If you regularly wake up with the sniffles, red and itchy eyes, or a rough, scratchy throat, you may be among the 20 million Americans suffering from a dust mite allergy or sensitivity. Dust mites are incredibly common organisms that find our mattresses an ideal habitat. Fortunately, with a little education and the right products, a good night's rest is accessible
The Dust Mite Army
Mattresses are a perfect breeding ground for dust mites. These tiny critters find a feast in our warm, moist, and fibrous beds and pillows. Each night, we provide them with one and a half grams of dead skin cells per adult.
Our exposure to these mites is constant, and only some of us suffer from the encounter. Those that do, however, experience symptoms after waking like:
watery, red eyes
sore throats and rough voices
itchy, runny noses
coughing and increased respiratory issues
itching and unexplained rashes
heightened asthma issues
Battling the Incursion
Dust mites are a nuisance that can be potentially mitigated. Some research shows special allergen coverings can improve results. A 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that covering asthmatic children's pillows and mattresses reduced complications. In addition, cleaning and providing less attractive homes can also significantly reduce their population.
Choose Your Battlegrounds: Memory Foam is an Unwelcome Home
While not wholly resistant to the waves of these common beasties, memory foam mattresses and pillows offer a denser core which provides less appealing homes for the organisms. Instead, dust mites will gather on the surface, making an easier task of prevention and reduction.
Covers and Cleaning are Weapons of War
A quality cover will help reduce dust mite by creating an impermeable surface that still remains soft and flexible to the touch to grant a good night's sleep. These are best applied to new pillows and mattresses. Weekly cleaning in hot water for bedding and monthly cleaning of comforters and heavier bedding will help kill the mites. Clean mattresses thoroughly in the late fall and early spring to reduce the population. In addition, the use of dehumidifiers and air filters can help reduce the dust which the mites are attracted to.
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