13 Apr Hay Fever and Allergy Season Is Upon Us
This week is National Allergy Awareness Week. Surely no coincidence that it collides with the time when Hay Fever starts to take a nasty grip on many of us.
Life can start to become a misery for the approximately 1-in-4 people who suffer from Hay Fever in the UK. The season tends to run (like our noses) from March, when the grass pollens are out and about and strutting their stuff, through to September, when those nasty little funghal spores jog about in the damper air.
Did you know that 18 million Brits are affected with Hay fever?
The real name is actually Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. (You can see why the moniker Hay Fever took over can’t you.)
Hay fever is basically an allergic reaction caused by your body over-reacting to something that it perceives as a threat, and with Hay Fever that threat is pollen. So when your body comes into contact with pollen the immune system starts to respond as if it were being attacked by a virus. Our lifestyles can affect how severe symptoms of Hay Fever are so make sure you exercise more, sleep well, eat well, cut down on alcohol and try to lower your stress levels – and hopefully you should see a difference!
When air pollution is bad, so too is hay fever, because the tiny pollen particles attach themselves to the polluting dirt particles in the air. So, conversely to what many people believe, hay fever can be more of a serious problem in the city than the countryside.
Many experts are of the opinion that the general rise in allergies among children has taken place because homes are that much cleaner and children are not building up a resistance from an early age in the same way they used to. While it’s true that kids should perhaps be eating more soil and muck than they used to (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration), there are certain areas where, to stay on top of allergies, you need to focus on cleanliness and freshness. What can you do about allergies in your home?
Dust-mites are terrible little blighters at triggering allergies, asthma and inducing hay fever-like symptoms.
Do your best to eradicate the Dust-mites from your home – especially the bedroom!
Unfortunately you’ll never be able to completely get rid of the evil little critters, but you can make a significant difference and mike life very hard for them by following a few simple procedures. Asthma UK states that up to 90% of asthma sufferers are sensitive to dust-mites, and offer the following advice:
- Dust and mop around your bedroom with a damp cloth
- Don’t have carpets in the bedrooms
- Regularly vacuum with a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter
- Ensure your room has good ventilation
- Freezing any soft toys (to kill eggs)
- 60 degree washes
- Air filters and purifiers
- Wash all bedding and blankets once a week in hot water
- Replace old mattresses (especially if it’s a spring mattress)
Now, prepare yourself, because this is a little bit disgusting, but it’s not actually the dust-mites that cause allergies to be triggered in bed. No, it’s actually their faeces that causes it. Yuck indeed. The most common allergic reactions to this are itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and wheezing, or difficulty in breathing, and have also been linked to headaches, tiredness and even depression.
So what kind of mattress is best to prevent allergies?
Well, the worst mattress to choose is a metal coil/spring mattress as there are just too many places that are friendly to dust-mites. The open cavities of the mattress are perfect places for dead skin cells to congregate, the ideal food for hungry dust-mites, and a nice little resting spot. Mold and mildew are often found in these mattress types too thanks to the humidity of your body heat. And dust-mites just love that stuff.
Experts all recommend foam mattresses – either memory foam or latex – as being the best for dust-mite prevention. The tightly packed foam, and the make-up of the foam itself are not the kind of place dust-mites like to beed and live. Some, but not all, memory foam mattresses come infused with an anti-allergenic treatment, which creates an additional barrier to protect you.
- Dormeo Memory – Each of these comes equipped with anti-allergenic and anti-dust-mote protection.
- Dormeo Options Latex – Dust-mites hate latex as much as they hate memory foam, and this mattress offers you that latex feel, if you want protection and a different sleep sensation.
- Dormeo Octaspring Hybrid Mattresses – This is our “Rolls Royce” range. A combination of Latex and Memory Foam, breathable foam springs keep the mattress cool and airy. And dust-mites hate that. A lot.
Don’t forget your pillows!
Many of us can’t remember the last time they bought a new pillow. A scary thought when you really think about it, considering the amount of time it spends in contact with your head. And what’s often lurking inside it! Again, foam-based pillows are the best to ensure protection against dust-mites. Many experts recommend changing pillows every 2 years, and always remembering that the cover should be washed at least once a week.
- Dormeo Octaspring True Evolution Pillows – Memory foam, breathable foam springs, machine-washable cover… all these make the Octaspring pillow a perfect, clean environment for your head.