Almost 1 in 13 Americans has asthma, that’s more Americans than having cancer or coronary heart disease.
Asthma is also the most serious chronic disease that affects children.
While we have known for some time that dust mites can trigger asthma attacks, we have only recently learned why dust mites make your immune system think you are facing a bacterial infection.
The resulting immune response triggers asthma attacks in people with allergic asthma.
A major source of airborne allergens, dust mites can be found in every home. Here’s how to limit your exposure:
- Use zippered, dust-proof covers for your mattresses, box springs, and pillows. Cover the zippers with electrical or duct tape.
- Do not use pillows made from foam or feathers. Opt instead for Dacron or a synthetic.
- Avoid wool or down blankets.
- Wash all bedding regularly using hot water. Consider using an allergen minimizing detergent as well.
- Dry all bedding and clothing indoors to minimize allergens.
- Bathe and shampoo your hair before you go to bed. Dust mites feed on shed skin cells; keep shed skin cells out of your bed as much as you can.
- If you have carpet, vacuum a minimum of twice a week, or opt for removing the carpeting if possible. Use vacuum bags designed to minimize allergens. Washable throw rugs made of cotton or other easily washable material can be a good choice if washed often.
- Use a dusting spray to minimize allergens moving into the air.
- Try to dust and vacuum when the person who has asthma is not at home.
- Discard decorative pillows and choose other types of decorate accents instead.
- Children’s stuffed animals require special care to minimize dust mites.