By Guest Blogger James H.
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Do you often suffer from chest tightness, wheezing or a runny nose? If so, you could have a dust allergy. This frustrating problem can have a big impact on your life, but often remains undiagnosed. In this article, I’ll go through some of the most common symptoms, before providing four tips for reducing the effects of a dust allergy.
Before we go any further though, it’s important to understand what causes a dust allergy. Somewhat confusingly, it’s not the dust itself that triggers a reaction, but dust mites. These tiny creatures love furniture, mattresses and carpets, and thrive in homes with high humidity. The key to relieving a dust allergy is reducing the quantity of mites in a home.
Symptoms of a Dust Allergy
The symptoms of a dust allergy are similar to any airborne allergy. The most common include itching, sneezing, a runny nose, puffy eyes and chest tightness. The symptoms are usually worse inside the home and may be most severe in the morning. Unlike a pollen allergy, dust allergy symptoms are usually a problem year-round.
How to Relieve a Dust Allergy
The good news is that killing dust mites is relatively simple. You can’t get rid of them all, but you can reduce their numbers enough to relieve allergy symptoms. Here are four of the most effective methods.
- Buy Allergy-Proof Bedding
As I mentioned, dust mites love to live in duvets and pillows – especially if they’re made from feathers or wool. If possible, replace bedding with an allergy-proof alternative. This can stop mites breeding and provide relief when you’re sleeping.
It’s also important to wash your bedding at a high temperature. This kills dust mites and prevents them from building a colony in your bed (which isn’t a pleasant thought!)
- Reduce Humidity and Get Rid of any Mould
In some cases, a dust allergy is actually a reaction to mould spores. Both mould and dust mites thrive in humid homes, which can make allergies worse. For this reason, if you have mould in the home – or high humidity – this is a priority to fix.
The easiest way to reduce humidity is to buy a dehumidifier. These can be expensive, but can reduce humidity to manageable levels in just a few days. Keep the relative humidity below 50% as this is the minimum dust mites can live in.
A dehumidifier won’t get rid of mould though – it just stops it growing. If there’s noticeable mould in your home, you may need to have it treated by a professional to ensure it doesn’t return. If the mould is being caused by a leak in a roof, wall or window, this should also be fixed.
- Buy a Vacuum with a HEPA Filter
Have you noticed your symptoms often get worse after vacuuming? This is because a vacuum with a poor quality filter can stir up dust mites and other allergens into the air.
A vacuum with a HEPA filter, however, is much more effective at trapping and removing allergens from exhaust air. If you have an allergy, a HEPA filter should be your first priority, as it can make the biggest difference to your symptoms.
You may also want to consider buying a handheld vacuum, such as the ones recommended at Spotless Vacuum. Handheld models are great for quickly cleaning your mattress and bed base, which commonly harbour dust mites.
- Replace Bedroom Carpets with Hard Floors
Dust mites love carpets, as they provide a warm environment to live in. If your allergies are particularly bad at night, replacing carpets in your bedroom with tile or wood floors may be your best option. This is the most expensive and time-consuming tip, but can provide almost instant relief.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures – but they can cause big problems if you’re allergic to them. Fortunately, there are ways to quickly reduce their number, which can have a positive effect on any allergic reactions.
If you have any questions about dust mites, allergies or home cleaning, please let me know in the comments. I’d be glad to help!
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
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