Public attention in the media has recently focused on asthma and allergy because of its rapidly increasing , affecting up to one in four urban children. According to the latest estimates, there are 38 millions allergy sufferers in Great Britain, and the numbers are increasing. Mites cause several forms of allergic diseases, including hay fever, asthma and eczema and also aggrevates atopic dermatitis. Mites are usually found in warm and humid locations, including beds. It is thought that inhalation of mites during sleep exposes the human body to some antigens which eventually induce hypersensitivity reaction. Dust mite allergens are thought to be among the heaviest dust allergens.

Vacuuming helps remove the residue, as does washing, however, vacuuming does not generally kill mites because they cling to the surface. The application of frequent vacuuming as a dust control measure may aggravate allergic asthmatic conditions because conventional vacuum cleaners blow some dust through the cleaner's bag into the air. Dust collection by conventional vacuums results in a significant increase in airborne concentrations.

Inhaled allergens derived from house dust mite faeces play a major role in allergic disease, especially in asthma. The number of people affected is rising throughout Great Britain (and indeed Europe and also worldwide), now impairing the health and quality of life of a substantial proportion of children, as well as many adults, and placing a significant burden on health services.

Allergy and asthma sufferers aren’t the only ones to benefit: Within a very short time, Roboclean washes the air and noticeably improves room climate. Dirt will not find it’s way back in your home.

Unfortunately for humans the happy house dust mite will cause endless problems which can lead to long term health problems.


  • House dust mite and mould cause itchy, runny noses. Congested chests, wheezing, coughing, tight chests, shortness of breath, watery, inflamed itchy eyes. Disturbed sleep, poor concentration and headaches.
  • House dust mite cause allergic reactions in 85% of children with asthma.
  • We sweat 1/3rd of a litre of water in bed every night producing the warm and humid environment in our beds which is perfect for the housedust mite.
  • The ideal room temperature should be set below 25 degrees as house dust mites like a warm environment.

With the worrying increase in allergy sufferers it is vital that people help themselves by using simple avoidance techniques and through Indoor Allergy Week Allergy UK will be highlighting ways in which everyday household tasks and equipment can be used to reduce the housedust mite population in our homes and thereby reduce the risk of developing asthma and eczema.

Did you Know?

  • In your double bed you will be sleeping with 2 million house dust mites.
  • Your ordinary pillow will double in weight over six months due to house dust mite droppings.
  • Housedust mites live on the skins cells that we shed.
  • The house dust mite allergen comes mainly from their droppings and is so fine that it is easily airborne settling quickly into our pillows, mattresses, chairs, curtains and carpets.
  • Some manufacturers of household cleaning products have recognised the problem to such an extent that one company in particular have worked with Allergy UK to produce a range of high performance allergy control dusting cloths.
  • Look for products that hold the British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval. These products have all been rigorously tested in a Scientific Laboratory and have had to achieve very high levels of removal/reduction of allergens.

Allergy is a disorder of the immune system which is a form of hypersensitivity.[1] Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. It is characterized by excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody known as IgE, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma attacks, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.

Mild allergies like hay fever are highly prevalent in the human population and cause symptoms such as allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness, and runny nose. Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. In some people, severe allergies to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.

A variety of tests now exist to diagnose allergic conditions; these include testing the skin for responses to known allergens or analyzing the blood for the presence and levels of allergen-specific IgE. Treatments for allergies include allergen avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other oral medications, immunotherapy to desensitize the response to allergen, and targeted therapy.

Signs and symptoms

Many allergens such as dust or pollen are airborne particles. In these cases, symptoms arise in areas in contact with air, such as eyes, nose and lungs. For instance, allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, causes irritation of the nose, sneezing, and itching and redness of the eyes. Inhaled allergens can also lead to asthmatic symptoms, caused by narrowing of the airways (bronchoconstriction) and increased production of mucus in the lungs, shortness of breath (dyspnea), coughing and wheezing.

Aside from these ambient allergens, allergic reactions can result from foods, insect stings, and reactions to medications like aspirin and antibiotics such as penicillin. Symptoms of food allergy include abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin, and swelling of the skin during hives. Food allergies rarely cause respiratory (asthmatic) reactions, or rhinitis. Insect stings, antibiotics, and certain medicines produce a systemic allergic response that is also called anaphylaxis; multiple organ systems can be affected, including the digestive system, the respiratory system, and the circulatory system. Depending of the rate of severity, it can cause cutaneous reactions, bronchoconstriction, edema, hypotension, coma, and even death. This type of reaction can be triggered suddenly, or the onset can be delayed. The severity of this type of allergic response often requires injections of epinephrine, sometimes through a device known as the EpiPen or Twinject auto-injector. The nature of anaphylaxis is such that the reaction can seem to be subsiding, but may recur throughout a prolonged period of time.

Substances that come into contact with the skin, such as latex, are also common causes of allergic reactions, known as contact dermatitis or eczema. Skin allergies frequently cause rashes, or swelling and inflammation within the skin, in what is known as a "wheal and flare" reaction characteristic of hives and angioedema.

Allergy Testing

What is Allergy?

The term allergy is used to describe a particular response by the body's immune system to a substance in the environment (including foods). This response occurs in predisposed individuals and results in the development of a particular antibody (IgE) against the substance. The next time the person meets this substance the antibody reaction causes the release of certain chemicals into the body. These chemicals cause the symptoms of allergic disease.

Examples of allergic disorders include asthma, eczema, hayfever and year-round nasal symptoms, urticaria (hives or nettlerash) and anaphylaxis.

The tendency to develop allergic disease in this way is inherited. This allergic tendency is called atopy.

What is an Allergen?

Substances which provoke production of IgE and cause allergy in a susceptible person are known as allergens. Almost anything can be an allergen but some substances are much more common allergens than others, for example house dust mites, pollen from trees and grasses, cats, dogs, insects such as wasps and bees, milk, eggs and peanuts. Less common allergens include tree nuts, fruit, and latex. Most allergens are proteins but there are some non-protein allergens such as penicillin and some other drugs. For these to cause an allergic response, they need to be bound to a protein once they are in the body.

What is the difference between Allergy, Intolerance, and Sensitivity?

Although the word Allergy is commonly used to describe any unpleasant reaction to a drug, food, insect sting, or chemical, this can be misleading. The word should only really be used to describe a reaction produced by the immune system when the body meets a normally harmless substance, which has been "remembered" from a previous exposure and subsequently produces the IgE antibody.

Sensitivity is an exaggeration of a normal side effect produced by contact with a substance. For example, the amount of caffeine in a single cup of coffee may cause palpitations and trembling in a sensitive person, where this would normally only occur after far higher doses of caffeine.

Intolerance happens for a variety of reasons including the production of different types of antibody against the substance (not the IgE antibody produced in allergy), or because your body does not produce sufficient quantities of a particular enzyme/chemical, which is needed to break down a food and aid digestion.

How do you know if you have an allergy?

The most useful tool in deciding whether someone is allergic is to take an 'allergy history'. A good allergy clinician can usually identify the likely allergens from the history alone, and allergy tests are often not needed. However there are occasions when tests can be useful to confirm the diagnosis. This is especially important if you have had a severe reaction and if there is any confusion as to whether your symptoms are caused by a true allergy (involving the production of IgE) or whether some other process is involved.

There is no point in having an allergy test if either the sufferer or the doctor is not prepared to act on the results.