Allergic to Dust Mites? Here’s What You Can Do
Dust: we all know what it looks like, but do you know what it’s made of and why it keeps appearing no matter how often you clean? Most people think dust is human skin, and they’re partly right. However, dust is much more than that, and it isn’t pretty. Dust is also one of the most common allergens, because it contains so many harmful things! While it’s not possible to completely eradicate dust, there are certain measures you can take reduce its presence. Today, we’re going to specifically focus on dust mites, as millions of people are allergic to them.
What is Dust?
In the most basic terms, dust is a collection of tiny particles. It can consist of a variety of unpleasant things, such as:
- Human & pet hair
- Pet dander
- Human skin cells
- Textile & paper fibers (carpet, for example)
- Pieces of cockroaches & dust mites
It’s not uncommon for people to be allergic to dust, especially since it’s made of many components. If you’re allergic to pet dander, pollen, or cockroaches, then you’re more susceptible to experiencing allergies when dust is present. Because dust is such a fine powder, it can enter your lungs more easily.
What is a Dust Mite?
According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a dust mite is a primitive creature that has no developed respiratory system and no eyes. Measuring at just one quarter to one third of a millimeter, dust mites feed on flakes of human skin.
Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from dust mite allergies. This bothersome critter is among the most triggering of allergens, having the capability to cause year-round allergies and asthma. And unfortunately, there’s no escaping them, since they’re located on every continent except Antarctica. Even if you keep the cleanest house on the block, your home can still present itself as a nice nesting place for dust mites. They thrive in more humid climates with temperatures of 68-77° degrees.
How to Treat Dust Mites
Those who suffer from dust mite allergies aren’t affected by the dust mite itself, bur rather by its waste. So, even after the dust mites are gone, you could still experience a reaction because of the waste they left behind. The AAFA has put together a helpful list of things you can do to lessen the effects of dust mites:
- Cover mattresses and pillows in zippered dust-proof covers.
- Wash your sheets and blankets weekly in hot water.
- Get rid of all types of fabric that dust mites love and that you cannot easily wash regularly in hot water.
- Have someone without a dust mite allergy clean your bedroom.
- Use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to help keep dust mites and mite waste from getting back into the air.
- Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, if possible.
- Wash rugs in hot water whenever possible.
- Keep the humidity in your home at less than 50 percent.
- Use a HEPA filter with your central furnace and air conditioning unit.
At Interstate, we offer numerous indoor air quality solutions. To drastically improve your home’s IAQ, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a licensed HVAC professional to determine an effective treatment plan. Breathe easier today – give us a call now to learn more about our IAQ services!
For information or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900.