Are your bed sheets giving you allergies?

Britons could be causing themselves a host of health problems simply by failing to change their bed sheets, a leading allergy expert has warned.

Dirty bed linen could make allergies worse

According to a survey of more than 2,000 adults, almost 20 per cent fail to change their sheets once a month, and it could be leaving them with issues like asthma, rhinitis and eczema.

The poll, commissioned for home retailer Dunelm Mill, revealed that only two in five Brits change the bed linen on a weekly basis, with 36 per cent taking on this particular chore fortnightly, and one per cent leaving them to fester for an entire year.

Surprisingly, women were less likely to regularly put on fresh bed sheets. More than 50 per cent confessed they wouldn't wash the sheets on a weekly basis, 12 per cent changed them once a month and one per cent admitted they had yet to get round to the job.

Men, on the other hand, were much more conscientious when it came to a clean bed, with 40 per cent managing a weekly change and eight per cent washing the sheets even more frequently.

Paediatric allergist Dr Adam Fox has warned that dirty sheets attract dust mites that could be triggering a range of allergies.

He told MailOnline: "Having good bedroom hygiene when it comes to changing your sheets is about far more than just freshening up your linen.

"We spend about a third of our lives asleep and this is reflected in the debris that we leave between the sheets."

Dr Fox explained: "In addition to skin cells, our bodies also secrete fluids, sweat and oils during a long nights sleep. While unsavoury in themselves, these deposits mostly pose a problem as they are all deliciously appealing for dust mites."

The droppings of dust mites can asthma and rhinitis, and exacerbate the symptoms of eczema.

Dr Fox advised those suffering with dust mite-related allergies to wash their sheets at least every two weeks on a hot wash.

What do you think? Could dirty sheets be making your allergies worse? Leave your comments below...