World Allergy Week is an annual event organised by the World Allergy Organisation (WAO) and will take place from 2-8 April this year, with the focus of raising awareness of allergies.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ highlights that approximately 70-80% of asthma in New Zealand is associated with allergy. The Foundation encourages people with allergy-triggered asthma to understand what their triggers are and minimise them as much as possible.

“Some people are particularly sensitive or “allergic” to certain things they come into contact with every day. The most common asthma-producing allergies are related to moulds, pets, pollen, and dust mites,” says Teresa Demetriou from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ.

To improve asthma and allergies, the Foundation stresses that all Kiwis should do what they can within their limits to reduce these triggers in their living environments. Recommendations include:

  • Ensure the home is dry, well ventilated and warm
  • Keep mould and dust to a minimum
  • Keep pets outside of bedrooms

The Foundation also recommends those with asthma and allergies look out for products approved by its Sensitive Choice® programme, marked by a blue butterfly. Products demonstrate a potential benefit for people with asthma or allergies, and most importantly aren’t harmful.

“People can rest assured that if they see a blue butterfly on the packaging of a product – it’s asthma and allergy friendly,” says Demetriou.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ established Sensitive Choice® in New Zealand 10 years ago. Products approved by Sensitive Choice® have gone through an extensive advisory panel process that uses current research as a basis for approval.

For further advice on minimising exposure to triggers in your home visit

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