Hay fever? How to prepare your home this pollen season

26th October 2017

If you experience hay fever symptoms, like a runny nose, itchy or watery eyes or sneezing, it’s important to keep your home healthy by cutting down on allergens. Pollen season typically strikes during spring and summer, with pollen levels tending to be higher on warm dry days.

“Limiting your exposure to pollen, particularly in your home, can really help,” said Letitia O’Dwyer, Chief Executive of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ. “The majority of people affected by seasonal hay fever are allergic to dust mites, pollen or moulds.”

“We’ve developed some spring cleaning tips to help you prepare your home.”

Follow these tips so that your family can breathe easier this allergy season:
• Wash sheets, pillowcases, soft toys in the bedroom weekly in water hotter than 55°C.
• Cover mattresses, quilts and pillows with dust mite-resistant encasings.
• Open curtains and air bedding in the sunshine and give them a regular clean.
• Consider venetian blinds or flat blinds, which are easier to clean than heavy curtains.
• Use a damp or electrostatic cloth to dust hard surfaces (including floors).
• Ask someone else to do the vacuuming, as this increases allergen in the air for up to 20 minutes. Also consider using a vacuum cleaner with an asthma and allergy sensitive HEPA filter.
• Keep rooms dry and well ventilated.
• Clear out the clutter.
Another way to manage hay fever and/or allergy symptoms is to use products that may reduce allergy triggers in day to day life.

“The Sensitive Choice® programme was created to help consumers identify asthma and allergy aware products,” said O’Dwyer.

“Sensitive Choice® approved products have been assessed by an independent panel. Next time you are out shopping, look for the reassuring blue butterfly on product packaging, including bedding, cleaning products, vacuum cleaners, and more.”

Sensitive Choice® has helped New Zealanders reduce their allergy reactions for many years. Its partners provide funds for research and education led by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ to reduce the health, social and economic impacts of asthma and allergies in New Zealand.

If you are one of the thousands of New Zealanders with asthma or allergy symptoms, visit the Sensitive Choice® website sensitivechoice.co.nz for products and services that may be a better choice for you and your family.

All Sensitive Choice® approved products are listed on the website, sorted by the following category or allergy triggers:

Category Trigger
Indoor climate control Chemicals
Cleaning products and services Dust Mites
Bedding and Furniture Mould
Building and Renovating Pets
Flooring Pollen
Health and Personal care Smoke
Vacuum and deep cleaners
Pool and Spa care


Ms O’Dwyer urged New Zealanders to speak to their doctor or pharmacist, take prescribed medications and create an allergy free home environment to help keep spring and summer allergies well managed.

All articles sourced from scoop.co.nz.