Facts you may not know about dust mites
Surprisingly many people don't really know that much about dust mites and the misery they cause even though millions of people suffer the effects. In fact many people just assume that because they've always had nasal problems or wheezing in the morning, it's just how they are.
But the good thing is that if you do suffer from dust mite allergy, there are lots of things you can do to reduce your symptoms.
First learn more about dust mites, what they are and where they live.
Did you know?
~ Dust mites can't drink so absorb moisture from the air. If you keep the humidity below 50% then the dust mite will gradually dry out.
~ Dust mites live on human skin scales, which need moulds or fungi to break them down (this is another reason why humidity levels are so important).
~ Dust mites live in clean houses as well as less clean houses! They live in soft furnishings and particularly in bedding.
~ Dust mites love the warm humid conditions found in most houses and particularly in bedding. They multiply at an alarming rate and a new mattress or pillow will have been colonised by dust mites within 6 months.
~ Unless washed or protected with a barrier case, your pillow will get heavier and heavier the older it gets - this is caused by the amount of dust mite faeces in the pillow!
~ It's the dust mite faeces that cause allergic symptoms not the dust mite itself.
~ Dust mite faeces are water soluble so even washing at 30% will get rid of the allergen but not the dust mite.
~ You need to wash bedding at 60 degrees C in order to kill the dust mite - or use FabriCleanse to kill the dust mite in the laundry.
~ Sometimes a dust mite proof mattress protector will be recommended by a doctor if you have dust mite allergy. This is a start but won't actually significantly reduce your symptoms since the pillow and the duvet need to be dust mite proofed as well.
~ Children's toys can harbour dust mites and could be a serious threat to an asthmatic child. Either wash or freeze soft toys regularly (once a week) to get rid of the dust mite allergen or kill the dust mites. Unless the toy can be washed on a hot wash you should freeze it first to kill the dust mite and then wash it to get rid of the dead dust mites and the allergen. Alternatively you can use FabriCleanse to kill the dust mite and denature other allergens.
Symptoms of dust mite allergy
The most common symptoms of dust mite allergy are:
~ coughing, sneezing, wheezing, runny nose - this can be particularly bad in the morning when you wake up and get better during the day
~ eye irritation and itching or watering eyes
~ nasal congestion and sinusitis
~ in a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose (Mayo Clinic)
For an asthmatic person, exposure to dust mites may cause mild to severe symptoms: wheezing and tightness of breath to a severe asthma attack.
10 Top Tips on reducing dust mite allergy symptoms
Prioritise and start by reducing exposure in the bedroom as this is where we spend a large chunk of time:
~ Declutter the bedroom as dust mites like to live in clutter!
~ Give the bedroom a thorough clean, washing all bedding, vacuuming the mattress.
~ Use the allergy sprays to denature dust mites in the air, on furnishings and on the mattress
~ Enclose the mattress, duvet and pillows in dust mite proof barrier cases or enclose the mattress and replace existing pillows and duvet with dust mite proof ones.
~ If practical replace carpeting with a smooth floor, preferably wood or ceramic tiles so that the floor can be damp dusted once a week.
~ Monitor humidity levels and keep them between 40 and 50%
~ Use a dehumidifier if levels are over 50% and keep them reduced
~ Use an air steriliser to kill mould spores in the air and keep them to a minimum.
~ Pull back your duvet each morning and leave the bed to air all day, fluff up and air the pillows.
~ Keep pets out of the bedroom as they can bring dust mites into the room as well as pet allergens.