Sunday, 20th June 2021

This Month's Magazine


Extract taken from BUPA Global health advice provided by Sonia Fendley, director of STM Nummos Life

An itchy, blocked or runny nose, sneezing and streaming eyes are all uncomfortable symptoms caused by common airborne allergens found in and around the home.

Managing your allergy is a key way you can take control and stop it affecting your everyday life. First, it’s a good idea to identify
what you’re allergic to. Do your symptoms happen at work or at home? Or, do they happen at the same time each year – if so,
it could be hay fever. Once you know what you’re allergic to, there are some things you can do yourself to feel better.

Allergens are caused by proteins, substances that are found in all living things. When your body comes into contact with one that you’re allergic to, you get an allergic reaction. Your body releases antibodies, which trigger the release of a chemical called histamine.

This is what sets off your symptoms.

Hay fever
Hay fever is caused by grass, tree and weed pollens. These tend to pollinate throughout the spring and summer months. Short of staying inside, you may feel like there’s no getting away from it. But try these tactics to help reduce your symptoms.

  • Try not to walk in grassy areas in the early morning and during the evening and night. Pollen counts are at their
    highest at these times.
  • Ask another person in your family to mow the grass, or wear a mask.
  • Keep the windows closed in your house and car. You could get the pollen filters changed in your car, if you have them.
  • Take a shower to wash off the pollen after you’ve been outside.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to help stop itchy pollen getting into your eyes.
  • Apply some petroleum jelly around the inside of your nostrils to form a protective barrier.


House dust mites
House dust mites are tiny creatures that live in curtains, carpets, mattresses, pillows and duvets. They are almost impossible to get rid of completely, but there are things you can do that will help.

  • Choose a wooden, tiled or linoleum floor over carpet if you can.
  • Replace your curtains with blinds that you can wipe clean. Wipe all surfaces weekly with a damp cloth.
  • Use synthetic and acrylic bedding, and fit your mattress and pillows with dust mite covers.
  • Wash your bedding in hot water every week. You could also tumble dry your sheets for 10 minutes on the ‘hot’ setting.
  • If you have them, vacuum your carpets every week. Just be aware that this can
    stir up allergens in the air for about 20 minutes, so if possible, ask someone else to vacuum and stay out of the room or
    house until the air settles.

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