If you ever get the chance (or, rather, displeasure) to view a dust mite under a microscope, you’ll see immediately that they are unbelievably ugly creatures. Unfortunately, these little buggers are also pretty much everywhere, and wherever they go, their allergens go right along with them. This is why, for someone with a dust mite allergy, living with them can be even more of a nightmare than just knowing they exist.
Mite of Your Life – What are Dust Mites and Why Do They Matter?
Dust mites are relatives of ticks and spiders. They like warm, humid environments, and they eat the dead skin cells that fall from humans every day, so they’re, of course, found in places where people dwell. Bedding, drapes, furniture, carpet, and even stuffed toys are popular spots for these microscopic mites.
Whilst they do not bite or sting, the allergens that they produce (through their fecal matter, no less) can cause a variety of symptoms in those with environmental allergies or asthma. These symptoms can include anything from typical allergy symptoms, like sneezing and congestion, all the way up to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, and I’ve had the lot!
Getting Rid of the Dust Mites in Your Life
Anyone with allergies or breathing problems knows that such conditions are simply miserable. Reducing the amount of dust mites in your home could go a long way toward reducing allergy and asthma symptoms, leading to a significant improvement in overall physical wellness. Eliminating dust mites can also have positive impacts on the people in your home who don’t tend to suffer from these ailments. After all, anything that negatively impacts your health should be cleared away as soon as possible. Luckily, there are actually a variety of steps that can be taken to further this goal.
One method for reducing dust mites is to use a dehumidifier. Since dust mites thrive in humid places, reducing the humidity in your home will make it difficult for them to survive any longer in your environment. When it comes time to wash your bedding (preferably at least weekly), strive for the hottest possible water setting, as this can actually kill the mites. If you cannot wash your bedding in hot water, you can freeze it for a day or two instead. A less labour intensive method is to use a mattress cover to protect against dust mites, as well as stains.
If you or someone in your household suffers from more severe allergy symptoms, there are more steps that you can take, such as maintaining the cool temperature of your home, and vacuuming or dusting more often. However, be aware that vacuuming and dusting can also temporarily stir up more allergens into the air or the area that you’re cleaning. Someone severely allergic might need to wear a mask whilst cleaning.
Perhaps one of the most useful things that you can do to combat the mites and your reaction to them is to replace your pillows.
Pillows tend to be the place where we come into closest contact with dust mites as, after all, we do spend many hours each night with our faces pressed against them. Replacing your typical pillows with hypoallergenic, dust mite-resistant pillows like this set from In Style Furnishings is an ideal solution. Made from a fluffy down alternative, these pillows are comfortable, as well as allergy-reducing.
But, what if you have a favourite pillow that you just can’t seem to part with? Give these pillow protectors a try. Not only do they keep allergens from penetrating the surface of your pillow, but they’re also waterproof, as well.
You (Probably) Can’t Have Just One – Other Allergies and Dust Mites
Often, people with one allergy will also have others, and they can all aggravate each other, so doing things to relieve your other allergies is another way to minimise some of your discomforts. Consider investing in an air purifier, and don’t forget about Himalayan salt lamps.
Do you suffer from allergies? What sorts of symptoms do you have and what steps have you taken to relieve them? Let me know in the comments and make sure to follow me on Facebook for more tips and tricks for bettering your health and well being.