grass pollen is most prevalent. This is followed by tree pollen during the peak of the summer, and then in late summer, pollen released by weeds reaches its highest levels.
During the hayfever season, sufferers can reduce their exposure by leaving windows closed, showering after being outdoors and changing clothes outside the bedroom so that pollen is not transferred onto bedding where it can cause a reaction during the night.
Household mould grows in damp areas of the home, and forms black patches on walls and ceilings. You may often find mould behind wardrobes and on bathroom walls and ceilings if there is insufficient ventilation.
Ensuring that extractor fans are used when you are bathing and cooking and reducing moisture levels by not drying clothes indoors can help reduce condensation and prevent damp from forming.
Dust mites thrive in similar damp conditions to mould. Normal household dust can build up in damp areas with poor airflow, and this is then consumed by the tiny mites. The waste products from the dust mites are carried on the air and when inhaled will irritate the airways.
Reducing humidity levels will help remove the environments that dust mites enjoy, and regularly vacuuming around the edges of rooms and keeping your home as dust free as possible will also take away their food sources.
Reducing the Presence of Allergens in the Home
Good home ventilation can help reduce exposure to domestic allergens. Positive Input Ventilation Systems filter air that is drawn into the home to prevent pollen from building up and create a positive air pressure which prevents pollen laden air from entering through windows and doors.
Good quality bathroom and kitchen extractor fans reduce the humidity levels in the home which stops condensation and prevents the damp conditions which support mould and dust mite populations.
Find out More
Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies like hayfever, or struggle all year round, we can help. Our local ventilation specialists offer a free home ventilation survey which will identify any airflow problems in your home, and they can provide advice about the best solution for your needs. Simply fill in your postcode below to find a local expert.