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Are you allergic to your home?

 


Perennial Allergic Rhinitis, (or home fever) affects over 12 million people every year. Most of us are aware that dust mites are a major cause of allergies, but did you know that there are dozens of other allergens in the home? From moulds to cleaning products, pets to room sprays and much more in between, home allergens can all contribute to Perennial Allergic Rhinitis.
This is the first in a series of articles in which we will explain the various causes of home fever, and what you can do to prevent it. In this article, we will explain the symptoms and common causes of Perennial Allergic Rhinitis.


What is Perennial Allergic Rhinitis?


Perennial Allergic Rhinitis affects around one in every five people in the UK. It’s incredibly common. It causes an inflammation inside the nose which is usually triggered by allergens in and around the home such as pollen, dust, dust mites, moulds, animal hair or animal skin flakes. It can also be caused by various household cleaning solutions or chemicals.
Because of the nature of the causes, home fever is ‘perennial’, which means that symptoms can be present all year round, which can be a real struggle for sufferers.


Many of us will suffer from Perennial Allergic Rhinitis without even knowing as the symptoms are easily confused with those of the common cold. Sufferers will experience sneezing, a blocked or a runny nose, and even a decreased sense of smell. It can also trigger pain around the face caused by inflamed sinuses and sometimes headaches. As a result, most of us will rush to treat the symptoms as if it were a cold, choosing mild pain killers or cold and flu remedies. This may help in the short term, but will do nothing to prevent suffering again in the future.


What causes Perennial Allergic Rhinitis?

There are many causes depending on your sensitivity to different allergens but here are some of the biggest culprits.


• Dust mites: The major cause of allergies in the home
• Pets: Pet fur and dead skin are both allergens
• Room sprays: Can cause reactions or even trigger asthma attacks
• Carpets: A haven for dust mites but also the chemicals and materials used can also be allergens
• Mould: There are various types of mould found around the home that can cause skin irritation and respiratory conditions
• Furniture: Furniture made from chipboard or manufactured wood can sometimes contain formaldehyde which irritates the airwaves
• Perfume: The chemicals used in perfumes and beauty products can cause skin reactions
• Flowers: Indoor plants and flowers can cause hay fever all year around


Can it be treated?


If you are suffering from any of the symptoms described above then be sure to consult your doctor, particularly if they are preventing you from carrying out everyday activities.
There are a number of over the counter medications such as antihistamines but if your symptoms don’t clear up, your doctor may prescribe stronger medication.


Prevention is much better than a cure

Coming up in our series of articles on home health, we will put the spotlight on every health threat in the home and provide guidance on how to prevent them in the first place.

Stay tuned for next month’s guide to the dangers of bacteria.

 

 

Written by Mike Pye

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