Allergens don't simply stop at the doors and windows of our homes, and they aren't just limited to things like pollen and certain types of food. Our homes and apartments are full of many different allergens that can be the underlying cause of various health problems. According to studies carried out in Switzerland by SCARPOL (Swiss Study on Childhood Allergy and Respiratory Symptoms with respect to Air Pollution and Climate) and SAPALDIA (Study on Air Pollution and Lung Disease in Adults), the prevalence of allergic diseases in confined spaces tripled between 1970 and the end of the 1990s1. Today, more than 1 billion people worldwide are estimated to suffer from allergies, and this number could rise to 4 billion by 20502.

Before the emergence of Covid-19, we were already spending more than 85% of our time in enclosed spaces (home, work, school, etc.)3, which has only increased further due to the health crisis. As comfortable as our living spaces may be, they can be full of allergens and pollutants that are harmful to our health—primarily due to their impact on air quality—with some studies showing that indoor air can be five to ten times more polluted than outdoor air4. The problem becomes even worse in winter when outdoor temperatures drop and indoor temperatures rise (due to central heating, fireplaces, etc.).

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When exposed to these pollutants, our bodies may experience different symptoms, such as blocked or runny noses, sore throats, breathing difficulties, asthma and itching, which can become a serious issue for allergy sufferers in their daily lives5. But what are some of these allergens that wreak havoc on our lives and homes?

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Among the main contributors to indoor respiratory problems are dust mites, which primarily cause an allergic risk through their secretions and excretions6. In Switzerland, 6.3% of people (adults and children) suffer from a dust mite allergy7. Invisible to the naked eye, these arachnids develop mainly in warm and humid places such as our bedrooms6: bedding, carpets or even children’s cuddly toys can become the perfect hiding places for these little creatures. Because dust mites proliferate so quickly (with a female laying up to 80 eggs in a few weeks), treatment to get rid of them may require adopting new habits6.

As such, it is highly recommended to purify your home by frequently airing it out, keeping the temperature of certain rooms at 18°C, or choosing to use anti-dust mite mattress covers1,6. Frequently vacuuming mattresses and carpets, or disinfecting fabrics with a steamer, can also limit their proliferation.

But it's not just dust mites that cause allergies in our homes; our four-legged friends can also cause certain allergic reactions. In fact, almost 7% of the Swiss population over the age of 18 suffer from a pet-related allergy7. Cats and dogs secrete particles via their saliva or fur8, and once these have been released into the air and settle on fabrics and furniture, they are likely to be inhaled by people with allergies8. To help the most sensitive allergy sufferers breathe easier, it is unfortunately recommended for them to consider living without pets. Everything you need to know about dust mites

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However, if this isn't possible, then you will need to maintain strict hygiene, including regularly cleaning your home, keeping your pets out of your room, and getting rid of your four-legged friend’s favourite rugs, which often harbour dust and allergens8.

The key to dealing with allergens is therefore simple: clean and purify the inside of our homes to breathe better.

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Dry Microfine Steam

Dry Microfine Steam (DMS) is a simple, natural and effective solution: Developed by Laurastar, this hygienic steam eliminates 100% of dust mites and 97.7% of cat allergens in just 3 seconds of application. Using only water, this technology provides effective and natural sanitation.
Find out what you can disinfect with steam

 Dr Christian Recchia
Dr Christian Recchia chairs Laurastar's Scientific Committee.
Doctor of Internal Medicine President of the Prevention Unit of the Academy of Telemedicine
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  1. CHUV. Allergies to house dust mites. 2019.
  2. Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research.
  3. Victoria P. A study of indoor air pollution, a problem unknown by one in two French people. The Conversation. 2019.
  4. Science et Avenir. Allergies: the air inside is five to ten times more contaminated than the air outside. 2021.
  5. Mayo Clinic. 2020.
  6. Courtioux B, Boudot C. Allergies to dust mites. Actualités pharmaceutiques. 2019.,L%E2%80%99allergie%20aux%20acariens,-Dust%20mite%20allergy
  7. Aha! The prevalence of allergies, asthma and skin disease. 2019.
  8. Aha! Animal allergies.