Why Dust Mites Cause
First of all, let's take a look at exactly
what a dust mite is. They are incredibly ugly and if they were visible to
the human eye, we would all be horrified to know that our homes are full of
them - no matter how much we clean, because we can't see them, they really
are our invisible enemy.
There are many ways that we can help reduce
them, including special types of vacuum and steam cleaners and a mattress
cover to protect our bedding, but as they are the major cause of allergies
they really are a huge problem for adults and children alike.
Dust mites live off human skin scales.
Although they prefer bedrooms, generally anywhere in our home is perfect for
them. Our beds however are a favorite as we all shed skin cells while
sleeping, which provides them with food and our sweat provides them with
water. Whereas the warmth is perfect for them to breed.
The Symptoms of House Dust Mite Allergies
Allergies to house dust mites are very common, especially affecting people
with atopic diseases such as asthma, hay fever and eczema. The allergic
reactions are caused by a reaction to minute airborne particles that
are in all our homes and symptoms often include itchy, watery eyes, a
blocked or runny nose and sneezing. It can also affect your breathing. This
type of allergy can irritate your lungs and cause a narrowing of the
airways, which can result in an uncomfortable wheezing – especially bad for
asthma sufferers. Other symptoms include a sore throat which can be made
worse by a dry and irritating cough.
The allergen that will trigger our immune
system and causes allergic reactions are found in the feces of the dust
mites. The droppings are very dry and they fragment easily allowing the fine
particles to disperse into the air. These particles then settle into our
furnishings, carpets, pillows, mattresses and quilts.
Dust Mites and Smoking
If there is a smoker in your home, this can worsen any allergic conditions,
as smoking will aggravate already inflamed membranes and skin in the lungs,
windpipe and nose. Indeed if you have anyone in your home who suffers from
allergies, then smoking should not be permitted.
According to a recent in vitro study, there is evidence that suggested
cigarette smoke may render the airway epithelium more susceptible to adverse
effects of allergens. Also babies that are exposed to smoke are far more
likely to develop allergic diseases.
In order to keep your home and family as
allergy free as possible, it might be prudent to suggest to
the smoker that they should quit, but understand this is a difficult thing for you to ask of
them and they will need plenty of help if they are to succeed. The benefits
of a smoke-free environment for not only the family, but the smokers
themselves, will be enormous and will certainly help to reduce the amount of
allergens in your home.
How Best To Clean
Unfortunately it is impossible to have a home that is completely free of
dust mites and their droppings, however there are methods that can be
adopted which will certainly make life very difficult for them and will
greatly reduce their numbers. Which in turn will help to reduce your
families allergy's and the worry about your child's health.
The first plan of action should be
implemented in the bedrooms. If there are carpets or rugs, remove them if
possible and replace with wooden or tiled floors. Get rid of soft
furnishings and use wicker or wooden chairs instead. The beds are obviously
your main cause for concern, but it is possible to buy dust mite proof covers
for pillows, quilts and mattresses. Every week you should wash your sheets
in 140 degree water.
Use wet-wipes or dusting aides to clean the
hard surfaces in the
house as this will also reduce the amount of dust circulating in the air. The
whole house should be vacuumed regularly, but be sure to buy a vacuum
cleaner with a good filter. If at all possible vacuum bedrooms early in the
day. This allows the particles you stirred up to settle before going to bed.
Ultimately we can only do so much and knowing that
we are doing the best we can has to be good enough.
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store