House Dust Mite Allergy
Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to tiny microscopic insect-like pests that commonly live in house dust. These tiny pests live off of our own skin shedding. The allergen from house dust mite can become significant when there is an accumulation of dust particles on the floors, on natural fiber (e.g. cotton) in window treatments/drapes, bed covers and pillow cases and around furniture. Signs of dust mite allergy include those common to hay fever, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy skin throat, nose or ears. Many people with dust mite allergy also may experience signs of asthma, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing. Identification of house dust mite allergy can be done either through a skin prick test or a blood test.
Special precautions are necessary if you have been diagnosed with house dust mite allergy. These include:
The regular use of an air purifier. There are numerous brands and models of air purifiers in the markets which can make the purchase of one a bit confusing. Use the following guidelines when shopping for an air purifier. First, make sure the air purifier is designed for the space you will be spending the majority of time within. For instance, if you live in a city apartment with a generic layour of a living room connected to some kind of an open kitchen, a foyer and hallway leading to one or more bedrooms, measure the contiguous space by either referring to the ceiling or floor tiles. Alternatively use measuring tape. Once you have calculated the space you desire to clear of house dust mite allergen, add 200 square feet to account for calculation errors and deadspace. This should be the minimum spec described for the air purifier you are shopping for. Second, ensure your air purifier does not produce Ozone as a byproduct. Although Ozone has made headlines by environmentalists as an essential gas, it is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere from approximately 20 to 30 kilometres (12 to 19 mi) above earth.Exposure to Ozone gas is unhealthy and can cause respiratory problems. Finally consider whether you wish to have more than one purifier if your bedroom is separate. Make sure to keep windows and doors to other rooms closed when using an air purifier to ensure proper efficacy. Remember, air purifiers are not humidifiers. The use of air humidifiers is not recommended as house dust mites thrive in a humid environment.
Cleaning dust whether is a personal house chore or left to a maid or house cleaning company should always be YOUR business. First, make sure you have little to no carpets. If you insist on having carpets, make sure they have short hair. Long hair carpets collect dust and are hard to rid of house dust mite. Steaming is required in situations where your carpets are an unavoidable staple. To clean your hardwood floors, always make sure to begin with meticulous vacuum cleaning. Your vacuum cleaner must have a HEPA filter, if it does not have one throw it out! The conventional and older vaccum cleaners have a bag within them that as the fan in the cleaner sucks the debris in, microscopic allergenic particles actually circulate right through the vaccuum bag and fill the air. Using a broom should be reserved ONLY for broken glass. Cleaning your floors should only be done with a wet mop or a swiffer. The same goes for top surfaces. The old concept of using a duster for furniture should be abandoned as it also aids in spreading the allergens further.
Your bedding is important because you expose your skin and breathe in allergens from your pillow cases and bed sheets. House dust mites prefer settling on natural fiber materials like cotton. When you are considering hypoallergenic bedding, you are more likely to reduce the allergen count by replacing your existing sheets, bed covers pillow cases with synthetic materials (look up online hypoallergenic bedding for specific shopping venues). It is important to regularly (once weekly) wash your bedding in a hot (not warm) wash. It is the best way to ensure good riddance of your microscopic pesty neighbors. If you are attached to your sheets and find replacing them too costly at least obtain a hypoallergenic cover that you should place over your sheets when you get out of bed. It is still highly recommmended to replace your pillow cases because your face and nose are breathing allergens in close proximity and in contact with them.