If you’re like me, you suffer from a number of allergies: grass, trees, pollen, pet dander (Ed: I presume this is an American-ism for pet hair/fur), mould and mildew, and yes, those ugly microscopic varmints, dust mites.
Of all the allergens, the most problematic are the dust mites . . . how do you avoid them . . . they’re everywhere . . . all year long. Is there one room in your home that is completely dust mite free? Okay, be honest. I know there isn’t one in my home. And, yes I do vacuum and dust regularly.
So, why is the dust mite such a trouble maker? Well, dust mites are hardy critters and they have a never-ending source of food . . . us. Yes, dust mites feed off of our dead skin and that of animals. That’s why your bed is the largest source of dust mites and their droppings, which is what we are actually allergic to. And, dust mites are year round which is why our allergy symptoms can seem never-ending.
Some Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms:
- Stuffy nose and ears
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Allergic rhinitis
As you notice, the symptoms range from allergic rhinitis to contact allergy symptoms. The reason for this is because whether you’re lying in bed, perched on your upholstered chair, or sitting on your carpeted floor, you are in contact range of dust mites.
An easy test: Do your symptoms appear worse at night and when you wake in the morning . . . and they ease when you’re outside? Then, most probably dust mites are the culprit.
Another, more accurate, way to determine the actual cause of your allergy symptoms is to see an allergist and get tested. This would probably be the best course of action. Your doctor can also prescribe allergy medications to help reduce the severity of your symptoms and possibly even eliminate them entirely. If medication doesn’t quite cut it, he may also suggest you get allergy shots.
In the meantime, here are some steps you can take today to reduce your exposure to dust mite allergens:
- Enclose your mattress, box spring and other bedding that can’t be washed in very hot water in allergen-proof covers.
- Wash sheets, pillow cases, and other bedding in hot water of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This will kill the dust mites and eliminate their allergen.
- Use an air conditioner in the summer and dehumidifier the rest of the time to reduce the amount of humidity in the indoor air. Use HEPA filters – HEPA is an acronym for “high efficiency particulate air”. There are a couple of different categories of HEPA filters to choose from.
- Replace carpeting with vinyl, wood or tiled flooring.
- Cover air vents with cheesecloth/fine muslin to reduce dust being blown into the air.
- Use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter. It can trap a large amount of very small particles that other vacuum cleaners would simply recirculate back into the air of your home.
Allergy Be Gone is a family company owned and managed by an allergy sufferer. The founders, Marc and Allen Barsano, have always been concerned with helping people who suffer from allergies. For this reason, Marc and Allen are dedicated to providing useful and regularly updated allergy avoidance information and their blog is updated daily.