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Dust mites and what people can do to help control them
Did you know that your home could be filled with dust mites? If you think your house is clean from the mites or other tiny creatures, well, think again. Dust mites could be staying on the bed or your couch. As they are small, you might not realize that their presence leads to severe health problems like allergies or asthma in particular. This article will show you how you can handle the dust mite problem at home and in the office.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that inhabit mattresses, carpets, upholstery and many other parts of our home. Dust mites feed on human’s dead skin cells that they shed each day. The skin flakes that could be in a humid condition are the perfect food for the dust mites.
It is difficult to create a very clean home when dust mites are invisible to the bare eyes. We cannot really eliminate them totally but there are many ways that you can do to reduce their presence at home.
Preventing dust mites at home:
The effort to remove dust mites should be done at home. Home is where every family member spends most of their time. This also means that many dust mites inhabit as many humans are inside. They can be anywhere from your living room to your bedroom.
- Humidity is the perfect habitat for dust mites. Thus, it’s necessary to make sure that you maintain air condition that will reduce the humidity level of your house at least 50%.
- Many pillow cases are made dust-proof so for those who have allergies, these are impeccable solution for your bedding needs. allergen proof covers are available for duvets, and pillows – they are made with breathable material and tested to be dust mite proof.
- Always wash your beddings and upholstery regularly. Using warm water, soak the bedding sheets to kill dust mites. Dust mites dissolves in the liquid so when you wash it with low temperature, they will not survive. It is important to kill them with high temperature water.
- Many beddings come with the latest technology of synthetic material. These are great for those with asthma.
- Replace the carpets with flooring like wood or tile. This will reduce the numbers of dust mites at home because they live in upholstered furniture.
- When you want to remove the dust, always use damp cloth because the mites will stick on it instead of being stirred away.
- Opt for vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter made for allergens. They will be sucked inside the exhaust.
- Allergens can be inhaled. Thus, always wear a mask and stay clean while vacuuming.
- Children with allergies should never sleep at the bottom part of bunk bed because the allergens like dust mites can fall to them.
- Always opt for floorings that will not trap moist. Dust mites and molds find them perfect for habitat. Cover the surface with washable fabrics or vinyl. You can obtain floorings that have been tested to prevent allergen build up.
- If your carpets are non-removable, you should vacuum regularly using cleaner with high level of filtration. A high temperature steam cleaner will kill mites in an effective way. You can also use spray on your carpets, too. However, they are strong in chemical so you might want to make sure that nobody is in the area where you spray.
- Stuffed toys are often washable so be sure to wash it frequently using the same temperature the way you wash your bedding. If you can’t wash the toys, place them inside plastic bag and freeze them for 12 hours every month. It will kill the mites.
- Allergen balms can also be applied to prevent allergic reaction. Some may even use petroleum jelly.
Prevent dust mites at work:
While you think home is the sole source of dust mites, your working space could be the breeding place for these allergens. Here’s what you can do to prevent:
- Always have a lot of ventilation at home to make sure that you have clean air circulation. Turn on the air conditioning system if you must.
- Always opt for regular service for any type of heater or air conditioner.
- Air purifier is effective to remove dust mites if your ventilation is limited. It will kill dirt, spores, debris, etc
- Use effective office cleaner with no allergens.
- Personal desk should be kept cleaned and away from any damp.
- Hang your coats far from dusty areas
- Drink water regularly may also prevent you from allergy or asthma.
Dust mite allergy
Dust mite can trigger allergic reaction because the bugs live in the house with the dust. There are many signs of dust mite allergies such as runny nose, sneezing and skin rash. People with this type of allergy also experience difficulty in breathing and they could also trigger asthma.
Because the creatures are too small to see using your eyes, people think that they are not there. However, the humid condition of an environment can likely to have mites inhabit the place. it is the ideal environment for them to multiply. Some medications can treat dust mites allergy if the problem has persisted. Here are some of the signs if someone experience dust mite allergy symptom:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Skin Redness
- Watery eyes
- Post nastal drip
- Swollen skin
- Nose rubbing done frequently
Dust mite allergy can contribute to more severe disease.
- Respiratory problem
- Chest pain
- Whistling sound when you exhale
- Shortness of breath that causes sleeping problem
- Coughing and flu
The condition may persist and gets worse if no precaution is taken.
You should pay a visit to a doctor if the signs persist
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether it is just a flu or allergy. The symptoms have been there for weeks? Months? Then this could possibly be allergy. It is important to have your allergy taken seriously before it leads to emergency case.
What are the causes
Dust mites eat skin cells. Do they need to drink? These mites absorb humidity as their liquid supply. Their ideal place is a space with temperature of 18 to 29 C. They are easily trapped in linens, cushions and carpets – which is why these places are their habitats. The dust mites don’t directly cause allergy. It is because of the proteins from feces or when the mites decayed.
Why a person can have allergic due to this matter?
Allergic reaction is due to our low immune system. As a foreign matter enters our body, it produces anti body so these invasions will not cause trouble for your health. Allergy is identified as a harmful substance by our body. It quickly forms antibodies as the response of the contact. A prolonged exposure to allergy can cause chronic asthma.
Here are some of the factors that could increase your risk of getting allergy
- Family history
Allergy can be passed down from family members. You could inherit the allergy as your body develops the sensitivity.
