Allergies to the House Dust Mite - February 27th 2002
In the home, the most significant contributor to allergies is the common house dust mite. In fact, clinical studies show that allergic sensitization to the house dust mite is the most common cause of allergy in asthmatics in most parts of the world, affecting some 60 to 85% of patients.
Dust mites are microscopic relatives of ticks and spiders that thrive in warm, humid places. They feed primarily on human skin scales. The harmful allergens are actually found in the dust mite's fecal pellets which easily become airborne and are breathed into the lungs. Dust mites thrive in bed mattresses and carpets. The average bedroom can be infested with literally tens of millions of mites. Given the amount of time the average individual spends in bed each day, dust mites account for the allergy misery of millions of Americans daily.
The good news is that dust mites, and other airborne allergens in the home such as pollen, pet dander, and various gaseous chemicals, can be effectively controlled through proper air purification and other protective measures. True medical-grade HEPA filtration is the most effective means of controlling household allergens, removing 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size and larger (dust mite feces average 0.3 to 10 microns in size). For many, relief from symptoms can begin as little as 24 hours after the purchase and installation of a high quality medical-grade HEPA air cleaner.
There are a number of other things you can do to reduce your exposure to dust mite allergens:
- wash your bed sheets in HOT water frequently
- purchase special pillow cases and sheets that are dust mite resistant
- do not let your pets sleep in your bedroom
- use a quality HEPA equipped vacuum cleaner frequently
- remove bedroom carpets and heavy drapes that can trap dander (dust mite food)