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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Climate Change And Living With The Pandemic - Playing Havoc With Allergies

The conventional allergy season is being turned on its head. With global warming triggering changes in seasonal allergens, we’re seeing a marked increase in allergies. Also, pandemic related social changes, with more time spent indoors, has meant that allergies caused by indoor pollution are on the rise.

The UK has some of the highest rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20% of the population affected by one or more allergic disorders.[i]

During the last 60 years allergic diseases have increased globally in prevalence, complexity, and severity, becoming a public health concern, a modern epidemic[ii],[iii]. The causes aren’t fully understood but it’s influenced by complex issues from globalisation and climate change to how foods we eat have changed and are manufactured, the pollution in the air we breathe, the products we’re using in our homes and on our skins, how we live today and other impacts from our external environment.

Fever pitch

Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is one of the most common allergies in the UK and is on the rise, affecting over 13 million people. Climate change is to blame for the pollen season getting longer and more intense, as warm air and higher temperatures increase pollen counts, according to a recent study by the University of Utah[iv].

The study showed that the pollen season is starting 20 days earlier than it did three decades ago and lasts for ten days longer. To add to the misery of hay fever, there’s now 21 per cent more pollen around than there was 32 years ago in 1990. Tree pollens usually start to peak between March and June and grass pollen, which affects most people with hay fever, between May and the end of July, but timings for pollen allergens our expanding with global warming.

Dr Tim Bond - Ways To Reduce Pollen Exposure:

  1. Monitor the pollen calendar at:

  2. Close windows at night (when pollen "falls out").

  3. Air your bedding, shake it out of the window.

  4. Shake clothes outside, don't leave them near your bed and wash your hair every day, especially before you go to sleep... otherwise you can breathe pollen in all night.

  5. Wash your nose at least twice a day with an isotonic solution. Try New Puressentiel Respiratory Decongestant Nasal Spray.

  6. And use essential oils to treat your allergic rhinitis such as Scots pine, Peppermint or Tea Tree oil.

The power of plants

The pandemic may have focused our minds on respiratory health, but it has also brought home the power of natural remedies. “Essential oils, such as lavender, eucalyptus, lemon and geranium (pelargonium), reduce the risk of respiratory issues by tackling common triggers for symptoms: airborne bacteria and viruses, fungal spores and house-dust mites,” says Dr Tim Bond,natural health expert says. “The extraordinary healing power of nature and plants, and essential oils in particular, has been recognised for millennia. There are 600 direct references to essential oils in the Bible[v] and almost 200 references to the use of aromas for mental, spiritual, and physical healing.”[vi]

What about indoor air pollution?

One of many learning curves of the pandemic has been the growing awareness of the importance of air quality and purity. As a policy paper for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development explains, “Good air quality not only has the merit of potentially reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to pandemics similar to COVID-19, but also of generating wider benefits for public health, wellbeing and resilience.”[vii]

Research, from Puressentiel, the brains behind the evidence backed plant-based health products for everyday wellness needs, reveals that only one in three people (35%)[viii] take any measures to improve air quality in their homes, and in most cases (71%) they only go as far as to open a window. This is despite the fact that at least 9,000 deaths every year are attributed to indoor air pollution in the UK and indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-10 times higher than outdoor levels[ix].

Given that people now spend on average 90% of their time indoors[x], these facts combine to make a ticking timebomb for our health; over 5.4 million people in the UK are receiving treatment for asthma.[xi]

Common indoor pollutants which may cause health problems include, dust mites, spores from mould and fungus and animal dander. In a real-world poll from Puressentiel[xii]:

  • Almost half of those surveyed (47%) had, for no apparent reason, experienced sneezes, coughs or an itchy throat or eyes — classic signs of allergy or infection

  • One in five (22%) reported unexplained respiratory symptoms.

Dr Tim Bond – - 5 Ways To Spring Clean The Air In Your Home

#1 Keep it clean. Good indoor hygiene can greatly cut down on dust and animal dander. Vacuum any carpets and rugs at least twice a week or opt for hard-surface flooring, as it’s easier to keep clean.

#2Use Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray with 41 essential oils - proven to improve air quality, with very real health benefits. It reduces airborne levels of many toxins and irritants, such as bacteria, fungal spores, mould and debris from house-dust mites, which can trigger respiratory issues and undermine our health. A trial[xiii] in patients with a history of respiratory symptoms showed significant improvements in lung function just four weeks after using Puressentiel’s Purifying Air Spray.

#3 Don’t hoard. Where you can, clear clutter because it traps and holds dust that can trigger reactions.

#4 Don’t use candles or air fresheners. Many people who think they are improving air quality are actually adding to the problem. More than a quarter of people (29%) use air freshener sprays and a similar number (27%) light candles, but chemicals used in air fresheners can exacerbate asthma and wheezing and burning paraffin candles releases alkanes, alkenes and toluene, which have all been linked to harmful effects to humans[xiv],[xv],[xvi]

#5 Let the fresh air in. Open windows from time to time to allow fresh air to move into and around the home.

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