Whether it is sneezing your head off, all summer long, as the pollen count rises, or gasping for breath when you come into contact with pets, let's face it, allergies are a complete pain. In fact, for many people, they are more than that and, in a worse case scenario, an allergy could prove fatal.

The UK, in line with other countries, has seen a marked increase in allergies in recent years. However these days allergies are understood a little more, there are better forms of treatment and there are more helpful products on the market.

Many allergies in the home occur due to dust mites and poor air quality. Here are some of the best products around, which will improve your home's air quality and keep dust down to a minimum.

Things You Will Need

To clean your home, regularly and thoroughly.

The best and latest products available.

A Common sense approach.

To understand your allergy.

Step 1

HEPA vacuum cleanersHepa Filters

Traditional vacuum cleaners blow nearly as much dust back into the air, as they manage to suck up. Invest in one of the modern HEPA filter system vacuum cleaners for better results, and lower dust levels overall. Most of the big name vacuum cleaner manufacturers, such as Dyson, Miele, Sebo and Electrolux have HEPA filter models of cleaners these days, all at reasonable prices. Remember to empty your vacuum cleaner regularly though and clean any filters thoroughly.

Step 2

Steam CleanersPolti Steam Cleaner

There are a vast array of steam cleaners on the market these days, from small hand held inexpensive models to much larger, costly ones. A good vapour Steam Cleaner will safely and quickly kill dust mites in your home, reduce allergens and remove dirt and grime without the need for potentially harmful chemicals.

Step 3

Carpet ShampooersCarpet Shampooers

A good carpet shampooer can give your carpets that really deep down clean, that will remove harmful allergens. Use a cleaning product specifically marketed to remove allergens and dust mites

Step 4

Air PurifiersAir purifiers

Another fairly recent addition, to the range of products which help improve air quality in the home, are Air purifiers. An air purifier really is a must if you want to keep allergens, and therefore allergies, at bay. Research those available well though, in order to find the right one for you.

Some may seem inexpensive but may cost a small fortune to run. Then again, especially if your Air Purifier is for a sleeping area, noise may be an issue. After all who wants a good product which has the downside of rattling away loudly and keeping you awake all night. Bear in mind also that purifiers often work against specific problems, for example smoke, so make sure that you buy the right model for your needs.

Step 5

Beds and bedding Hypo-allergenic bedding

Asthmatics are often troubled by dust mites in their beds and bedding. We all have these tiny nuisances sharing our beds but they do not trouble everyone to the same extent. Unfortunately, if you suffer with asthma, dust mites can really aggravate your condition. In addition the traditional materials used in making duvets, pillows and mattresses can trigger allergies.

Therefore, it is important to buy the right bed and bedding. Buy dust mite covers for your mattress, duvet and pillows for better protection. Look out for the word Hypo-allergenic on the labels of your bedding.

Consider replacing your bed, or at least your mattress. Changing your mattress will benefit your sleep and back, as well as improve your allergy problems.

Step 6

Dehumidifiers Dehumidifiers

If you can reduce the moisture levels in your home, you will also be reducing the amount of dust mites and mould around your home, as both dust mites and mould love damp conditions. A dehumidifier will effectively reduce the levels of both. Dehumidifiers vary a lot in price, and also incur running costs. However, if you shop around, you should be able to find the most suitable model for your home.
General Advice

Of course, there are other products on the market but the above are really your essentials in the battle against allergies. However, there are a few simple ways that you can minimise allergens in the home with little or no cost.

Firstly, and probably the most obvious way, to reduce allergens in your home is to keep your windows tightly shut at all times. If you don't these days, you will probably let car fumes, dust, pollen, chemical fumes and more, but no fresh, clean air, into your home.

Make sure your home is a No Smoking Zone. Do not tolerate anyone smoking in your home. If you or your partner smoke, make sure that you go outside to do so, and close the door behind you. The smoke from cigarettes can be harmful in many ways but not least to those with allergies.

Before taking a pet into your home consider the implications. If one of you has allergies a pretty fluffy rabbit, for example, will not make an ideal pet but will more than likely make the person very ill. Some pets will be suitable but these will not usually include dogs, cats, birds and animals such as hamsters. There are some breeds of dogs which may be suitable as their fur is less like hair. These tend to be poodles and some terriers. Use a common sense approach and research any possible pets well before you make your final decision.

Damp dust as much of your home as you can, on a daily basis. If you can do this each morning and night ,all the better. Avoid using polishes and sprays, as these can aggravate allergies, especially breathing ones. Just use clean water on a cloth, which has been wrung out well, so it is just damp. Keep rinsing the cloth regularly for improved cleaning.

Wash bedding regularly and vacuum mattresses and drapes. All of these materials can harbour millions of those pesky dust mites, so vigilance is needed.

Dust MitesHypo-allergic

Tips & Warnings

Test cleaners and cleaning products on a small patch of material.