Allergies During the Holiday Season

Allergies During the Holiday Season

Mould & Mildew

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:

Dust mites are a well-known allergy and asthma trigger. 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.

Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Why clean with steam?

Steam is extremely powerful when used to clean. Heating up to 120°C, the ‘dry steam’ produced by steam cleaners cuts through grease and grime, whilst also killing dust mites and bacteria.

Allergens can lurk in the hardest to reach areas in your home, and the build-up of dust mites, pollen, pet dander and other irritants can often leave you feeling unwell. Whilst regular vacuuming can help to reduce allergen levels, a deeper clean can be more easily achieved with a steam cleaner.

Steam is an excellent alternative to using chemicals and cleaning products, making it both a hygienic, allergy-friendly and eco-friendly way of cleansing your home. What’s more, your steam cleaner can be used to clean a multitude of surfaces, from carpets and upholstery, to tiles, windows, hard surface floors and more.

Steam cleaning can also reduce your cleaning schedule drastically. The amount of effort required or “scrubbing power” is lessened with the powerful steam, and as steam is ‘dry’ there’s no drying time required for floors and surfaces.

Key points to look out for?

Steam cleaners come in a range of shapes and sizes, depending on the main purpose of your steamer there are four main points to consider:

• Heat up Time – This is the length of time needed to convert the water in the water tank into steam, and can range from 20 seconds to over a minute.

Steam Time – This is the amount of steaming time you will have from one full tank of water. Steam time can last from 10 minutes to up to an hour, depending on the capacity of the water tank.

Water Tank Capacity – Larger water tanks will take longer to heat up, but will offer a longer steam time for extensive cleaning. If you’d rather use your machine little and often a smaller tank with a quicker heat up time might be better.

Power – Most steam cleaners range from a 900-1500 watt range. The higher the wattage, the greater the cleaning power. For smaller jobs, a 900 watt machine may suffice, but to remove tougher grease stains, or caked on dirt, a more heavy duty power will be needed.

What are the different types of steam cleaners?

Much like vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners are available in cylinder, upright or handheld styles. Some steam cleaners also offer a vacuuming function, our Polti Vaporetto Lecoaspira range use a water-based filter capturing the smallest of allergens.

Upright steam cleaners – Often referred to as steam mops, these upright steamers have a small water tank attached to the handle, heat up quickly and are lightweight to use. The smaller water tank means that they are ideal for quick and regular cleaning of smaller areas.

Cylinder steam cleaners – These tend to have a larger water tank, and whilst this means a longer heat up time, you will get the benefit of more steam time allowing for longer, more extensive cleaning of larger areas.

Handheld steam cleaners – With very small water tanks, handheld steam cleaners are perfect for quick use. They are very easy to use, compact to store, and ideal for use on a small scale.

Which surfaces can a steam cleaner be used on?

Steam cleaners can be used on:

Hard floors Ovens/Hobs Mattresses
Carpets BBQs Mirrors
Work Surfaces Upholstery Plants
Windows Taps/Sanitary ware Cars
Tiles/grouting Garments Garden Furniture

What accessories do I need?

Most steam cleaners will come with all you need for general cleaning jobs. But if you have specific needs more attachments are available separately such as:

• Cleaning Cotton Cloths and Socks – designed to collect dirt dislodged by steam.

• Squeegee – for cleaning windows or other glass surfaces.

• Shaped brushes – to access the most inaccessible areas of your home, corners etc.

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.

Tencel® Bedding Explained

Tencel® Bedding Explained

What is Tencel®?

Tencel® is soft as silk, strong as polyester, cool as linen, warm as wool and as absorbent as cotton.

It is a break-through fibre and the perfect fabric for allergy sufferers or those with sensitive skin.  Environmentally sustainable, Tencel® is a man-made, natural fibre which is also known as lyocell, a biodegradable material made from wood pulp cellulose sourced from sustainable tree farms.

Benefits of Tencel®

Tencel® is;

  • Highly breathable
  • Chemical free
  • Naturally anti-bacterial
  • Exceptionally soft
  • Offers superb moisture wicking

Protecting yourself from allergens deep within your bed and bedding will help you get the great night’s sleep you need, without compromising on comfort. Our Tencel® encasements make the ideal protection from allergens in your bed by creating a barrier between you and the allergens that naturally build up in your bed and bedding.

