Dust mites are one of the most common causes of asthma and other respiratory ailments. This is especially true for children and young people, although adults can also suffer breathing problems at the hands of pesky dust mites.
What exactly are they, and where do they come from? What are some ways to get rid of these pests so you can enjoy better sleep? From your trusted asthma doctor and sleep specialist to you, it’s important to know a little more about dust mites and how to avoid them.
What Exactly Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic insects that typically live in carpet, bedding, pillowcases, upholstery, curtains, and more. They are called dust mites because they eat dead skin cells found in the dust around your house. They especially love areas with fabric, textiles, or cloth.
Are They Dangerous?
Dust mites do not bite or feed off of the human body, so you don’t need to worry about them infesting you. However, they can be dangerous to the respiratory system because they emit allergens that irritate most people.
After they eat the dead skin cells, they release fecal matter and fragments of their body that creates this harmful allergen which permeates the air, making it difficult to breathe. If you are prone to allergies, you may suffer the effects of a dust mite infestation.
But Where Do They Come From?
Dust mites come from almost everywhere. They are naturally-occurring creatures, and their microscopic size makes it easy for them to get into homes and other indoor areas. Some homes have more dust mites than others, however. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that humidity plays a big role in determining whether a home is susceptible to infestation.
Dust mites love humid areas because the moisture in the air is the only way they can receive water, so without a humid environment, they will die.
Health Problems Caused By Dust Mites
As mentioned earlier, dust mites can contribute to indoor allergy symptoms and exacerbate already existing allergies. For those who have a particular sensitivity to these pests and indoor allergens, this can be a major health issue.
Dust mite allergies come with a wide range of symptoms and severity levels, as with most allergies. Some people suffer mild effects, such as a runny nose and itchy eyes, while others feel chronic congestion, coughing, and asthma problems. No matter if your symptoms are mild or severe, it is important to schedule an appointment with your local asthma specialist as soon as possible.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the number of dust mites in your home. This can lead to relief from symptoms of allergies and asthma, making it much easier for people in your home to breathe and sleep comfortably.
We recommend the following actions:
Dry the House Out
Remember, these tiny creatures love humidity. It may be time to invest in a dehumidifier to keep the house below a 50% humidity level. This is sure to drive the microscopic pests away.
If you can, get rid of your old carpets. If you or someone else in your home deals with allergy problems, the carpet can be the source of allergic irritation for several reasons. In most cases, it is best just to do away with carpet altogether.
Replacing the carpet may not be enough to stem the tide of dust mites. You should also replace some of your upholstered furniture with smoother, non-carpeted surfaces. Think about getting rid of some of your drapes as well.
Schedule an Allergy Test Today
If you are experiencing symptoms of allergies or asthma, and you aren’t sure what is causing those symptoms, you may have a dust mite infestation in your home. Our friendly experts can help you determine the cause of your allergies and find a treatment plan that offers relief as quickly as possible. For more information, contact Dr. Mayank Shukla online or give our office a call at (917) 924-6383. We look forward to treating your symptoms.