Allergies During the Holiday Season

Allergies During the Holiday Season

Mould & Mildew

Mildew and mould spores float in the air like pollen and your exposure to it may increase during the holidays because they love damp evergreens like the wreaths, boughs and trees we bring inside this time of year.

How to control Mould Allergies:

A 2011 study performed by staff at the SUNY Upstate Medical University and published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that a Christmas tree could increase the number of mould spores in an apartment by about 6 and a half times1!

Christmas trees and wreaths carry mould spores. If mould affects you, you may consider making the switch to artificial decorations. If you simply can’t do without your Christmas tree then there are other ways to keep mould to a minimum. Hose plants down before bringing them inside to get rid of existing spores.

Artificial decorations can indeed reduce allergy but they too can become damp or grow mould. Ensure your artificial decorations are stored in dry containers and have been packaged correctly. 

Air purifiers, dehumidifiers and sprays that target mould can make a difference in tackling the spores that cause your allergic reaction.

Dust mites

These tiny allergens can be even more aggravating around the holidays when the air gets damp and we spend time in hotel rooms or staying with friends and relatives.

How to control Dustmite Allergies:

Keep symptoms in check at home by changing air filters frequently, washing your bedding in hot water at 60 degrees weekly and by buying allergy-resistant encasement covers for pillows and mattress. Dust mites thrive in humidity, so a good way to keep indoor humidity between 30% and 50% is to invest in a dehumidifier.

During the holiday season, you often find yourself staying with friends, relatives and in hotels. When travelling it’s a good idea to bring your own pillow with an anti-allergy protective cover. When staying in a hotel you can request a down-free pillow or even bring your own pillow encasements to keep allergic reactions to a minimum.

Food

The Holiday Season means lots of dining away from home, plenty of seasonal foods and lots of parties! All of which make it likely you’ll accidentally eat foods you’re allergic to.

Ways to control Food Allergies:

The first and best treatment for food allergies is to avoid what you’re allergic to. At seasonal gatherings with friends and family communication is key. Tell them about your food allergies, ask about ingredients in meals and desserts, discuss alternatives with them and ask for their help so you can avoid the foods you’re allergic to, the last thing your family or friends want is to make you unwell around the holiday season.

Pets

Symptoms of pet allergies can worsen around the holidays. Pets are indoors more, both at your house and in the homes of friends and family2.

Ways to control Pet Allergies:

To reduce the likelihood of a reaction for yourself or your visitors this holiday season there are a few things you can do. Firstly minimize your contact with pets and keep them strictly out of the bedrooms to reduce the amount of allergen in the room. Make sure to bathe your pets weekly, if possible, to wash away dander and other allergens from their fur. Change your clothes, bathe and wash your hair after playing with your pet and before going to bed[3]. Wash your hands and face frequently and keep your floors swept, and carpets vacuumed.

Air purifiers and sprays that target allergies to pets can make a difference in tackling the protein in the dander that causes your allergic reaction.

Allergies During the Holiday Season

Mould & MildewMildew and mould spores float in the air like pollen and your exposure to it may increase during the holidays because they love damp evergreens like the wreaths, boughs and trees we bring inside this time of year.How to control Mould Allergies:A 2011...

Why Do Indoor Allergies Worsen During Autumn & Winter?

Sufferers of indoor allergies can find that these symptoms often worsen during the Autumn and Winter months. With the change in the weather, if you are allergic to pollen you may experience a relief of your symptoms during this time. However for many people these cold...

Allergies during exam season

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Travelling with Allergies

When someone at home has an allergy we do everything we can to make life as easy as possible. But what about when we are travelling with allergies? Be it a work trip, weekend getaway with friends, a family holiday, our allergies can join us for the ride. The...

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All you need to know about Hay Fever

What is hay fever? Hay Fever is a seasonal allergy to airborne pollen particles. It can cause sneezing, runny or blocked noses, itching in eyes, throat nose and ears, excess mucus, and red or watering eyes. The hay fever season runs from; February to June - Tree...

What anti-allergy bedding is right for you?

Your bedroom can be a haven for dust mites and other allergens. In fact, it’s estimated that the average bed has around 10,000 dust mites living in it. So if you suffer from allergies it may be a good idea to invest in anti-allergy bedding. Anti-Allergy Bedding...

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Allergy UK has stated that 1 in 4 people will suffer from allergies at some point in their life. It is always recommended that you inform your GP if you suspect you have an allergy. Some allergic reactions are worse than others. If you find yourself short of breath,...

Signs you may be allergic to your own home

Do you have a cold that you can’t seem to shake? Do you have itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneeze even though you don’t feel ill? Do you have any rashes or swelling? If so, there is a chance you could be suffering from an allergy in the home. What are dust mites? It...

What are allergies and how can they be treated?

An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance (allergen), such as pollen, food and dust mites as though it is a threat, like an infection. In order to fight off the allergen, your body produces antibodies, in a reaction called the "immune...

What are allergies and how can they be treated?

What are allergies? An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance (allergen), such as pollen, food and dust mites as though it is a threat, like an infection. In order to fight off the allergen, your body produces...
How To Buy The Best Electric Heater For Your Home

How To Buy The Best Electric Heater For Your Home

The nights are on the turn and if you’re fed up with feeling cold indoors, then a heater could be the ideal solution. But with so much choice available what room heater is best for your home?

Whether you’re to keep your bedroom or conservatory cosy, or trying to warm up the office, we will take you through all the variety of heaters we have on offer that will take you from chilly to cosy1.

What kind of room heater should you use?

Convector heater

This type of heater is useful to heat up a whole room for a few hours or more. They work by warming the air next to the heater which will then circulate around the room. They are a good choice for those who need an additionally heating source to keep a room warm for a few hours. You can get a variety of convector heaters from electric, gas to oil filled radiators. They can also come with thermostats and timers so you can choose how long to keep the heat on and set an ideal temperature so you don’t get too warm.

Radiant & Fan Heaters

To quickly heat a room radiant and fan heaters are the best option. These heaters work fast and ideally work best to heat up a room in a short period. Often they don’t have thermostats or timers which can make this a more expensive option over time. Halogen heaters, electric bar fires, open gas fires and bottled gas fires are forms of radiant heaters2.

Portable Heaters Explained

Portable fan heaters

Ideal for heating a room up quickly. They’re usually lightweight and portable and easy to set up.

Convector portable heaters

This type of heater will heat up quickly, they are usually tall, thin and light so can be moved from room to room with ease.

Oil-filled portable heater

These heaters can be heavy and slow to heat up but they are cheap to run. They can be on the larger side and can be hard to move but look out for models that have wheels that will help them be more portable 3.

Where do I put my heater to get the most out of it?

This all depends on the model of heater you have. Fan heaters need an inflow of air in order to heat it up if the vents are on the back avoid placing it against a wall instead turn the vent outwards towards the room. For an oil heater, you place it in the middle of the room until the room has heated up. Convector heaters can be used anywhere in a room.

Discover our range of heaters for your home here.

 

 

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Anti-Allergy Bedding Buying Guide

Anti-Allergy Bedding Buying Guide

Why do I need Anti-Allergy bedding?

Your bed could be home to over 10 million dust mites; potent triggers of conditions such as asthma, eczema and other respiratory conditions. These unwelcome guests can bring on allergy symptoms making for a very unpleasant, and often disturbed, night’s sleep. Household insecticides have no effect on dust mites, your best course of action is to make your bed inhospitable to them. You can do this by purchasing anti-allergy bedding, or by encasing your existing bedding in specialist anti-allergy encasements. You could also consider purchasing an anti-allergy mattress.

What am I allergic to?

Although we use the term “dust mite allergy”, the mite itself is not what you are allergic to. Instead it is the faeces that the dust mite leaves behind. Their faeces contain proteins which can produce negative reactions in people, including sneezing, coughing, itching, wheezing and streaming eyes. Dust mites do not bite, cannot spread diseases, and do not live on people. They are only harmful to those who develop an allergy to them. Dustmites are microscopic in size so it is easy to assume your bed is mite-free.

What’s the difference between non-allergenic, hypoallergenic and anti-allergy?

  • Non-allergenic means that the item itself shouldn’t cause an allergic reaction, but triggers such as dust mites may still be present.
  • Hypoallergenic means that there is a decreased chance of allergic reaction
  • Anti-allergy means the item is intended to prevent or minimise an allergic reaction.

Do I need new bedding?

To fight dust mites, your best option is to replace your bedding with specialist anti-allergy bedding. Anti-allergy bedding can either contain an active ingredient to denature dust mites, or have a special casing that dust mites cannot penetrate. If your existing bedding isn’t anti-allergy and you’re reluctant to replace it, you can improve its allergy protection by using anti-allergy encasements. These encasements fit over your existing pillow, duvet and mattress and trap allergens inside.

What do I need to make my bed allergy friendly?

It’s important to make your whole bed an allergy-friendly haven. This may involve replacing your pillows, duvet, sheets and mattress or purchasing specialist encasements to improve the anti-allergy effectiveness of your existing bedding.

Pillows & Duvets for allergy sufferers

Anti-allergy pillows and duvets can be split into two groups, those that contain an active ingredient to denature dust mites and those made with a casing impenetrable to dust mites. Both options will offer a good level of protection and will stop the growth of dust mites in your pillow and duvet. Furthermore, some pillow and duvet fillings, such as wool and silk, are naturally resistant to dust mites. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to keep your existing pillow and duvet, you can purchase anti-allergy encasements; these will fully encase your pillow and duvet trapping allergens inside.

Bed Linen for allergy sufferers

When purchasing bed sheets it’s best to choose something that offers specialist anti-allergy protection, these sheets will contain an active ingredient to denature dust mites or will be made from something naturally resistant to dust mites such as silk. Alternatively choose sheets that can be washed regularly at 60oC, this is the temperature needed to kill dust mites, or use a laundry additive such as Fabri-Cleanse to remove allergens at lower temperatures.

Mattress Protection for allergy sufferers

You can protect yourself from the allergens in your mattress by using an anti-allergy mattress protector or mattress encasement. An anti-allergy mattress protector will contain an anti-allergy agent to protect you from dust mites in the top layer of your mattress. For better protection an anti-allergy mattress encasement will fully encase your mattress, stopping allergens from exiting or entering any part of your mattress. The majority of mattress encasements are made from a fabric impenetrable to dust mites and other allergens. Anti-Allergy Pillow Protectors and Pillow Encasements are also available.

Mattresses for allergy sufferers

Brands including Sealy and Healthbeds have started to produce hypo-allergenic mattresses. Similarly to anti-allergy bedding, your new mattress will have been treated with an agent to denature dust mites. If you’re considering purchasing a new mattress, choosing an anti-allergy option will stop the growth of dust mites in the first place.

Can Anti-Allergy bedding make my bed more eczema friendly?

When choosing bedding for eczema sufferers, it is very important that it is highly breathable bedding. Bedding that creates a cleaner, drier and smoother environment, will ease irritation on your skin, creating a better night’s sleep. For example our DermaTherapy bedding is made from a tightly woven fabric which creates a smoother layer that will pull less and cause less friction on skin. It is also highly breathable and will draw moisture from the skin.

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Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Steam cleaners are ideal for cleaning and sanitising your home. Once you see how much dirt these cleaners can clean you'll be converted. Whether that’s lifting grime from a carpet to mopping the kitchen floor. Many also come with smaller tools for so you...

Air Purifier Buying Guide

Air purifiers improve the quality of the air that we breathe, by reducing harmful airborne particles and allergens. There is a wide variety to choose from but which is the best air purifier for you and your home? Air purifiers work to keep the air inside your home...

Anti-Allergy Bedding Buying Guide

Why do I need Anti-Allergy bedding? Your bed could be home to over 10 million dust mites; potent triggers of conditions such as asthma, eczema and other respiratory conditions. These unwelcome guests can bring on allergy symptoms making for a very unpleasant, and...

How to Choose the Perfect Pillow & Duvet

One of the first things to consider when buying a pillow or duvet is which filling to choose. In order to find a filling to suit your needs, there are four areas to consider;AllergiesAllergies are widespread and affect approximately one in four of the population in...

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Tog is a measure of warmth, the higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet as indicated in the guide below: A Guide to Tog Ratings 4.5 Tog For summer use 9.0 Tog For spring/autumn use 10.5 Tog For those with central heating or who share a bed 13.5 Tog Colder seasons,...
Why Do Indoor Allergies Worsen During Autumn & Winter?

Why Do Indoor Allergies Worsen During Autumn & Winter?

Sufferers of indoor allergies can find that these symptoms often worsen during the Autumn and Winter months. With the change in the weather, if you are allergic to pollen you may experience a relief of your symptoms during this time. However for many people these cold months mean that they find that their indoor allergies get worse as they spend more time indoors, keep their windows closed and stick on the heating which can circulate dust that has gathered over summer. 1

What are common indoor allergies?

Dust mites
These tiny bugs flourish in mattresses and bedding. When their droppings and remains become airborne, they can cause allergy symptoms.

Mould
Thrives in damp, humid areas such as basements and bathrooms. When mould spores get into the air, they can trigger allergy symptoms.

Animals
Most people are not allergic to animal fur, but rather to a protein found in the pet dander, saliva, and urine.

Allergy symptoms caused by dust, pollen, or mould include:

  • Coughing
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes

How can you be sure that you are suffering from an allergy and not from a cold or flu?

A cold usually does not last longer than 10 days, where allergies can linger for weeks or even months. Also colds and flus sometimes have other symptoms such as a fever or aches and pains which often you won’t experience with an allergy. When in doubt consult your doctor who can carry out tests to detect which allergy you may have.

Steps you can take to minimise indoor allergic reactions

Dust mites

  • Wash bedding at 60 degrees once a week to reduce the dust mite load in the bedding.
  • Encase pillows and mattresses in impermeable covers to reduce exposure to dust mites.
  • Avoid down pillows and duvets, which form a nice habitat for dust mites and can be an allergenic.
  • Clean regularly, and use a damp mop for cleaning hardwood floors to avoid stirring up dust.
  • Dehumidifiers can help to reduce dust mite exposure and ease dust mite allergy symptoms. Dust mites thrive in warm humid environments and their populations explode. Ensure you keep your humidity levels to below 50 per cent with a dehumidifier to ensure dust mites do not thrive.

Helpful products that can help with your dust mite allergy:

Beurer LE40 Compact Dehumidifer

61f3MUrtyQL._SL1500_

Bio-Life Home Cleanse

Bio-Life Home Cleanse
Bio-Life Home Cleanse is especially recommended for the bedding of those who suffer from dust mite allergies. It can be used to treat mattresses, sofas and soft furnishings to denature and neutralise dust mite allergens and pet residue.

Mould

  • Immediately wipe down wet surfaces, especially in the bathrooms and kitchen, to keep mould from growing.
  • Good insulation can help cut down on mould by reducing condensation on cold surfaces.
  • Throw out shower curtains, wallpaper, and carpeting that have mould.
  • Wash showers and sinks with a solution containing 5% bleach and a little detergent.
  • To help control mould, use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity in your home below 50%.

An ideal solution in rooms where damp and mould is a problem, or in the winter months when condensation can build up on windows.

Polti Vaporetto Airplus Steam Cleaner PTGB0057

Polti Vaporetto Airplus Steam Cleaner PTGB0057

Clean with the power of steam. Ideal for eliminating bacteria, mould spores, dust mites and allergens.

Animals

If you find that you are allergic to pet dander there are a few steps to prevent an allergic reaction.

  • Minimize contact with pets, and keep them strictly out of the bedrooms to reduce the amount of allergen in the room.
  • Bathe your pets weekly, if possible, to wash away dander and other allergens from their fur.
  • Change your clothes, bathe and wash your hair after playing with your pet and before going to bed[2].
  • Wash your hands and face frequently. Keep floors swept, and carpets vacuumed.

Here are some helpful products that can ease your symptoms:

Bio-Life Petal Cleanse Cat Cleanse

Bio-Life Petal Cleanse Cat Cleanse

Petal Cleanse Cat is a surfactant based solution that removes the allergens and dander from the coats of small animals that cause allergic reactions in humans. It has been independently tested in the UK and throughout Europe, and has been found to be safe, effective and easy to use.

Bio-Life Petal Cleanse Dog Cleanse

Bio-Life Petal Cleanse Dog Cleanse

Petal Cleanse Dog is a surfactant based solution that removes the allergens and dander from the coats of small animals that cause allergic reactions in humans. It has been independently tested in the UK and throughout Europe, and has been found to be safe, effective and easy to use.

All Bio-Life products have been awarded Allergy UK’s Allergy Friendly Product Award.

Allergies During the Holiday Season

Mould & MildewMildew and mould spores float in the air like pollen and your exposure to it may increase during the holidays because they love damp evergreens like the wreaths, boughs and trees we bring inside this time of year.How to control Mould Allergies:A 2011...

Why Do Indoor Allergies Worsen During Autumn & Winter?

Sufferers of indoor allergies can find that these symptoms often worsen during the Autumn and Winter months. With the change in the weather, if you are allergic to pollen you may experience a relief of your symptoms during this time. However for many people these cold...

Allergies during exam season

Research suggests that students who have allergies or hay fever on exam day are 40% more likely to drop a grade. However this percentage is increased to 70% if they take antihistamine treatments which can cause drowsiness. Hay fever is caused by pollen from trees,...

Travelling with Allergies

When someone at home has an allergy we do everything we can to make life as easy as possible. But what about when we are travelling with allergies? Be it a work trip, weekend getaway with friends, a family holiday, our allergies can join us for the ride. The...

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What causes your pet allergy?Pet allergy is the second largest cause of allergy in the home in the UK.Animals release proteins from their hair. When this protein is inhaled or comes into contact with skin, those with pet allergies will have a reaction. Most allergic...

All you need to know about Hay Fever

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What anti-allergy bedding is right for you?

Your bedroom can be a haven for dust mites and other allergens. In fact, it’s estimated that the average bed has around 10,000 dust mites living in it. So if you suffer from allergies it may be a good idea to invest in anti-allergy bedding. Anti-Allergy Bedding...

Things you didn’t know about bedroom allergens

We spend around 33% of our time in our bedrooms. What you may not realise, however, is that our bedrooms are full of allergens. Here are some of the top allergens you may find in your bedroom: Dust mites Dust mites are the cause of millions of Brits suffering from...

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It may not be one of the first reasons you think of for snoring, but if you feel as though breathing through your nose isn’t smooth or that your nasal passages are being obstructed, then your snoring may be caused by an allergy. This snoring can manifest in two ways:...

When do I need to seek medical advice about allergies?

Allergy UK has stated that 1 in 4 people will suffer from allergies at some point in their life. It is always recommended that you inform your GP if you suspect you have an allergy. Some allergic reactions are worse than others. If you find yourself short of breath,...

Signs you may be allergic to your own home

Do you have a cold that you can’t seem to shake? Do you have itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneeze even though you don’t feel ill? Do you have any rashes or swelling? If so, there is a chance you could be suffering from an allergy in the home. What are dust mites? It...

What are allergies and how can they be treated?

An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance (allergen), such as pollen, food and dust mites as though it is a threat, like an infection. In order to fight off the allergen, your body produces antibodies, in a reaction called the "immune...

What are allergies and how can they be treated?

What are allergies? An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance (allergen), such as pollen, food and dust mites as though it is a threat, like an infection. In order to fight off the allergen, your body produces...
Coping with a Pet Allergy

Coping with a Pet Allergy

What causes your pet allergy?

Pet allergy is the second largest cause of allergy in the home in the UK.

Animals release proteins from their hair. When this protein is inhaled or comes into contact with skin, those with pet allergies will have a reaction. Most allergic reactions tend to be hereditary. Often younger children who suffer from asthma will be more likely to develop a pet allergy as they get older.

Symptoms of a pet allergy include:

  • Sneezing and coughing or Asthmatic coughing and congestion.
  • Itching, watering and reddening of eyes.
  • Hay fever-like symptoms of sneezing and a runny and/or blocked nose.
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat.
  • Itchy and red rashes appearing on the skin.
  • Facial pressure and pain.
  • Eczema patches.
  • Frequent awakening while sleeping.
  • Swollen, blue-coloured skin under your eyes.

This can exacerbate other ailments you have, such as asthma, eczema, hay fever and eye problems.

What could make your pet allergy worse?

  • Other allergens, such as pollen
  • Pollution
  • Chemicals
  • Car fumes
  • Tobacco smoke from cigarettes

Diagnosis

To diagnose a pet allergy, it is recommended to visit your GP.  A pet allergy can mostly be identified by your symptoms, alongside when and where they occurred. It is likely that either a blood sample or a skin test will be taken to confirm a pet allergy.

 What measures can I take to help my pet allergy?

For pet allergies, there are many precautions you can take to make your life easier.

  • Pet dander can cling to upholstered furniture. However, products such as Bio-Life Home Cleanse can make upholstered furniture as allergy-friendly as possible.
  • Air purifiers are excellent for removing pet dander and allergens from the air. This is particularly essential with dogs/cats moving about the home releasing hair and dander particles as they go.
  • Wash bedding weekly at a temperature of at least 60°C. We would recommend using the Allergy UK award-winning Bio-Life Fabric Cleanse to improve the standard of your wash.
  • Hard floor surfaces are preferable to carpets and rugs. However, if floors are carpeted ensure that they are cleaned at least once a week.  Steam cleaners will ensure a deep and thorough clean.
  • When choosing duvets and pillows, it is best that they can be cleaned. Basic cotton covers are ineffective in preventing allergens from entering the duvet. Mattress, duvet and pillow protectors/encasements should be used.
  • Anti-Allergy mattresses are recommended for keeping all allergens away from you whilst sleeping. It is also recommended to change your bed every 7 years and allergy sufferers should ensure their bed is anti-allergy.
  • When choosing a vacuum, ensure that has an allergen filter, so you will get the optimum allergy protection clean every time.

Can I still have pets with an allergy?

If you have a pet allergy it’s advised that you should not become a pet owner. But what happens if you didn’t realise you had an allergy?

Here are our tips for keeping a pet if you have an allergy:

  • When deciding to own a pet, ask a friend or family member who has a pet if you can try being a pet owner. If you have taken on a pet which you are unable to care for because of your allergy contact the RSPCA for advice.
  • Quite often people who are allergic to pets have very little to no reaction to fish or turtles.
  • If fish and turtles aren’t your things, rabbits and hamsters still produce allergen proteins but do not shed as much hair. They are often housed outside which makes them a safer choice for allergy sufferers.
  • Dogs and cats should be cleaned at least once a week to lower the allergen levels in your home. Bio-Life does a range of allergy reducing washes that are pet-friendly and help keep your allergies at bay.
  • Air purifiers are excellent for removing pet dander and allergens from the air, which is particularly essential with dogs/cats moving about the home releasing hair and dander particles as they go.

 Other complications?

  • Having an allergy to pets makes people more likely to be affected by other illnesses of the airways.
  • Asthma can be worsened by a pet allergy, and result in the asthmatic suffering severe asthma attacks.
  • Pet allergy sufferers are more susceptible to ear infections.
  • The allergens in the air and on surfaces and skin can cause difficulties with sleeping patterns and in worst case scenarios can cause insomnia.

Medications available

If you suffer from a pet allergy it is important to visit your GP; as you can be at risk of developing asthma, or worsening an already existing asthma problem. Whilst medication can improve and control a pet allergy, it cannot cure it.

Immunotherapy – This is an injection or drops given to people with multiple allergies, which works against the allergy for three years.

Eye drops – Used to lessen inflammation in the eyes

Nasal sprays – Used to lessen inflammation of the nasal passage, and reduce symptoms.

Antihistamines – Tablets or medicine which blocks the histamine produced by your body to reduce the allergic reaction.

Find out more about pet allergies and how to cope with the symptoms at Allergy UK

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