The downside of summer: Why your home might be making you ill

PUBLISHED: 14:20 16 June 2017

There are steps you can take to make your home less sneeze-inducing

There are steps you can take to make your home less sneeze-inducing

© Franck Camhi

The sun is shining, but some of us aren’t smiling - and pollen and dust mites are two of the reasons why.

While the warm weather is appreciated, there are definite down sides to this time of year for anyone with allergies and asthma that’s triggered by things like pollen.

Here’s what to watch out for at home to stay healthy...

Pollen can come in through open windows

A bane for hay fever sufferers, pollen can also be problematic for some adults and children living with asthma, and while we think of it as something that strikes outdoors, around trees and grass for instance, it can enter our homes too.

“Pollen can be brought into the home by a variety of modes,” says Allergy UK nurse advisor, Holly Shaw. “A common cause is coming in through an open window, which are often opened early in the morning and/or evening, when pollen counts are highest. This means pollen can enter rooms and provide a constant stream of aeroallergens (substances that are breathed in that cause a problem to the allergic individual),”

Drying laundry outdoors can also be an issue

Letting laundry air-dry indoors can be a major contributory factor to damp in homes, which can have a detrimental effect on health, particularly for people with certain allergies and lung conditions. But while for many of us, the chance to dry clothes outdoors during the warmer months is a welcome relief, this can also be a pollen trap.

“Pollen can be transferred into the home on laundry that’s been aired outside,” notes Holly. “In addition, pollen can also be transferred on people (on their clothes, skin and hair) and domestic pets.” In other words, people and pets can traipse allergens like pollen inside.

Dust mites thrive in warm conditions

Pollen isn’t the sole culprit. Dust mites are among the “most common indoor air allergens”, Holly says, and they “thrive in warm, humid environments”. Dust mites in the home are most often found in soft furnishings like carpets, bedding, curtains and cushions.

What can you do about it?

If opening the windows is tricky, but letting the house get too warm isn’t good either, where does that leave you? As frustrating as it sounds, there are a number of things you can do to minimise unhealthy home invasions during summer.

“Keeping windows closed and not drying laundry outside during high pollen times, and showering when you return from being outside, will remove pollen from the skin and hair,” suggests Holly.

“Cleaning in the home, including damp dusting and vacuuming, will help control dust mites. It should be noted this can also cause dust mites to be disturbed, so those with a dust mite allergy may be symptomatic following this. Minimising the amount of soft furnishings in the home, keeping beds free from soft toys and cushions and washing bedding above 60 degrees may also help reduce dust mites. For items that cannot be washed as easily, pillow or mattress protectors may be useful.”

As with any time of year, ensuring your hay fever/allergies and asthma is well-managed generally is also important, so if you’re struggling to keep symptoms under control, speak to your GP. They can advise on medication and any additional things that may help, or investigate whether there’s another reason for the flare-ups.

Latest South Hertfordshire Property News

Yesterday, 14:37

What are the different ways in which you can help your children/grandchildren get a foot on the property ladder?

Read more
Yesterday, 08:26

Plants wilting? Grass looking forlorn? Don’t despair - there’s a lot you can do to pep up your sun-addled garden.

Read more
Tue, 13:00

You don’t always need planning permission for building work - your home’s permitted development rights could save you time and money, but what are they?

Read more
Tue, 09:42

Parents are spending £20.1 billion each year supporting adult children who can’t afford to buy their first home.

Read more
Mon, 11:56

It’s time to put your knowledge of our local famous faces - past and present - to the test with our latest quiz.

Read more
Friday, June 23, 2017

A thriving and proactive community resides in Redbourn, with a popular parish council centre offering opportunities for creative, sporting and educational clubs.

Read more
Friday, June 23, 2017

The heat wave has got us all panic buying fans and flashing unseemly amounts of flesh as temperatures rise to levels not seen since, er, last summer.

Read more
Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Node is a beautiful conversion of an old manor house, set within 15 acres of stunning grounds.

Read more
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

All over the country people are handing over the keys to everything from lavishly appointed townhouses in prime locations to cottages - and even mansions - in the country and just about everything else from riverboats to Mongolian yurts.

Read more
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Road safety is uppermost among parental concerns, while the home is less likely to be seen as a potential source of danger for little ones.

Read more
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Property prices have shot up by 80 per cent in some areas of Hertfordshire since interest rates fell to 0.5 per cent in March 2009.

Read more
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Local commercial property specialist Aitchison Raffety has been named as one of Hertfordshire’s most active agencies.

Read more
Monday, June 19, 2017

Hoorah! It looks as though the search for a new home has come to a standstill. Talk of moving has fallen into eerie silence and there is only one thing for me to do: Make the most of it.

Read more
Monday, June 19, 2017

As long as they’re useable in all weathers, conservatories are a good way to increase your living space and bring the outside in.

Read more
Friday, June 16, 2017

The sun is shining, but some of us aren’t smiling - and pollen and dust mites are two of the reasons why.

Read more
Friday, June 16, 2017

Frogmore sits three miles north of Radlett and immediately south of St Albans.

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

It’s time to test your knowledge of another Hertfordshire hot spot!

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

It’s been a week of political surprises, with the hung parliament spelling widespread uncertainty – and not just for Theresa May.

Read more
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Every now and then a truly unique property comes on the market and captures everyone’s imagination - and this one-of-a-kind terrace is one such home.

Read more
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Alastair Woodgate, Director of leading local chartered surveyors, Rumball Sedgwick, considers how the property market might respond to the General Election result.

Read more
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Worried you’ve left it too late to get your summer patio plants in their pots?

Read more
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Turns out property viewing calamities aren’t a new thing for Rachel…

Read more
Monday, June 12, 2017

Nature, history and a hugely popular nursery make the Batford area of Harpenden a sought after spot.

Read more
Monday, June 12, 2017

As the dust settles after the snap general election, a leading local agent has called on Downing Street to offer reassurance and allay fears of further uncertainty in the housing market.

Read more
Friday, June 9, 2017

There’s much more to this Hertfordshire village than its pretty high street.

Read more
Friday, June 9, 2017

Looking to brighten up your home for summer? It takes a mere flick of the switch...

Read more
Thursday, June 8, 2017

The news that Herts house prices only increased by 1.9 per cent in the year to May came as a surprise to many – not least the wannabe buyers and/or Rightmove addicts who’ve been keeping a close eye on the local market these past 12 months.

Read more
Thursday, June 8, 2017

There’s nothing like a strong feature wallpaper for livening up a neutral space. These three properties prove that a carefully chosen print can work wonders when it comes to transforming an otherwise ordinary room...

Read more

HERTS AD PROPERTY E-EDITION

Image
Read the Herts Ad Property e-edition E-edition

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Get the latest St Albans and Harpenden property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

MOST READ

search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder