News ID: 170972
Published: 0213 GMT October 26, 2016

Clocks going back will cause chaos for people allergic to dust mites

Clocks going back will cause chaos for people allergic to dust mites

Dust mites are set to thrive this autumn, causing huge problems for indoor allergy sufferers.

Allergy is a growing issue, with the chronic disease expected to affect more than 50 percent of all Europeans in 10 years' time, according to  

In 2011, 58 percent of allergy sufferers stated house 'dust mites' as one of their allergic triggers and Allergy UK suspects that number has since risen.

Last autumn, the charity witnessed a whopping 45 percent increase in house dust mite related calls to their Helpline.

There was also a 38-percent increase in traffic to 'house dust mite' related information on its website, implying that the seasonal change has a major impact on the number of people suffering.

As the clocks go back this weekend, house dust mites are set to thrive thus causing problems for indoor allergy sufferers.

On October 30th British Summer Time will end and hibernation season will begin, leaving many people more exposed to house dust mites.

Typically, autumn nights get darker earlier, and less exposure to sunlight means the brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, making us sleepy.

This seasonal fatigue, coupled with the typically colder weather, means that many of us prefer to stay indoors with the heating on and the windows firmly shut.

However, our preference to cozy up indoors during the winter can present health implications.

Lack of ventilation can contribute to the exacerbation of house dust mite, and humid indoor air caused by central heating presents an ideal environment for dust mites to thrive.

These tiny little horrors, measuring in at a quarter of a millimeter long, live off human skin scales and are often found in bedding, carpets, soft furnishings and clothing.


Common house dust mite allergy symptoms:

* Itchy, runny or congested nose, sneezing

* Irritable airways, coughing, tight chest, wheezing, shortness of breath

* Itching, watering, inflammation of both eyes

*Itchy skin, rashes, wheals

* Congested sinuses and headache

* Disturbed sleep

* Poor concentration

* Symptoms worse indoors, in bed or in the early morning

Allergy UK's Deputy CEO, Lindsey McManus, said: "With the increasing prevalence of allergic conditions, it is unsurprising that the house dust mite is affecting so many people at this time of year. However, many people will not recognize the symptoms as allergy.

"It is important for people to understand the implications of indoor allergens as they can exacerbate serious conditions such as asthma.

"We would recommend contacting the Allergy UK helpline if you suspect you may be allergic to house dust mite, or to discuss with your GP if symptoms persist."

Avoidance is key when it comes to 'treating' symptoms.

Increasing ventilation and keeping dust to a minimum can help reduce exposure.

Other useful avoidance tips can be found on the Allergy UK website.

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