Allergies in the home hit all-time high
Post by Kelly Swift
on 15 November 2011 in Health & Wellbeing
Experts have warned that household allergens have reached an all-time high.
A study, commissioned by Allergy UK, asked 1,600 people about their allergies and symptoms they suffered from. Of those asked 58 per cent said they are allergic to dust mites, 45 per cent to household pets, 31 per cent to mould and 30 per cent to chemicals found in everyday cleaning products.
Lindsey McManus of Allergy UK said: “In an effort to keep warm, people close doors and windows, turn up the heating and inadvertently create the ideal breeding ground for house dust mites.
“The home is somewhere we escape to but for millions it is the trigger of an allergy.”
The NHS has estimated that 12 million people seek medical help for household allergies and around 50 per cent of these need specialist treatment because their symptoms are so severe.
Common symptoms caused by household allergies include sneezing, congestion, headaches and others usually associated with a cold. 59 per cent of people with such symptoms find they are worse when in the bedroom, unsurprisingly as previous research has found that a bed can house two million house dust mites. Shockingly, the average pillow will double in weight over six months due to dust mite faeces.
Lindsey McManus added: “Indoor allergies are on the increase. In February 2010, house dust mites were a trigger of an allergic reaction for 45 per cent of allergy sufferers. Fast forward 18 months and that figure has risen to 58 per cent.”
Experts predict that between 10 and 20 per cent of the population now has an allergy that developed when they were a child or young adult.
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