The most common allergen source is dust mites and it is the dust mite droppings that we are allergic to. Dust mite allergy affects up to 80% of people with allergies. In newborns dust mite allergens can trigger lifelong allergies. While there is no way to entirely eliminate dust mites, it is commonly recommended that the first place to start in reducing allergy triggers, is the bedroom and in particular the bedding. This is the room where you spend most of your time, equal to about one third of your life.
What are Dust Mites?
Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (dust mites) are microscopic relatives of the spider that live in mattresses, pillows and carpets. They feed on flakes of shedded human and animal skin. A dust mite can live for up to 70 days, laying 100 eggs and producing approximately 2,000 fecal particles. There can be up to 10 million dust times in one unprotected mattress. Each year, your pillow will increase in weight by 10% due to the fecal deposits left by dust mites.
Reduce your exposure to Dust Mites?
Encase your mattress and pillow with dust mite resistant covers
Fully covering these items will prevent the dust mites from accessing you. You should wash these covers every few months in hot water.
Wash your sheets and pillowcases weekly in water hotter than 55oC
This will kill dust mites and wash away the allergen they produce. If you cannot wash in hot water, use a commercial product containing essential oils such as tea tree or eucalyptus, formulated to kill dust mites.
Remove all soft toys from the bed and bedroom
Replace them with wooden or plastic toys that can be washed however if this is not possible, wash them each week in hot water.