It’s hard to defeat an enemy you know nothing about. So if you feel miserable every time you try to get comfortable at home, it’s time to identify the invisible monsters that might be causing your problem. In other words, get dust mite allergy facts. And then develop a plan for defeating the ugly critters!
How common is dust mite allergy?
As common as cat allergies! More than 1 in 10 of us is allergic to dust mites.
Unfortunately this is not one of the commonly known dust mite allergy facts. Indeed, many allergic adults (and children) don’t even know they have the allergy!
Many blame their nasal congestion and even skin irritation on all sorts of other things. “I think I’m allergic to polyester.” “Oh, I have a terrible allergy to down feathers.” Or even, “Could the paint on my apartment walls be causing my problem?”
Often the real culprit is dust mites!
What are dust mites?
They’re 8-legged insects, closely related to spiders. And so tiny that hundreds of them can live in a single gram of dust.
They are called “dust mites” because they love to eat dust. They also like to eat the dead skin and hair cells that we humans constantly shed, both day and night.
So dust mites like to reside anywhere those delicious dead cells collect. Some of their favorite spots are mattress and pillow fibers, towels, clothing, carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
Here’s another interesting dust mite allergy fact: mites like to eat animal fur and dander. So they like to hang out anywhere your family pets eat, sleep, or play.
How do mites cause allergy symptoms?
Billions of indoor contaminants can be found in every household, no matter how clean. This helps explain the EPA warning, that American homes are the most polluted places in the nation. These various contaminants are the causes of all indoor allergies.
In the case of dust mite allergy, however, the problem is NOT the insect itself. Dust mites don’t bite, for example. Instead, they produce “droppings.” (That’s a polite word for their solid waste.) And all those microscopic pellets contain a protein allergen called Der p1.
During its lifetime, a mite produces about 200 times its weight in droppings, all of them full of Der p1. Instantly airborne, the allergens can travel for many yards. That’s why no amount of cleaning can eliminate them for long. They invade through open windows and doors, household pipes, even air conditioning and heating systems. They’re absolutely everywhere!
Is Der p1 dangerous to everyone?
No, in most people these invisibly small protein bits enter the body and are completely ignored.
In sensitive people, however, Der p1 sends the immune system into wild overdrive. Because the body mistakes it for a threatening virus or bacteria. In an effort to eliminate infection, the immune system rushes antibodies to the nose, eyes, lungs and surface skin.
These antibodies bind to the Der p1 particles, trying to destroy them. Doctors say it’s the binding process that actually causes the symptoms of dust mite allergy.
Common symptoms are puffy-red eyes that tear and burn, runny nose, sneezing, and upper respiratory congestion. Some people also suffer from head and sinus pressure (similar to pet allergy headaches), itchy skin, hives or rashes, pronounced exhaustion, shortness of breath, and even joint pain.
Who’s most likely to have a dust mite allergy?
Another of the little known dust mite allergy facts: symptoms are a cumulative response to Der p1. In other words, prolonged exposure to mites will eventually cause an allergic reaction in even mildly susceptible people.
When does that happen? It’s hard to say because every person is different. But we all have a mite allergen threshold. When the number of household contaminants exceeds our individual tolerance, we begin to experience symptoms. So it pays to minimize the Der p1 level in your home, office, even your car.
Experts also know that children are most at risk. In fact, youngsters living in homes with high levels of indoor allergens, like Der p1 (as well as contaminants linked to cat allergies and dog allergy) are 5 time more likely to develop childhood asthma, a chronic and serious medical condition.
Best of all dust mite allergy facts: natural relief is possible!
First, you must accept that you can never completely get rid of dust mites or the Der p1 that they produce. However you can aim to lower the allergen level in your home (and other indoor areas). Doctors say that by lowering the number of inside contaminants, you can get your dust mite allergy symptoms under control.
You’ll still have the allergy, of course, but you won’t suffer from it as much because there won’t be enough allergens around you to provoke symptoms.
Tip 1: Use the Easy Air Organic Allergy Relief Combo Pack. Unlike pesticides and other harsh chemical products, this 2-formula anti-allergy system can truly deliver on its promise to help you control your indoor allergies. Together, its Organic Allergy Relief Spray and Organic Allergy Relief Laundry Rinse work like a dust mite allergy treatment kit, neutralizing Der p1 at a molecular level. It’s like taking a huge, dangerous bolder and crumbling it into harmless rubble. Both formulas are safe to use even around babies and family pets because they’re made exclusively from organic ingredients.
Tip 2: Use allergen-proof bed covers. Because they’re made of tightly woven fabric, they prevent dust mites from getting through to your bed linen (and into your skin pores).
Tip 3: Wash all bathroom towels and bed linens at least once a week. That includes sheets, blankets, pillowcases, bedspreads and duvet covers.
Tip 4: Get an air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Dust mites prefer warm humid environments. By keeping the humidity below 50 percent in your home, you discourage them from entering and sticking around.
Tip 5: Use a HEPA (High Efficient Particle Air) vacuum at least once a week and a HEPA air purifier daily. Together, they will eliminate even more dust mite allergens from around your home.