Many people suffer from dust mite allergies and if you’re one of them, you know how troublesome those little critters can be. Symptoms can include itchy watery eyes, persistent stuffy nose, repeated sneezing upon wakening, headaches, runny nose, eczema, and even nausea, to name a few.
Dust mites feed on dead skin cells, so you will find them in places where we spend much of our time, such as our favorite upholstered furniture, in carpeting, inside mattresses, bed sheets, blankets, and in our pillows, etc. It is nearly impossible to rid our furniture and bedding from all dust mites, but there are ways that we can combat these nasty critters and reduce their affects on us. The best place to start is with your bedding.
1) As strange as it may sound, it is not the dust mite that most people are allergic to; it is their fecal matter. Washing your bedding will remove the dust mite allergen, but does not kill the dust mite itself. To kill the dust mite you can either wash your bedding in a water temperature of at least 130̊ F, or if you prefer to wash in cold water, place your sheets and pillowcases in the freezer for a couple of days after laundering them. Placing them in the freezer will kill the dust mite, keeping your sheets allergen free until they are ready to be used.
2) Encase your mattress and box spring in zippered allergen-impermeable covers.
3) Use a dust mite proof pillow protector. This is very helpful since our face is buried in our pillows each night, causing us to directly breathe in the dust mite allergen.
4) Wash blankets and comforters every two to four weeks in hot water to rid them of dust mites and their allergen.
5) If at all possible, remove carpeting from your bedroom. Carpet is a huge breeding ground for dust mites.
Some of these remedies may sound extreme, but as a dust mite sufferer myself, I have found them to be extremely helpful and actually ‘life changing’. Yes, there is a cost involved, but aren’t you worth it?