The last few years I have struggled with allergies. I have found it hard to pin point the causes.
I eliminated dairy and soya completely from my diet and it helped a lot but there was still something bothering me. I would get swollen eyes, scratchy, itchy throat, sneezing, cough, nasal congestion and could not put my finger on why.
I booked in to see a private allergy consultant at our local private hospital to undergo skin testing for my allergies –
I went into the appointment fully prepared to do whatever it took to reduce my symptoms and fully prepared to eliminate whatever food came up. You can imagine my relief when one of the wheels came up red and itchy straight away – amazing I have found the culprit now I just need to exclude it!
The consultant said that it was dust mite allergy that had showed up! I had gone in fully prepared to eliminate any food necessary but I hadn’t gone in prepared to tackle more cleaning!! (I had a cleaner twice a month at that point and just did a quick top up clean in between as necessary).
Dust mites are one of the most common sources of allergies. These microscopic insects feed on human skin cells and fungi which they find in their environment. When someone sleeps, dust mite allergens spread inside the room. The symptoms of a dust mite allergy can range from mild symptoms like itchiness to more serious symptoms like inflammation and lung complications.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that thrive in warm, moist environments. They are often found in mattress covers, carpets, upholstered furniture, and pillows. The droppings from these bugs can cause allergic reactions including itching, headaches, asthma attacks, eye irritation and skin rash.
Dust mites are microscopic eight-legged arthropods that feed on sloughed-off skin cells – or dander – from humans. Dust mites are not insects, but are closely related to spiders and ticks. Their droppings are the main cause of allergic reactions to dust.
The dust mite allergy is a common health problem that can be triggered by exposure to dust, fabric, pet bedding, and skin scales. What may have started as a minor respiratory irritation can become much worse if allergies are not prevented. There are many different treatments for the allergy as well as prevention methods that should be followed in order to protect those who suffer from it.
I was told by the allergy consultant to take a daily antihistamine and I was also given the following tips to help me manage my dust mite allergy.
Top Tips To Help Manage a Dust Mite Allergy:
Wrap mattresses and pillows
Dust mites thrive in the warm damp conditions found in mattresses, pillows, and other bedding and they feed off of human skin cells so bedding provided them with everything they need to thrive! I was advised to buy a complete mattress wrap then place a thick mattress protector on top. I also was advised to purchase Pillow Protectors to go underneath the pillow cases. I bought these for all of the beds in our home for quite a reasonable price from Dunelm.
Use only 100% Cotton Bedding:
100% Cotton bedding is the best choice for allergy sufferers.
Wash Bedding Weekly:
Bedding must be washed every week at a temperature of least 40 degrees at least. I do all the bedding in our house now weekly without fail. I also throw the mattress and pillow protectors in the wash weekly too, we have spares of everything so that the bed can be made up straight away rather than waiting for it all to dry.
The only thing I don’t wash weekly is the mattress wraps as I was told to only wash those every few months.
I created a quick and easy cleaning schedule to help me stay on top of household chores it even includes washing and ironing.
Remove carpets and upholstery
I have changed our downstairs carpet to laminate flooring as dust mites thrive in carpets! I have also switched from having curtains in the bedroom and downstairs to having blinds.
HEPA Filter Vacuum Cleaner
We recently bought a brand new Shark Anti Hair Wrap Hepa filter vacuum cleaner.
Dust is a problem that most homeowners face. Everyday, particles of dust are floating in the air and settling on all surfaces in your home. Whether it is due to the air quality around you or because you have pets, dust can be an issue. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of dust in your home!
Traditional methods of dusting with polish and a duster can make dust fly into the atmosphere and actually make dust mite allergies worse. I was advised to clean my surfaces weekly with a damp microfibre cloth and obviously just use a dry cloth for electronics.
Remove Teddies from the bedroom preferably. If you do keep teddies either wash them once a week or freeze them for a couple of hours a week to kill the dust mites.
Dust mite allergy can be reduced by changing your pillowcase every night and removing stuffed animals from the bedroom. When the body is exposed to dust mites, it releases histamine as a response to the protein in their droppings. This can lead to allergic reactions, such as red eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. Dust mites are most prevalent in pillows and mattresses.
My symptoms have greatly improved; beyond anything I could have wished for to be honest. My symptoms are mostly stable at home. I do find that I still get troubled with a stuffy nose and symptoms if I visit dusty places.
We love the theatre for example but the buildings are usually old and dusty and difficult to clean so before I go I make sure I have some Piriton and take it regularly (I’m accordance with instructions on the bottle) when out and about in situations I cannot control that I know may be dusty. I find the same issues at zoos too but again take Piriton before I go and take some with me!
I have devised a cleaning schedule that helps me to not only stay on top of my dust mite allergy but also ensures our home is always looking and feeling clean and fresh. I no longer have a cleaner as it is better for my symptom management for the home to be cleaned regularly rather than cleaned in one go top to bottom fortnightly.