Exposure to allergens can worsen the symptoms of people who suffer from allergies. In many cases, the more allergens there are in an environment the worse it gets for the sufferer, so for some people reducing the amount of allergen can help. The success of this approach does depend on which allergen a person is allergic to (you can get tested by your doctor to check this), but if you find that your allergy is to indoor allergens such as dust mites or pet dander it can be worth trying to reduce your exposure to those allergens. Likewise, if your allergy is to pollen or other allergens usually found outside the home, then there is some point to trying to filter incoming air.
This may not work for you – take medical advice first before spending lots of money on ‘anti-allergy’ devices. However if you find that there may be some point in trying to reduce your exposure to allergens in the home you will find a variety of products designed to do this on the Allergy UK website.
The Asthma charity Allergy UK provides a wide range of services to people suffering from allergies, including supervising a range of retail products that have been properly tested and assessed for efficiency at reducing our exposure to a range of allergens in the home.
For those sensitive to fungi we would point out in particular the pillow & mattress covers and HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners but there are many more. For some homes (or places of work) there are underlying problems of damp. Damp is caused by living in a home that is not ventilated sufficiently (as just living in a home causes lots of moisture to be released into indoor air), a home that has been changed to keep in warmth (eg. removing vents, double glazing, blocking chimneys) or one that has structural issues such as leaking pipes, broken rain gutters or roofing and many more. Damp is the main cause of high indoor mould levels that can promote allergies and infections. Removing the sources of damp will also reduce the amount of fungi in your home and should improve your allergies.
NB. it is now thought that living in a damp home can trigger a series of illnesses starting with an allergy that can be reversed quite quickly and progressing through to multiple chemical sensitivities that are very difficult to treat as it is very difficult to avoid all irritants. The only known treatment for all is to remove yourself from the source of allergen, so in a damp home it would be best to move away from the problem home. There are some medications that will suppress the symptoms for a while but there are no proven cures so it is important to recognise that your home is causing the allergy and then, unless you can clearly remove the source of allergen quickly, most need to move out before the allergy becomes irreversible (to all practical purposes). Using devices to try to clean the air can help as a temporary solution in a damp home, until the damp can be removed, but many will find that problems persist.
The Allergy UK Seal of Approval
Our main endorsement is the ‘Seal of Approval’. When you see a product with this logo on it, you have the reassurance the product has been scientifically tested to prove it is efficient at reducing/removing allergens from the environment of allergy and asthma sufferers or the products have significantly reduced allergen/chemical content.
The testing is carried out by an independent laboratory to protocols which have been created for the Seal of Approval by leading allergy specialists, specifically to benefit the sufferers of allergy, asthma, sensitivity and intolerance. The type of products that currently hold the Seal of Approval Award include:
- Air Purifiers
- Bed Cleaners
- Beds & Mattresses
- Carpet Cleaners
- Cleaning Products
- Floorings / Coverings
- Infant Care
- Laundry Appliances
- Paint & Varnishes
- Personal Care
- Steam Appliances
- Vacuum Cleaners