What Are Dust Mites and Do They Cause Allergic Reactions?
Dust mites are microscopic organisms which feed off the dead skin cells that are shed by humans and pets everyday. Dust mite allergies do not stem from dust mites themselves, as they aren’t directly harmful. It is exposure to their dust mite feces that causes certain people to experience a dust mite allergy.
Dust mite allergy symptoms include the following:
- Nasal congestion
- Stuffy nose
- Asthma attacks
- Facial pressure and pain
- Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
People that suffer from asthma often experience more severe symptoms from dust mite allergies, including:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Difficulty sleeping due to coughing or shortness of breath
- Whistling or wheezing when exhaling
- Difficulty breathing
Dust mite allergies can range from mild to severe, with some people experiencing lighter symptoms like a runny nose or mild coughing. Severe symptoms like chronic coughing, facial pressure, and difficulty breathing can seriously affect quality of life and require professional medical help.
Where Are Dust Mites Most Common?
Our mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites, causing dust mite allergy symptoms while we sleep. This is especially problematic for those that suffer from dust mite allergies and asthma because we spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping and depend on a good night’s rest to maintain our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Dust mites can also be found anywhere we shed our dead skin cells—from the couch we relax on to the very carpet on which we walk. A typical dust mite produces around 20 droppings per day creating microscopic allergens, which usually become airborne. Dust mite allergy symptoms may be a factor in 50 to 80 percent of asthmatics, as well as in countless cases of eczema, hay fever and other allergic ailments.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites: Dust Mite Allergy Prevention
One of the most essential ways to mitigate dust mite allergies in your home is to clean dust mite hot spots regularly. Proactively cleaning will reduce the food source for dust mites and remove their allergy triggering feces and body particles.
Here are some of the most important places and things to clean in your home to remove dust mite allergens:
- Vacuum carpets and cloth furniture regularly, ideally once per day. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will help to cut down on dust mite particles being recycled back into the air
- Use a damp mop to clean hard surfaces on a daily basis. Wet mopping will help to reduce the amount of dust mite allergens that are kicked back up into the air
- Steam clean your carpets regularly. Similarly to a damp mop, this will help to stop dust mite particles from being reintroduced back into the air
- If you suffer from dust mite allergies or asthma, consider wearing a mark while you clean to help prevent breathing in dust mite particles as you clean and stir them up
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites in the Air
As noted in our section on cleaning, keeping dust mites out of the air is a crucial part of the battle against dust mite allergies. Even our best cleaning efforts are likely to kick up and recycle dust mite allergens back into the air, leading to allergic and asthmatic reactions.
Here are some tips to get rid of dust mites in the air:
- Do not use attic or window fans. They can bring new allergens and dust mite particles in from outside.
- Use your A/C system or an air purification system to remove dust mites from the air
The Best Air Purifiers to Stop Dust Mite Allergies
Alen Air Purifiers can significantly remove dust mite allergy triggers from your indoor air. Alen True HEPA (H13) medical-grade filtration captures 99.99% of harmful particles down to 0.1 microns—including allergens, dust, mold, bacteria, aerosolized viruses, and more. Placing an Alen Air Purifier in high-traffic areas of your home, especially in the bedrooms, can provide your family protection from aggravating dust mite allergy symptoms.
Have more questions about how to remove dust mite allergy triggers from your home? You can chat with an Alen Air Quality Specialist at Alen.com or call 800-630-2396 8am-6pm CST.