Offered by: Chris Fushimi – A Mattress & More LLC
Do you have persistent sniffles and sinus headaches? Do you often wake up with scratchy eyes? Do you sneeze repeatedly first thing in the morning? Well, the answer may be found in your mattress!
Dust mites, close relatives of ticks and spiders, eat skin cells shed by people, and they thrive in warm, humid environments like your mattress. It has been said that half of the weight of an 8 yr. old mattress is from your dead skin, dust mites and dust mite feces. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there could be some truth here.
If you do have some of the health symptoms listed above, it is not the dust mites that cause allergic reactions. It is the dust mite feces and the skin that the mites shed that is the cause of the reactions. Dust mites leave droppings – as many as 1,000 over the course of their 60 – 80 day life cycle and over the course of 8-10 years, that is a lot of droppings. (I apologize if you are reading this article in the middle of your morning breakfast!)
Dust mite allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy/red or watery eyes, nasal congestion, cough, facial pressure and pain, asthma related difficulty breathing, chest tightness and wheezing.
What can we do to reduce the spread of dust mites?
- Replace your mattress every 5-8 years. The longer you own your mattress, the more chances you have for dust mites and their baggage.
- Use a quality mattress protector. This will help prevent the accumulation of human dead skin in your mattress. It also helps perspiration from soaking through to the mattress as dust mites are also attracted to sweat. Mattress protectors also help prevent the dust mites from entering the mattress itself. A good, quality pillow protector is just as important.
- Use a dehumidifier. Since dust mites thrive in humid environments, keeping your bedroom dry will make your bed a less desirable place to live.
- Wash your bedding (including comforters) weekly in hot water and use a hot dryer.
- Replace your foundation or box spring when you get a new mattress. Dust mites live in your box springs as well so replacing your mattress but not your foundation could lead to rapid recontamination of your new, expensive mattress.
Dust mites are just a fact of life, but by following the above steps you can reduce the number of them in your bedroom and their allergy causing side effects.