- Dust mites exposure
Earlier exposure to dust mites can likely to increase the risk of getting allergies
Severe cases of dust mite allergies
If a problem of allergy persists, the tissue in nasal path is irritated by it. Hence, it disturbs the system and causes sinus. Obstruction like this can cause a person to develop sinusitis due to the infection.
People with the allergy will have a difficult time breathing the normal way. Thus, asthma symptom may occur in early stage as a child. People with allergy can risk themselves to develop asthma. When they have difficulty to manage the symptom, they may need medical treatment.
What you can do when you want to visit a doctor for allergy issue
If you experience any of the symptoms above, like shortness of breath, runny nose, sneezing, then it is recommended that you seek medical advice. You can start seeing general practitioner and start to make an appointment.
- Write down the list of symptoms that you experience so far which are related to allergy.
- Write down family experience of allergies or asthma.
- List the medications you take
- Stop medicines that cause allergies
Mattresses and pillows are often dirty but many of home owners do not realize it. This is why you need to clean up the bedding each week if possible. Each room has to be kept clean and dry. Dehumidifier is important to keep the room dry.
Treating dust mites with medicines
There are many options to treat dust mites. Some of the prescription by doctors help to relieve the signs of allergies and here are the list of such prescriptions:
This type of medicine helps a lot to relieve runny nose and sometimes irriation like itching. You can find this over the counter or in drug stores.
- nasal corticosteroids
This medicine helps to reduce nasal problem like inflammation or other effects caused by allergies. Nasonex is the common medicine name.
Afrin or Sudafed are two among many other common medicines to reduce breathing problems, or nasal passage problems. These medications can either be combined or consumed separately depending on the doctor recommendation.
- Allergy shots
Allergy shot benefits for the body to immediately react to a certain allergy. The injection is shot under the fat so it could act quickly and it is done every once in a week. It gives a longer relief than any other medicines. People who experience allergy found the shots to be relieving at some points.
Natural remedies for dust mites
Rinsing the nasal passage
For an emergency treatment, you can rinse the nasal passage using warm water dissolved with salt. You can do this every day until the problem reduced.
Wait for a few minutes after getting out of bed
We normally mend our bed right after we get out. The truth is, our bed is still warm and when you cover it with your bed cover, you are creating an ideal place for the mites to live. They can come back anytime while you are having your coffee.
Maintaining dry condition
It gets harder to maintain the dryness of a room when you are living in a tropical temperature that can be very humid at times. You can try to use essential oil that could eliminate dust mites such as eucalyptus oil. Finish off with proper drying time.
Diagnosing dust mite allergy with tests
A doctor can diagnose allergy by conducting test or exam as you discuss it properly regarding the symptoms. The dust mite allergy can be done in these tests:
- Skin Prick Test
Skin prick test is commonly called SPT. The test uses a drop of allergen on the skin and scratch the area with a sterilize needle. If your skin develops irritation or redness, then you will likely to have allergy in your body. The test roughly takes 20 minutes before the doctor can determine the condition. However, SPT positive does not always mean allergens as this could also be other condition too.
- Blood test
Blood test can help to determine the medicines you are taking. Blood test can show the condition of our body as it is taken to the laboratory. The sample can determine the type of allergen and proper medicine to be used. This specific blood test is called igE blood test.
What to invest to prevent dust mites allergy
As you learn that these mites inhabit your bed sheets with their feces and bodies – it is necessary to have all of the furniture upholstery equipped with dust proof features. They can be a lot more expensive but given the fact that dust mites can result in serious problem – the idea to prevent is much better than having to deal with the allergens on the long run.
Dust mites live in humid places and this is an ideal place for them to continue their lives. Thus, as a home owner, it is necessary to have smart decision when it comes to the machines we use. strong vacuum cleaner will likely to suck the feces, dead skin cells and the mite itself so they are no way to be found on your bedroom.
Invest in pillows that are not causing allergies. These pillows have been clinically tested not to trigger allergies. The type of pillow that an asthmatic person should be using at home. Usually, you don’t need to wash it but simply to keep it dry.
Important things you should know about dust mites
- Dust mites die under the sunlight especially when the heat is strong. Always take time to hang the pillows and bedding outside every once in a week to kill the mites.
- When the humidity falls between 40 percent, usually dust mites can’t survive
- Bed linens have the most dust mite presence. Always wash it every week, using higher level of water temperature. Otherwise the dust mites still survive.
- Steam carpets are necessary to lessen the amount of dust mites inhabit the place.
- Warm water can contribute to the high moist inside your house. Clean the sofa, couch, and mattresses using vapor cleaning steam.
- Wool bedding has the least dust mite presence as it repels the mites. You can invest in this type of bedding if you want to prevent them from coming.
- You can also buy a new pillow once a year to prevent the dust mites from inhabiting your favorite pillow.
- Cover the storage when you have magazines or other papers inside. They can collect dusts and the mites as well. or you can perform regular cleaning to keep your books free from the dust.
This every day dust mite control can help to minimize the presence of the mites. However, it is quite difficult to eliminate them for good because they are invisible due to their microscopic size. Prevention is better than any other way because once a person caught an allergy, it would be harder to handle because it needs prescription and doctor advise.
It goes without saying to keep your bedroom clean and keep the air circulate inside your house. This would be the best prevention for dust mites. Venetian blinds for instance, will help to cool the place but it catches dust more than you think. Opt for easily washed upholstery that you can take down every now and then so you won’t have any difficulty to perform a regular cleaning.