Anti Bed Bug & Allergy Pillow Encasement Tencel® Premium

How is Tencel® different from other synthetic fibre?

Tencel® transfers moisture, unlike other synthetic fibres which have reduced moisture wicking properties. Synthetic fibres cannot absorb moisture into their fibres in any form. However, part of Tencel’s fibre is made with fibril structure support, which can absorb 50% more moisture than cotton.

How can Tencel® bedding help my eczema or sensitive skin?

Tencel® is soft and supple against the skin and its incredible moisture wicking abilities make it the ideal choice.  Absorbing excess liquid and releasing it again quickly into the atmosphere stops bacteria growth keeping your skin clean and hygienic. The highly breathable nature of Tencel® will also allow your skin to breathe. Fabrics with rougher fibres can cause skin irritation; however, due to the extremely smooth surface of Tencel®, it feels soft and pleasant against your skin.

Tencel® Bedding Explained

What is Tencel®? Tencel® is soft as silk, strong as polyester, cool as linen, warm as wool and as absorbent as cotton. It is a break-through fibre and the perfect fabric for allergy sufferers or those with sensitive skin.  Environmentally sustainable, Tencel® is a...

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Silver Ions Explained

What are Silver Ions? Silver Ions are a safe, natural antimicrobial product that can be added to bedding materials to help reduce the growth of bacteria and mould. Above all, they are a great benefit for those who suffer from spot prone skin, sensitive skin or eczema....

The Benefits of Bamboo Bedding

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For anyone who has ever woken up with a bad case of creased morning skin and bad bed hair, help is at hand – and it could be easier than you think to become a sleeping beauty apparently, the answer to rejuvenation is silk. According to sleep expert Sammy Margo, better...

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Silver Ions Explained

Silver Ions Explained

What are Silver Ions?

Silver Ions are a safe, natural antimicrobial product that can be added to bedding materials to help reduce the growth of bacteria and mould. Above all, they are a great benefit for those who suffer from spot prone skin, sensitive skin or eczema.

Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Silver

Benefits of Silver Ions in Bedding

  • Natural anti-bacterial
    Silver ions are a safe, natural anti-bacterial product that can be added to bedding materials when they are made. Their anti-bacterial properties help stop the growth of bacteria and mould before they have a chance to multiply. It works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria and mould by up to an impressive 99.9%
  • Non-toxic and odour resistant
    Silver ions are non-toxic and odour resistant. They provide a cleaner sleeping environment and are recommended for those who suffer from allergies and spot prone, sensitive skin. They are particularly recommended for use in mattress covers as they will prevent the multiplication of bacteria and reduce allergies. Silver Ions are kind to your skin and do not interfere with its natural balance.

Tencel® Bedding Explained

What is Tencel®? Tencel® is soft as silk, strong as polyester, cool as linen, warm as wool and as absorbent as cotton. It is a break-through fibre and the perfect fabric for allergy sufferers or those with sensitive skin.  Environmentally sustainable, Tencel® is a...

All You Need To Know About Cotton

Cotton is a fibre that we all use in our day to day lives. It is a soft, fluffy fibre made of cellulose that grows in a protective case, around the seed of the cotton plant. Available naturally, cotton is an incredibly breathable fabric, so will feel cool against your...

Silver Ions Explained

What are Silver Ions? Silver Ions are a safe, natural antimicrobial product that can be added to bedding materials to help reduce the growth of bacteria and mould. Above all, they are a great benefit for those who suffer from spot prone skin, sensitive skin or eczema....

The Benefits of Bamboo Bedding

Bamboo bedding has many unique benefits, making it an exceptional choice for your home but what are the many qualities of this natural material? Regulates your temperature Bamboo works with your body to keep you at the perfect temperature all night long. If you are...

Silk- The Super Material For Your Skin

For anyone who has ever woken up with a bad case of creased morning skin and bad bed hair, help is at hand – and it could be easier than you think to become a sleeping beauty apparently, the answer to rejuvenation is silk. According to sleep expert Sammy Margo, better...

All You Need To Know About Wool Bedding

Wool bedding has many unique features, making it an exceptional choice for your bedroom. Temperature Regulating Effects First of all wool fibres naturally regulate your body temperature keeping you at your optimum temperature throughout the night. The bedding will...

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