Fight house dust mites: 13 tips for house dust allergies

Fight house dust mites: 13 tips for house dust allergies

House dust mites prefer to be snuggly, warm and moist—no wonder they love our beds. There is also enough food for them in blankets and pillows: dander and hair.

People who suffer from a so-called house dust allergy (dust allergy or dust mite allergy) do not react to house dust. The faeces of the mites in the dust are responsible for the symptoms. Strictly speaking, it is a house dust mite allergy.

The ultimate goal in combating house dust mites is to deprive them of food and make it as uncomfortable as possible. You can with this, you move them entirely from the house, this can at least reduce their number of house dust. Below, you will find 13 tips on what you can do to protect against house dust mites and what helps against allergies.

Change linens weekly

A simple way to get rid of dust mites in your bed is to change your bed linen once a week and wash it in the washing machine at 60°C. This removes the allergy-triggering faeces of the mites, the mites themselves, and the food source for the mites, such as hair and dander. If possible, pillows and blankets should be washed or dry-cleaned every few months.

Air the room and bedding thoroughly.

Since dust mites thrive in a warm, humid climate, all rooms, especially the bedroom, should be ventilated several times daily. To do this, open all the windows wide and close them again after five minutes. This ensures a quick and thorough exchange of air, which also removes dust and mite droppings.

By the way, Forced and cross ventilation also reduces the number of pathogens that may be present in the air. Thorough ventilation is also a good home remedy for preventing fungal infestation, such as mould.

Keep bedroom cool

A simple remedy against dust mites is to keep the temperature in the bedroom low, no more than 18°C. Dust mites multiply much more slowly in cool air.

Avoid curtains and carpets.

House dust, in which the mites cavort, is found in curtains and carpets and on open shelves with books, plants or clothes. Therefore, it should be largely avoided, especially in the bedroom. Instead of curtains, roller blinds can be used to darken the room, books can be kept in the living room, and a wardrobe with doors keeps dust away from jeans and the like.

Use mite-proof bed covers.

There are unique bed covers for people with a dust mite allergy. These are protective covers for pillows, duvets and mattresses pulled under the standard bed linen. They are tightly woven, permeable to air, breathable and envelop the bedding in a mite-proof manner.

The cover, also known as “encasing”, on the one hand, prevents mite droppings from getting out of the bedding; on the other hand, it ensures that the mites inside the cover are cut off from their food supply and also protects the bedding from the ingress of further mites. It is also essential to encase the partner’s bed to reduce the amount of allergens and avoid contact with them.

The allergy covers should be washed at 60 °C every three months.

Do not comb or change clothes in the bedroom.

When we comb our hair or change our clothes, a lot of skin flakes come off, serving as food for house dust mites. It is therefore advisable not to change clothes or shoes in the bedrooms and not to comb your hair there.

Worn clothing should also be kept in the bedroom. For example, a closed laundry bin with a lid or storage in the bathroom is recommended.

Don’t let pets into the bedroom.

Pet dander and hair provide extra food for mites. In addition, animals whirl up dust with movement and increase the humidity. Pets should, therefore, not be allowed into the bedroom and – in the case of allergic children – not into the children’s room.

Wash or freeze stuffed animals.

Animals made of fabric or cuddly cushions should be washed regularly at 60 °C. If this is not possible because they cannot be washed at higher temperatures, you can put the pillows and stuffed animals in the freezer at minus 18 °C for twelve hours to kill the mites and then pass them at a lower temperature to kill the mites to remove.

Use allergy vacuum cleaners.

Carpets and smooth floors can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner specially designed for allergy sufferers. This has a microfilter (HEPA filter) that keeps even the smallest particles out so the allergens cannot return to the environment through the vacuum cleaner fan. Also commercially available are dust mite vacuums specially designed for vacuuming and cleaning mattresses.

Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth.

Dust and dirt on smooth surfaces can best be removed with a damp cloth. Floors should be damp mopped once a week. The same applies to dusting shelves or furniture: less dust is stirred up with a wet cloth, and cleaning is more thorough.

Perform hyposensitization

The treatment of a mite allergy, known as hyposensitization, aims to reduce the body’s hypersensitivity to the allergy-triggering mite excrement and thus eliminate the cause of the allergy. The immune system is confronted with specific amounts of the allergen regularly during the three-year therapy period. In this way, it learns not to react to it more – or less strongly.

This type of treatment is also called desensitization or “specific immunotherapy” (SIT). Their effects can last for years. Please contact your family doctor if you need information about hyposensitization and the possible side effects of this therapy.

Use mite spray

A mite spray is a remedy used in the living room against mites. The spray can be sprayed on carpets, beds, pillows and other textiles to remove the mites quickly. Commercially available sprays contain different active ingredients, some acting directly against the mites or depriving them of their food by making it inedible for the animals.

Take in medication

Medicines for immediate relief in the event of an allergy can be bought in pharmacies without a prescription. A typical active ingredient in tablets from the antihistamine group is cetirizine, which works against the histamines released by the allergic reaction and causes the symptoms. Anti-allergic nasal sprays are also helpful if the nose is itchy and runny. Decongestant nasal sprays can help but should only be used for short periods.

 

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