Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Dust Mites Asthma

Microscopic View Of Dust Mite

This article is a continuation follow-up of the series of articles on Avoiding Your Asthma Triggers.
  1. Allergen impermeable* (a layer that can not be infiltrated, usually because it has not got any or enough pores) bedding cover:- Cover all mattresses and pillows with a dust proof or allergen impermeable* covers. Dust mite levels in bedding are closely related to risk of asthma attacks
  2. Dehumidifier(a device that removes excess moisture from the air):- Reducing home moisture is the single best intervention to control dust mite exposures in the home. Use a dehumidifier to maintain relative humidity between 30% to 50%. During the summer months, an air conditioner can also be used to achieve this.
  3. Bedding: Wash all bed sheets, blankets, and bed covers weekly in hot water (130-140 ° F) in order to kill dust mites. Washing for at least ten minutes is associated with nearly complete removal of dust mite allergen.
  4. Stuffed toys: Periodically wash any stuffed toys or animals in hot water (130-140 °F) in order to kill dust mite. Further to the above, keep stuffed animals and toys off your child’s bed.
  5. Carpeting: Where possible replace carpets with linoleum, tile or wood floors. Replacing wall to wall carpets in bedrooms will achieve the greatest benefit. If you are not able to remove carpeting, steam cleaning has also been noted to be beneficial.
  6. Cleaning: If you are severely allergic, the best solution is having someone else clean your home. If this is not an option, always use a damp rag or mop to clean dust as a dry rag or mop will just cause dust mite allergens to become airborne and increase your exposure.
If vacuuming, using a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)* vacuum filter which will greatly decrease your exposure. Even better is a central vacuum cleaner system that is vented to the exterior of your home.

Dust mite is a tiny creature that grow or develop well and vigorously in the dust of your home feeding on your dead skin flakes found on mattresses, pillows, carpets, and upholstered furniture. Dust mite droppings and pieces of dead dust mites can trigger the allergic cascade (meaning, the immune system response when your body is exposed to an allergen)

There is a causal relationship between both dust mite exposure and the development of asthma in children and asthma exacerbations among people who are sensitive to dust mites. The higher the dust mite level in your home, the greater the chance you will develop an allergic reaction to dust mites.

Decreasing The Exposure To Dust Mite

Generally ,everyone spend more time in our bedroom than any other room in your house, so it makes sense to place your most intensive efforts here. The below followings intervention can help you decrease your dust mite exposure.

HEPA *is an acronym for “high efficiency particulate air”. Basically HEPA is a type of filter that can trap a large amount of very small particles that other vacuum cleaners would simply recirculate back into the air of your home,and cause asthma symptoms.