Millions of Americans suffer from allergies and asthma. If symptoms persist or increase indoors the odds are dust mites are causing or enhancing the problem.
Dust mites are tiny members of the arachnid family that live in homes all over the world feeding on dead sloughed off skin, which comprises up to 80 percent of household dust. Up to ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be due to dust mites, their feces and their dead skin.
For most people these little critters are benign freeloaders, but for people with asthma or allergies their waste can cause intense irritation and discomfort ranging from runny noses to severe asthma attacks. With the pervasive nature of dust mites making them the second most common cause of allergic reactions (after pollen) it would be nearly impossible to rid your home of them entirely.
However, with a little understanding of their preferred environment, it is easy to limit the effect dust mites can have on your health and comfort. Dust mites thrive in warm humid environments, as well as anywhere they are offered protection and food.
Furniture cushions, pillows, carpeting, upholstery, and particularly mattresses offer superb living quarters for dust mites. Remedying the issue may take a bit of effort, but will ultimately save unnecessary stress and discomfort. Be sure that all sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and mattress pads are changed and washed regularly in hot water to kill dust mites and remove their waste. Avoid clothe window covers, opting for plastic shades instead.
Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a high efficiency purifying air (HEPA) filtration system. Replacing carpet with hardwood or tiles may be necessary in certain cases.
The polyurethane foam used in most mattresses and cushions are for the tiny pests. This means that when allergy and asthma sufferers got to bed, where health experts say everyone should spend eight hours of every day, they are immersing themselves in a sea of allergens leading to a frustrating, unfulfilling night of sleep Recent years have seen the development of new technologies aimed at keeping mattresses microbe and dust mite free without sacrificing comfort.
The latex in latex mattresses and pillows creates an environment naturally unsuitable for dust mites, molds, bacteria, and other microbes. Amicor, a fiber in which active microbe eliminating ingredients are imbedded allowing it to maintain its antimicrobial properties through 200 or more wash cycles, can be used in fabrics for mattress and pillow covers.
When combined with wool, which is also naturally microbe resistant, a bed is created that provides an escape from allergens rather than a place where they wait to keep you itching.
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