30 tips about dust mites and other allergies
Allergies have been on the increase for many years. It is not only allergies to grasses and pollen, but also to food, (mould) fungi, medicines, animal hair, metals and dust mites that plague people. Even against the sun many people have already developed an allergy or hypersensitivity.
Possible health risk from dust mites
More than 10% of Germans suffer from an allergy to dust mites and are potentially at risk of contracting other secondary diseases.
These secondary diseases include, for example, allergic rhinitis (allergic nose), sinusitis, hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and tracheitis.Allergic bronchial asthma can also develop as a result of a change of levels, in which the allergy moves from the upper airways to the lungs.
In addition, it is now suspected that an allergy to house dust can trigger or aggravate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Fighting dust mites
First the bad news: you will never be able to completely eradicate dust mites from your house or apartment. It is therefore important to keep the number of small arachnids as low as possible and to make sure that they can only reproduce with difficulty.
Furthermore, it is important to keep the exposure to house dust in your home as low as possible. This is important because the faeces of the dust mites combine with the dust and are inhaled by the allergy sufferer. To be more precise, the mite’s protein-containing faeces break down into minute particles that are stirred up by every draught. These particles combine with the normal dust that is prevalent in every home.
Now, enough information about dust mites. Now we get to the 30 best tips for house dust allergies:
Fight mites in the bedroom:
- We recommend that allergy sufferers look around for anti-alergic mattresses.
- Use a high-quality cover for the mattress in conjunction with the allergy mattresses. These so-called encasings (mite-proof mattress covers) enclose the mattress so tightly that almost no allergens can get through.
- A set of these covers is paid for every 10 years by the health insurance companies if you can present a prescription from a specialist (lung specialist, allergologist).
- The bed linen should be of high quality and have a down filling. Feathers are not suitable for allergy sufferers.
- There are also encasings for the bed linen that you should use.
- Remove all other things, such as additional pillows or soft toys from the bed.
- Wash the bed linen covers and sheets once a week if possible. 95 degrees Celsius would be optimal, 60 degrees Celsius should be the minimum.
- The bed linen itself should be washed every 4-6 weeks. 60 degrees is also optimal here.
- The encasings, on the other hand, should only be washed 2-3 times a year. With each wash the encasings become more permeable and lose their effect.
- After 8-10 years the encasings must be replaced. It is better for your health to replace them every 5 years. Unfortunately, you will then have to pay the costs every 2nd time yourself, as the health insurance only pays for the encasings every 10 years.
- (Bed-) laundry, which is not washable, can be put in the freezer for 48 hours. At least -18 degrees are mandatory.
- Mites love moisture. Air the bed thoroughly after sleeping. It is best to leave the blanket on all day. A made-up bed is not suitable for allergy sufferers.
- For the same reason the bed should be open at the bottom. The modern box spring beds and closed bed drawers prevent the mattress from being ventilated from below. Optimal are 4 legs and a smooth floor under the bed, which can be wiped regularly.
- Avoid heavy sweating in bed, as the moisture is beneficial to mites. Lower the temperature at night in winter and use a thin blanket in summer.
- Do not sleep naked or only in your underwear. A thin pyjama suit absorbs the night sweat, so less gets into the mattress.
- Pets do not belong in the bedroom. Not even during the day.
- Ventilate several times a day. 3-4 times a day per draught (alternatively at least shock airing) is optimal.
- Open cabinets have many surfaces where dust can settle. A draught of air will stir up this dust and the allergy sufferer will breathe it in. Buy closed cupboard systems at the latest with your next furniture purchase.
- Even if carpets bind dust, especially high-pile carpets are not suitable for allergy sufferers. If you switch to smooth floors (laminate, parquet, tiles, PVC) during the next renovation, you will be thanked for the allergy.
- Regular dusting is mandatory. The dust must be absorbed and not just whirled up with a feather duster and distributed in the air.
- An electric air purifier with filter system is worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, these devices are not cheap and the cost of replacement filters and electricity must also be considered.
- Curtains, decorative items and other knick-knacks are real dust catchers. Reduce these items. A beautiful picture on the wall can look just as good as a sculpture or a bouquet of dried flowers, but only absorbs a fraction of the dust.
- Upholstered furniture is a real dust and mite catcher. Consider switching to leather or imitation leather.
- Furniture should stand a few inches away from the wall. This allows the air to circulate and reduces mould (mites also need mould as a food component).
- Wipe your floors every 1-2 days. The water binds the dust, which can no longer be whirled up.
- When vacuuming, use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter. This filter system collects even the finest dust, which significantly reduces the allergy burden.
- Ask family members to do the vacuuming and wiping, or provide cleaning assistance. Especially when dusting and vacuuming, a lot of dust is whirled around. If neither of these is possible, you should get a fine dust mask from the pharmacy or DIY store.
- Always have the vacuum cleaner emptied by a third party.
- Treat upholstery and mattresses with Neem oil / Never oil. This is extracted from the neem tree and helps against mites.
- When travelling, take an emergency pharmacy with you. This should contain allergy medicines and nasal spray. A mite-proof bed sheet (travel encasing) rounds off the holiday trip.
We hope that with these tips we have provided you with a small but valuable overview of the topic of dust allergies / dust mites. Perhaps you, as a house dust allergy sufferer, could simply print out this list so that you can always quickly look up the necessary steps in the beginning.
Bonus tip Hyla water vacuum cleaner
Think about buying a Hyla water vacuum cleaner, because it does not need dust bags and filters. Problems with fine dust and mite excrement can therefore not arise. House dust is permanently reduced.
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