Dust mites are tiny but harmful to those allergic to them. People who are sensitive or allergic to dust mites exhibit the following symptoms: watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing, coughing and breathing problems, skin rashes and itching, and aggravated asthma. If you have dust mite allergies and experience worsening reactions, check your beddings. A mattress older than 8 years may be vulnerable to dust mite infestation and will require urgent replacement.
Dust Mite Allergies
Dust mites are the cousins of spiders. They are arachnids that are as small as one-third of a millimeter. These bugs thrive in warm and humid places. Mites consume human skin and animal dander for food, which is why they are frequently found in beds. An average mattress can have 100,000 to 10 million mites!
A study showed that high dust mite levels have been correlated with a couple of sicknesses. When dust mite levels were high, 45% of study participants developed allergies, while 23% experienced asthma attacks. An estimated 10 to 25% of North Americans are sensitive to dust mites, while mite droppings have been known to affect 50% of people with asthma. Clearly, what seems invisible to the naked eye can wreak havoc on human health, thus, dust mites must not be overlooked.
Managing Dust Mite Allergies Starts By Purchasing a New Mattress
You cannot eradicate all dust mites, but you can reduce their population or exposure to them through proper ventilation, using dust-mite-proof covers, regular washing, and buying a new mattress. Proper room ventilation decreases humidity that encourages dust mite reproduction. Also, you can use plastic or vinyl covers with zippers for your pillows and mattresses to decrease dust mites. Wash sheets and pillowcases regularly, or at least once a week, while comforters and bedspreads should be washed every one to two months.
Most mattresses should be replaced after eight years as well because of the breakdown in their inner materials which can lead to higher dust mite levels. Some mattresses may need to be replaced every five years, however. Check the replacement recommendations for your mattresses and plan for new purchases as needed.
Worsened allergies or asthma attacks may be caused by dust mites. Several steps are essential to reduce these illnesses, including proper room ventilation, using dust-mite-proof covers, regular washing, and buying a new mattress every eight years. A prompt and sustained approach to these factors can significantly reduce dust mite allergies and asthmatic attacks.
“Dust Mite Mattress and Pillow Covers for Allergies,” WebMD, 2016
“Saying Good Night to the Dust Mite,” Dory Cerny, Allergic Living, 2010