At least 12 million Britons could be allergic to their own home according to a new survey.
Home fever, also known as perennial allergic rhinitis, is on the rise, with more sufferers seeking help for symptoms including a runny nose and sneezing. Dust mites make up 58% of all household allergies, a figure that has gone up by over 10% over the past year.
A poll of 1,600 people, conducted by charity Allergy UK, revealed that as well as 58% reacting to house dust mites, 31% react to mould, 30% to chemicals in cleaning products and 45% to their pets.
Dust mites have been thriving in the rise of modern homes, especially those incubated with central heating and little ventilation.
The situation has become so severe that doctors revealed plans last month to expose babies to the dust mites in an attempt to halt the rising epidemic.
Michelle Merrett from Colchester has a 2-year-old son who was diagnosed with a dust mite allergy when 15 months old.
“We knew that something was wrong as we put him to bed where he would just start coughing and sneezing,” said Michelle to The Independent.
The symptoms of the dust mite allergy are often mistaken for those of a common cold.
While there is no cure for home allergies, it is recommended that washing bedding at 60 degrees C, steam cleaning carpets and curtains, annually changing pillows, and buying a new mattress every eight to 10 years, should help prevent the problem.