It's interesting to note in a recent survey that 18-30% of Americans suffer from allergies related to the common dust mite. So I thought to put together an article that would be helpful to the reader. Providing information about dust mites, what they are? Where are their favorite breading environments? And which environments provide optimum breading conditions? What are dust mite allergy symptoms? And ways for getting rid of dust mites.
The dust mite is a spider like creature 0.3mm in size, the male lives for about one month, and the female for two. In her life span a female can lay up to 100 eggs, usually in the last month of her life. These little creatures in themselves aren't harmful to humans, as they feed on the dander of humans and animals (flakes of skin or hair). Humans shed on average 10 grams of skin a week, and if domestic pets are living in the house, that provides plenty of food for hundreds and thousands of mites. Because of the abundant food they can defecate up to 20 times a day, this happening day in and day out can add up to a lot of weight. In fact it's been calculated that a mattress can double its original weight in 10 years just through the added weight of their carcasses and feces. Or if you prefer a pillow can increase 10% of its weight in a period of 2 years for the same reasons. As for their numbers, given ideal conditions a hundred thousand can live in one square yard of carpet, and literally millions can share a mattress with a human.
Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms
So if they aren't harmful, then what's the problem? Well the problem is the waste that they produce; it contains a protein that nearly one in three people are allergic to. This protein causes the human body to produce histamines, which cause nasal congestion. As stated earlier 18-30% of Americans suffer from allergies triggered off by their waste. In an article written earlier this year (5th January 2010 on page D2) the Wall Street Journal suggested that close to 50% of American homes, have allergen levels high enough to cause people who had never been known to have problems with Allergies, to develop a dust mite allergy. Also consider that people who are prone to Asthma and allergic reactions feel that 50-80% of these attacks are related to dust mites. Very young children can also develop lifelong problems if exposed to strong allergen environments.
Below is a list of different symptoms, it's possible to have anyone or combination of these symptoms.
2. Frequently waking up
3. Facial pressure and pain
4. Nasal congestion
5. Itchy throat, roof of mouth, or nose
7. A runny nose
8. Some cases of depression
9. Runny nose
11. Hay fever
13. Postnasal drip
14. Itchy, red or watery eyes
15. Infantile eczema
16. Breathing difficulties
18. Watering eyes
20. Rhinitis (also known as a stuffy nose)
Finding Allergy Relief
By changing the bedroom environment, it's possible to greatly improve relief for allergy sufferers. Dust Mites need the humidity to be above 60% to be able to live, by getting a dehumidifier and bringing down the humidity to a level to 30-50% humidity will help greatly reduce their population. Increasing the ventilation, opening up the room to air out will also have similar effects. Another effective strategy is to keep the temperatures below 70F/20C.
Twelve Methods for Getting Rid of Dust Mites
One of the first and perhaps the most important rooms to really go on the attack against mites is the bedroom. Since approximately 8 hours a day is spent on a mattress with literally millions of mites. This is a surface the humans have the closest contact with the mites, lying on their waste and breathing it in which is causing most of the allergy problems. Using the twelve methods below will reduce a major amount of dust mite allergy symptoms.
1. Each week give all bedding a wash in hot water above 134F/54C
2. Each morning rather than make the bed right away, first complete other household chores, giving the bed a chance to dry out.
3. Vacuum mattress with HERPA filter vacuum cleaners, as well as curtains and carpets
4. Clean mattress with a stream cleaner
5. Sun out mattress, pillows, bedding and stuffed childrens' toys often
6. Sleep on dust mite proof mattresses (latex, memory foam, natural memory foam, water, and air) use dust mite pillow covers and dust mite mattress covers.
7. Remember dust mites feed on organic matter, so use pillows made of non organic materials, like latex, and natural memory foam.
8. Also use blankets made from synthetic materials
9. Keep room humidity below 50%, buy a dehumidifier if necessary
10. Control temperatures so that are below 70F/21C
11. Freezing bedding is also an option, freeze all sheets and bedding as well as stuffed toys for a period of 24-48 hours
12. Reduce the amount of carpeted surfaces, and the ones you do have, have professionally cleaned twice a year.
Dust mites are harmless creatures; however because of their numbers and ability to produce large amounts of fecal matter, they have become hazardous to humans that suffer from different types of allergies. Some of the allergy symptoms were discussed as well as ways to effectively getting rid of dust mites, thereby bringing allergy relief to the sufferers of Asthma and other allergies.