For something so small and minute, dust particles can sure cause a lot of trouble. The same goes for dust mites – the tiny micro-organisms that feed on house dust, tiny flakes from human skin and moisture in the air. Together, they are some of the most common and prevalent indoor allergens present all year round.
Dust mites are active through all seasons therefore people suffering from a dust allergy are at risk of constant allergic reactions throughout the year. Dust mites are present in almost every house around the world. There are around 13 known species of mites and all are well-adapted to our indoor environment. Dust mites can thrive in normal room temperatures between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and humidity of 70%-80%. These mites can be found in deep layers of furniture, bedding, carpets and even stuffed toys.
The worst part of a dust allergy is that the person having dust allergies suffers the most indoors. The risk of dust allergy is highest during and right after vacuuming, dusting and sweeping. The process of cleaning causes the dust particles, including dust mites, to stir up in the air, making them easier to inhale.
The dust particles present in your house, along with dust mites, are the most common triggers of an indoor dust allergy. Other triggers such as mold, fur and other biotic allergens such as pollen and animal hair can also cause an allergy.
A person suffering from a dust allergy can show symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, wheezing, coughing, and itchy throat among others. A dust mite allergy is also known to trigger asthma symptoms.
Dust particles and mites can be hard to avoid but you can most definitely minimize their effects by taking proper measures. Use airtight, plastic dust mite covers for pillows, mattresses and cushions. Every once a week, wash all your bedding and covers in very hot water of 130 degrees Fahrenheit (or 54.4 degrees Celsius). This temperature will kill dust mites. Dry them with a hot dryer. Keep your house clean and dry. Use your air conditioner, or dehumidifier to maintain the humidity in your house between 30% and 50%. Mop the concrete floors with a wet mop and vacuum your house very often. While dusting or vacuuming, wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling dust particles stirred up in the air.