Dust mite allergy is caused by an insect so tiny that you need a microscope to see it. In spite of its diminutive size, it belongs to the same family as ticks and scorpions.
Dust mites are most commonly found in your bed and other cloth materials. Mattresses and pillows are a favored place.
Yet they are too tiny to be seen by the naked eye. But they are there, in huge numbers. Dust mites feed on the dead skin we all shed.
The video below provides authoritative statistics about the prevalence of dust mites in most homes, and what you can do to fight them. Be sure to watch it.
Dust mites are the main cause of year around allergy symptoms. The allergic reaction is caused by the feces and decaying bodies of dust mites.
Their life span is from 3-4 months. So there are plenty of dead bugs in our beds, bedding, pillows, carpets and stuffed animals.
Dust Mite Allergy Reaction
The allergic reaction you experience is an inflammation of the nasal areas. The symptoms they cause are sneezing and runny nose, similar to hay fever.
Because of this, it’s often difficult to distinguish between a dust mite allergy reaction and the common cold.
Asthma sufferers are particularly vulnerable to dust mite allergy as they may trigger an asthma attack, with possible shortness of breath and other breathing problems.
Other likely affected areas are the eyes where you may experience redness and itchiness. Also you may feel itchiness in the roof of your mouth and your throat, and experience post nasal drip.
The severity of dust mite allergy can go from mild to severe, at which point you may need to consult your doctor for help. You should also see your doctor if your symptoms continue for 2 weeks.
If the symptoms worsen rapidly, causing wheezing and shortness of breath, you should seek immediate emergency care.
People’s systems generally create antibodies to protect them against viruses, bacteria and other toxic elements, but not against dust mites.
We are at the mercy of these invisible bugs. Fortunately, dust mites do not carry diseases, so they are harmless, if you can overlook the various unpleasant allergy symptoms.
Huge Numbers Of Dust Mites
To get a feel for how abundant these invisible pests are, one square yard of carpeting can house as many as 100,000 mites. No wonder allergists recommend wood or tile flooring as a first preventive step against allergies.
What They Eat
There’s plenty of food for these pests since they feed on dead skin, and our bodies shed approximately 10 grams of skin in a week.
A pillow that has been in use for 2 years will contain 10% of its weight in the form of decomposed dead mites plus the feces they leave behind.
These little bugs are not particularly cute. They have 8 hairy legs, no antenna and no wings, but their mouth is at the front of their body.
During the 3-4 month life span, a female can lay 40-80 eggs. So propagation throughout the house can occur fairly fast.
Since there is no cure for dust mite allergy, the best way to fight them is by thorough, and frequent cleaning and vacuuming.
The bedroom is one place where you lay for an extended period, and have the most exposure to dust mites.
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites
Therefore, a dust mite sufferer can get the greatest relief by concentrating on the bedroom for the most thorough removal of the little critters.
Plastic covers can be placed on mattress and pillows for protection. When you wash the bedding, be sure the water temperature is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the dust mites.
Another option, especially for items that can’t be washed, is to put then in a freezer for 48 hours to kill the bugs.
Since dust mites thrive in warmth and humidity, you should keep your house at 70 degrees, and less than 50% humidity.
You should vacuum drapes and cloth blinds, as well as your cloth upholstered furniture once a week at a minimum.
In searching for over the counter medication to relive the symptoms of dust mite allergy, you should start by consulting with your doctor.
By taking the precautions discussed here, and getting appropriate medication, you can best avoid the unpleasant symptoms of dust mite allergy.
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