This week is Allergy Awareness Week 2021


This year’s Allergy Awareness Week is be all about hay fever - a condition which affects millions in the UK, making spring and summer an uncomfortable time and causing more serious conditions in some people.

Most of us know of Hay Fever, dust mites, food allergies.  But there are many more.  And did you know that we have around 21 million people in the UK living with allergies - one of the highest rates in the world. That’s roughly 1 in 3 of us!

Not only that:

  • In 2021 allergy is the most common condition in Europe.
  • 44% of adults suffer from at least one allergy, and this is rising.
  • More than half have more than one allergy (over 10 million).

It may also surprise you that being indoors does not necessarily keep you safe from allergens – so keeping doors and windows closed could make all the difference.

Whilst allergies can cause coughs, many other symptoms – runny nose, itchy eyes, etc – are clearly allergy related so there should be little need to be concerned about Covid.  It has always been important to practice good hygiene, but now more than ever to help prevent the spread of COVID 19. Wash your hands frequently with soap and hand-hot water for at least 60 seconds to continue to keep safe.

Here are some other tips to help keep you allergy free:

Keep windows closed in the evening: Pollen can enter the indoor environment through open windows and vents, which during the summer can be difficult to control. If possible, keeping windows closed, particularly in the evening when the pollen count is often high, will help reduce pollen exposure. Some air purifiers have also been shown to reduce pollen in indoor spaces.

Take a shower or change your clothes: Pets, clothing and hair all carry pollen into your home. Where practical, it can be helpful to take a quick shower and change your clothes once you return home to help remove pollen from your hair and skin.

Take care of your house plants: We’ve seen a major rise in house plants and flowers since lockdown was announced as people try to bring a bit of colour to their homes. However, mould on indoor plants can trigger allergy symptoms, so it’s important to regularly check your plants, removing dead leaves and checking for mould around the soil.

Keep your furry friends out of the bedroom: Pets are common triggers for people who have Hay fever and other respiratory allergies, as pet hair acts as a carrier of airborne allergens such as pollen. To try and reduce symptoms, make sure your pets do not sleep on your bed or in the bedroom. If this does not help seek medical advice, and it might be necessary to consider whether a pet is the right thing for you.

Reduce house dust mites in your bedroom: House dust mite allergies are very common and can be associated with hay fever and asthma symptoms.  They are microscopic and gravitate to beds and warm, humid environments. Although you cannot see them the allergen can become airborne and trigger asthma. So, wash your bedding weekly at 60 degrees Celsius or above to kill house dust mites.

Prepare your medication in advance: One of the best ways to manage allergies in lockdown is to be prepared. If your regular medications are running low, now is the time to think about replenishing your supplies, making sure to allow more time than usual to order and collect repeat prescriptions. If you suffer from allergic asthma, it's particularly important that you take your preventative inhaler regularly, as well as carrying a rescue inhaler if you have been prescribed one, whenever you leave the house.

You can find more information about allergies at

Published 26th April 2021