Dust mites love to frolic around on upholstered furniture, in the bedroom and most of all, in the bed. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells and hair shed by humans and pets, and they cannot be seen with the naked eye, because they are microscopically minute, measuring between 0.1 and 0.6 mm. They only live for 3-5 months, but in that time the females lay between 40 and 80 eggs. So there can quickly be thousands of these tiny eight-legged mites in your bed.
Even though dust mites are not poisonous and do not bite, the mere thought that we are sharing our bed with them is not the nicest thing to think about. This is not improved by the fact that enzymes from the faeces of the dust mites end up in our lungs and can trigger allergic reactions. Therefore, it's a good idea to know the symptoms of dust mite allergy and how to combat these minute creatures.
Symptoms of dust mite allergy
There are dust mites in every home, which is why allergic reactions to dust mites is quite common. They can cause asthma, respiratory problems and other hypersensitive reactions. The typical symptoms of dust mite allergy are a blocked or runny nose, itching around the eyes and nose, coughing, eczema and respiratory problems. The symptoms are worst in the early morning and at night. This means that dust mite allergy can make it hard for you to sleep, thus impairing your quality of life.
Dust mites can also exacerbate symptoms in people who already suffer from allergies. But it may not be allergies to dust mites that is irritating your respiratory tracts. This can easily be caused by ordinary dust, which contains skin, textile and smoke particles.
Combat dust mites in your bedroom
- Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in your bedroom. If you don't like the window always being open, then consider just putting it on the safety lock during the daytime, or even for 10 minutes 3 times a day
- Low air humidity of 45% and below dries out the dust mites, so avoid drying clothes indoors. This creates humidity. A temperature of 25ºc is ideal for dust mites, therefore try to keep your bedroom temperature below this heat
- Clean every week and cut down on mess and storage under the bed. There should be air and slats under your mattress to permit moisture to escape. Never lay your mattress directly on the floor. Also remember to remove dust from curtains, which provide a perfect hiding place for dust mites
- Change your bedding at least once every 2 weeks and wash it at 60º. Remember to vacuum your mattress every time. Countless dust mites live in your mattress as it collects dust and cannot be washed. If your mattress is more than 4 years old, it may contain sufficient mites to create problems for allergy-sufferers
- Wash your duvet and pillows at 60º, 4 times a year. It's a good idea to air and shake them outside on a regular basis
- Avoid dust-traps, from which it is difficult to clean dust: e.g. bookshelves, dry flowers and teddy bears. Carpeted floors are also a favourite haunt for mites, so they should be avoided
- Freeze any of your children’s soft toys that are not washable. 2 days in the freezer kills dust mites
- Avoid pets in your bed. They spread dust mites and feed them
JYSK have a huge selection of hypoallergenic duvets and pillows with fibre filling. But when it comes to dust mite allergy, down-filled duvets and pillows are just as suitable as fibre-filled ones. What matters is that your duvets and pillows should be washable at 60º. That is what removes the dust mites. Read more about allergy and duvets here.