Top tips to cease sneezing this Allergy Awareness Week

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Leading allergist, Dr. Tania Elliott, collaborates with Awair and Avant Life to help you combat common household allergies.

Oh, hello allergy season! If you’ve been wondering why you’ve been sneezing and coughing a lot lately and blaming it on pollen and the outdoors, think again.

Most of us take for granted that the air we’re breathing is healthy, safe, and won’t have much effect on us since it’s not something we can typically see – but this isn’t the case, especially for air that’s indoors. In fact, indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoors, which can affect allergies, asthma, productivity, and even our quality of sleep!

So, with April 23-30 marking Allergy Awareness Week, what better time to spring clean your indoor air and get rid of the biggest causes of sneezes, sniffles and swollen eyes in the home:

Dust

The most common indoor allergy, dust affects millions of us throughout the year. This is no surprise, since one piece of dust contains a potpourri of unpleasant items like dead skin, mould spores, pieces of dead insects, and pet dander. GROSS.

Dust can cause itchiness, asthma, eczema, and hay fever. Exposure to dust mites has also been linked to conjunctivitis, hypersensitive pneumonia, and both allergic and migraine headaches, which really isn’t cool!

How can you get rid of dust mites, then? Dust mites love dark, moist places, with temperatures of 21 degrees or higher and humidity over 75%. Regulating your temperature and humidity can help prevent dust mites from spreading throughout your house. If you see dust on your furniture, ditch a feather duster and opt for a microfibre cloth or damp cloth to effectively trap and eliminate dust.

Chemicals

Chemicals are far more common in our homes than we may realise, and they are usually the source of irritation and allergy-like symptoms. The type of chemicals typically found in your home’s air are called VOCs: volatile organic compounds.

We’re all guilty of accidentally increasing the levels of VOCs in the air of our homes as they’re common in paint, cleaning supplies, common household products and, believe it or not, furniture.

You can limit the VOCs in the air in your home with plenty of fresh air – try to run fans and open windows during activities such as cooking, cleaning and painting. You can also place a few air-cleaning plants around your home such as the Cascading Pothos (sounds fancy, but it’s super simple to keep alive!)

Humidity

This plays an important role in your overall comfort, and too high or low humidity can cause health problems. We’re actually the most comfortable when the relative humidity of the air around us is between 20% and 60%. If your indoor humidity climbs above 60%, you begin to risk mould and mildew growth in your home, which can trigger allergies.

On the other hand, if your indoor humidity is below 20%, you’ll start to experience acute allergy-like symptoms, such as eye, nose, skin, and throat irritation – things definitely worth avoiding!

With a staggering 20% of the UK’s population currently affected by one or more allergic disorders, it’s time to become more air aware. Awair tracks pollutants (dust, VOCs, CO2, temperature and humidity) in your air and gives personalised recommendations that help you stay safe and healthy – any time of year.

For more information visit https://getawair.co.uk/.