Do you ever wonder how much managing your allergies costs you - both financially and emotionally? According to recent estimates, asthma in the UK costs nearly £2.3 billion per year. That's £1,226 million in lost work productivity, £889 million in NHS costs and £161 million in benefits. There are around five million people with asthma in the UK. I won't divide that number into the costs figure to get an average - that'd be misleading because people vary so much in the severity of their disease. You'll have a good idea yourself what managing your allergies might cost you and your family.

So wouldn't it be worthwhile - if you haven't already - investing what is the best way to managing your allergies? There are many different and effective things you can do in managing your allergies. There are actually so many options that you could be overwhelmed. You have to be careful, many of the things that are being offered as allergy treatments are questionable (at best) in their effectiveness. So let's just look at a few ideas today - some requiring an investment of time, others needing you to spend a bit of money (and maybe a bit of both!)

Managing your Allergies through home improvement

Leading allergy and asthma specialists agree that one of the first steps in treating allergies is to practice allergen avoidance. The idea here is to avoid the triggers that cause your allergy symptoms, rather than just tell your immune system to ignore them through the use of medication. There are many different things that can trigger your allergy symptoms, such as pet dander, mould, dust mites, dust, traffic pollution, pollen, as well as many gases and fumes.

So what can you do to make your home safer for you, and less friendly to your allergy and asthma triggers? Here are a few ideas to get you started. The most effective place to start off your allergen avoidance is in the bedroom. If you have a good nights sleep, then your immune system will be better rested to fight off allergy causes during the day. Tell-tale signs that the bedroom environment is a problem include waking up tired with a blocked nose, a cough or sore eyes. Here are some suggestions on how to improve the air in your bedroom:

  • Invest in a proper home air purifier. Here it is important to do your homework. There are dozens of air purifier manufacturers and many different technologies that are being used. However, many of the technologies used are ineffective and many air cleaners do not provide a significant improvement in your air quality.
  • If possible, replace carpets with hard-surface material like wood which does not harbour house dust mites.
  • Don't let the room get too cold or damp so, even though prices are going up, do invest in a bit of background heating. A humidity meter can monitor the dampness of the air - it should read less than 50% humidity to discourage house dust mites.
  • Use allergy and asthma friendly cleaning products. The Allersearch range of cleaning products destroys many allergies and asthma triggers on contact.
  • Leave windows open in the morning to improve ventilation and pull back the curtains when it is hot and sunny (mites don't like high temperatures or sunlight).
  • Avoid curtains, which trap dust, and go for roller blinds or shades.
  • Reduce clutter on ledges to make dusting more effective.

Complementary medicine

Many people with allergies want to try non-drug approaches to managing their condition - and complementary therapies is often part of that. It has to be said that scientific evidence suggesting that these complementary therapies will help is still quite limited, but many people seem to be happy with the results.

You might want to try:

Yoga. Postures and breathing are the mainstays of yoga. Pranayama yoga exercises have been shown to be beneficial in asthma with participants in studies having fewer attacks. Whether it is stress reduction, or some improvement in the breathing pattern, which helps has not yet been established.

Hypnosis. In hypnosis, your therapist creates a state of mind which helps you focus. It has been applied to many health problems and some find it helps with asthma. Again, stress reduction may be the key to the success of hypnosis.

Acupuncture. A system of ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been shown, in some studies, to show benefit in asthma, at least in the short-term.

Homoeopathy. Where the allergic trigger, such as house dust mite, is known, taking homoeopathic medicines containing tiny, tiny, amounts of the trigger has shown some encouraging results.

If you do want to try a complementary therapy, remember it should not replace your regular medicines and you should discuss any remedies or therapies you are taking with your doctor.