Over 300 million people worldwide suffer from a form of allergy, reports the World Health Organisation. According to Dr Amir Hamzah Dato’ Abdul Latiff, who specialises in allergy and immunology, allergies are hypersensitive reactions due to inappropriate immune responses towards harmless substances.
Dr Amir says that in Malaysia, it is estimated that up to four in five children are at risk of developing allergies when both parents have a pre-existing allergy. “And even if both parents are not known to have allergies, there is still a 15 per cent risk of their children developing allergies.”
He suggests these ways to reduce allergens at home:
- Wash bedding weekly at 60ºC.
- Encase mattresses in certified anti-mite protective coverings.
- Use dehumidifiers.
- Invest in a vacuum cleaner fitted with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Remove or reduce curtains and soft furnishings in the bedroom.
- Remove soft toys from the bedroom. Wash them monthly at 60ºC or freeze them overnight.
- Replace fabric-covered furniture with leather or vinyl.
- Do not allow pets in the bedroom.
This article, written by Carmen Chow, first appeared in the July 2016 issue of Her World.