Dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma, and with windows and doors closed to keep out the cold they have the chance to quickly accumulate in the home during this time of year. Studies show that more dust mites live in your bedroom than anywhere else in your home, so since one-third of our time is spent in the bedroom, this could pose a serious problem for those allergic such as wheezing, difficulty breathing and coughing.
A recent study conducted by the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine recently reported that bedcovers that form a barrier to house dust mites appear to reduce asthma flare-ups in children. According to the study, researchers found that out of the 284 children with asthma who tested positive for mite allergy, children sleeping with the mite-proof covers had a 45% reduced risk of having an asthma attack that resulted in an emergency room visit or hospitalization. They also saw a significantly longer time between using the mite-proof covers and having their first asthma attack that resulted in an emergency room visit.
In addition to covering your mattress and pillowcases in zippered dust-proof covers, here are some other ways you can combat dust mites:
- Wash your sheets and blankets weekly in hot water
- Get rid of all types of fabric that mites love and that you cannot easily wash regularly in hot water, and swap them out for safer alternatives.
- Have someone without a dust mite allergy clean your bedroom
- Use special vacuum cleaners to keep mites and mite waste from getting back into the air
- Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, if possible
- Wash rugs in hot water whenever possible
- Keep the humidity in your home less than 50 percent
- Use a special filter with your central furnace and air conditioning unit
To search products certified asthma & allergy friendly® by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, download our free app in the iTunes App Store, or Google Play Store. To learn more, as well as the science behind our certification standards, visit www.aafa.org/certified.