Spring is in the air (and so are the allergies) - 09/09/2014

What is hayfever?

Allergies comes in many forms, from foods, medicines and pollutants (allergens) in the air we breathe. Allergic rhinitis is a medical term used to describe what is commonly referred to as hay fever. Rhinitis means inflammation of the nose, allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nose brought about by an allergy to something you have breathed in and is the most common allergy in New Zealand. Other allergic reactions include, skin inflammation, headaches, nausea and anaphylactic shock

See our Spring Pollen Calendar here

Protect your children

Allergic rhinitis generally develops in childhood. Children first develop eczema in infancy and then go on to develop allergies and sometimes asthma. The onset of a dust mite allergy occurs often by the age of two, with grass pollen allergies beginning around three to four years of age. A tree pollen allergy develops from about seven years of age. It is not unusual to develop hay fever during adulthood. It can take as few as two to three seasons to become sensitised to pollen.

Symptoms of an allergy may include:

• Sneezing bouts
• Itchy nose, eyes, palate and ears
• Runny nose
• Watery, red, puffy, itchy eyes
• Blocked nose and ears
• Sore throat, tickly cough, husky voice, bad breath
• Poor sleep
• Prone to sinus and eye infections

Common allergy triggers

Typical hay fever symptoms occur – all of which are generally worse when you go outside. Asthma can also be triggered by a pollen allergy. Occasionally, on dry windy days, rashes and swelling of the face can occur. Some highly sensitive people will have these symptoms within minutes of going outdoors.

Mould spores are carried in the air and may be present all year long. Mould is most common indoors in damp locations such as basements, bathrooms, or washrooms. Fabrics, rugs, stuffed animals, books, or wallpaper can contain mould spores if they are kept in a damp place. Outdoors, mould lives in the soil, on compost, and on damp vegetation.

People who are allergic to certain animals are rarely allergic to the animals’ fur or feathers. They are actually allergic to the small scales of skin (dander) that the animal sheds. Some people are allergic to the animal’s saliva, particularly cats.

House dust contains tiny particles of pollen, mould, fibres from clothing and fabrics, detergents, and microscopic insects (mites). Dust mites, including small fragments of dead mites, are the primary cause of dust allergies and are found in the highest numbers in bedding and mattresses.

Having a well ventilated home with an HRV ventilation system will do wonders for your families health and well being. 

Stats on allergies

• There are no cures for allergies. Allergies are best managed by proper prevention and treatment.
• One in five New Zealanders will develop hay fever this season
• New Zealand is placed sixth in the world for eczema and tenth in the world for allergies
• Allergies have a genetic component. If only one parent has allergies of any type, chances are one in three that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have allergies.
• Allergies are the most frequently reported chronic condition in children, limiting activities for more than 40% of them.
• Hypersensitivity to house dust mite antigen is found in 5% of all people in Western nations whereas it is found in up to 90% of adolescents or adults suffering from atopic eczema.

HRV Ventilation

Using the latest home filtration technology exclusive to HRV, a SETA Diffuser Filter gives an even higher level of protection against airborne allergens and captures even microscopic particles.

The world-leading SETA Filters on an HRV ventilation system go through a four-stage process capturing pollen, spores and bacteria before they enter our homes –

  1. Graduated density fabric traps the tiniest particles.
  2. Fibres are electrostatically charged to attract smaller particles.
  3. A unique SETA nano-fibre layer with fibres 500 times thinner than a human hair trap allergens – this is also infused with natural antibacterial qualities.
  4. Finally,optional SETA Diffuser Filters in the individual rooms of your home give an extra level of antibacterial protection.

These diffusers can simply be added onto the room vents on all HRVventilation solutions, and act as the last point of contact before the air enters your home, for an even cleaner, healthier invironment.

Find out more about why you need a ventilation system here.

Apply for a free home assessment today!

HRV's trustmark parners are Sensitive Choice and Allergy New Zealand