For around 20% of the UK population, spring means the onset of annual allergies
The coronavirus continues to dominate every headline, as well as many of our health-related worries, but for many of us this time of year also marks the arrival of another widespread health concern: hay fever.
According to the NHS, springtime allergies impact around 20% of the UK population, with symptoms including sneezing, itchiness of the eyes and nose, and general discomfort.
And apart from taking antihistamines, it’s easy to feel powerless when it comes to controlling your allergy symptoms. However, making changes to your home can help you feel more like yourself again.
And this is especially true in the bedroom. We’re here with five simple ways to allergy-proof – or at least, allergy reduce – your bedroom this spring. Let’s take a look.
Protect against dust mites in your bedding
We don’t like to think about critters that might be sharing our bed. After all, is there anything more horrible than the idea of microscopic bugs spending the nigh with you? But dust mites are more common than you might think, and can trigger allergies and asthma.
Dust mite-proof covers are available for pillows, mattresses and duvets, but washing your bedding every week should always be at the heart of any measures you take. Try to get into the habit of changing your bedding weekly, washing the used bedding in warm water.
Keep window treatments light
Blinds and heavy curtains that you can only wash at a dry cleaners are notorious allergen catchers, creating safe havens for dust, pollen and other substances which are likely to make you feel more uncomfortable at this time of year.
Washable curtains or roller shades are a great alternative to these options. What’s more, you should make the effort to wipe down your windows – including both the frames and the glass – regularly to prevent mould and mildew from building up, as both of these substances can trigger upper respiratory symptoms if you suffer from allergies or asthma. When it comes to window dressing just remember that you still want curtains or blinds that will keep the light out – otherwise you’ll find it harder to find sleep in the first place.
Be sure to vacuum regularly
This is one of the simplest but most effective ways to reduce the number of allergens living in your sleep sanctuary. From dust mites to pollen you’ve carried in from outside, allergy triggers can live in your carpets, so make the effort to hoover every couple of days.
Alternatively, you could consider swapping to hardwood floor or even low-nap or low-pile carpets which hold fewer allergens.
Wash your clothes, and yourself
You may not be going outside much at the minute, but when you do head out, you’re probably bringing pollen back inside with you. If your hay fever symptoms are serious, it may be because you’re carrying triggers on your clothes at all times. Be sure to wash your clothes, and yourself, whenever you come in from a springtime walk. Don’t let that pile of dirty laundry in your bedroom make the space less habitable.
Ban pets from the bedroom
For animal lovers and pet owners, this can be hard. You might love to have your pets snuggle up to you at night-time, but as well as being our cuddly companions, the harsh truth is that pets are also rife with allergens.
From dander and saliva to animal urine, pets carry a lot of substances that can trigger your symptoms, so it’s best if they catch their 40 winks elsewhere. If you really can’t close the door on them at night, be sure to take steps to reduce dander by vacuuming more often.