Combating allergies and asthma

Around 5.4 million people in the UK currently receive treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12) Asthma UK.

Allergy is also widespread, affecting approximately 15 million people (1 in 4) at some time in their lives. Each year, numbers are increasing by 5% with as many as half of all those affected being children Allergy UK.

Both asthma and allergic reactions can be triggered by dust mites that live in carpets as well as mattresses, and soft furnishings. Asthma UK advises suffers to:

  • Use barrier covering systems on your mattress, duvet and pillow
  • Remove carpets and replace with hard flooring. Vacuum all areas frequently
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with good suction and filtered exhaust that does not scatter dust
  • Damp dust all surfaces or use an attachment on your vacuum cleaner
  • Remove soft toys from beds. Put into a bag in the freezer for a minimum six hours every one – two weeks to kill house-dust mites
  • Hot wash (60°C) sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases once a week. Although some people are allergic to feathers, there is no conclusive evidence to show that synthetic, ‘hypo-allergenic’ pillows are any better
  • Clean soft furnishings with anti-house dust-mite chemicals
  • Use a dehumidifier to dry the air as this makes it more difficult for house-dust mites to survive.

Asthma UK provides a list of upright and cylinder vacuum cleaners which have been awarded the National Asthma Foundation Seal of Approval.