Afraid of Dust Mites? We’ve Got You Covered

bed bug and dust mite pictureIn a earlier post we looked at bed bugs (the real vampires) and discovered that I wasn’t the only person that is afraid of dust mites. Continuing our creepy crawly theme, this post is going to look at dust mites, dust mite allergy, and dust mite allergy control.

Dust Mites are the Unseen Enemy

If you are afraid of bed bugs, then you can face a fear you can actually see. Bed bugs are visible. Dust mites are so incredibly small that you can’t see them without a microscope. But photos of the buggers are enough to give anyone the heebie jeebies.

There isn’t a medical term for fear of dust mites. Doctors lump fear of dust mite picturedust mites into amathophobia, which is a fear of dust.

Some people get so creeped out by the thought of millions of these microscopic creatures crawling in the bed and pillow they actually imagine the feeling of insects crawling on their body. Just the thought makes my skin crawl. But I know that you can’t see dust mites and you can’t feel them. That’s only slightly reassuring.

Dust Mites Aren’t Vampires

At least dust mites don’t suck your blood like bed bugs. Of course that is little comfort when you can’t sleep because of sneezing, wheezing, coughing, or a stuffy or runny nose.

Dust mites and their feces (now how gross is that) contain proteins that cause an allergic reaction in people that are sensitive. That dust that you may fear is loaded with tiny particles of dead dust mites and their poop. When you breathe these particles in, your immune system gets grossed out right along with you. Not really.

What really happens is that your immune system doesn’t identify the proteins found in those dust mite particles properly. It sees them as germs and initiates full-scale germ warfare. That is why the symptoms of allergies and colds are similar. Your body thinks it is sick, but it is not. It is just having an attack of dust mite allergy.

Never Fear – Dust Mite Allergy Control is Near

You can try hypnotism, meditation, and therapy to get over your fear of dust. Controlling dust mite allergy is much easier. It’s all about controlling your environment. You may find that when your environment is under control and your allergy symptoms are manageable your fear of dust mites just naturally goes away. Here’s what you can do to get started:

zippered covers for dust mitesDust Mite Covers. The number one thing you can do to control dust mite allergies is cover your mattress, boxspring, and pillows with dust mite covers. Just like bed bug covers; dust mite proof covers are zippered and made of special fabrics. These cover all sides, zip up, and but an effective barrier between you and those nasty dust mites in your bed.

Vacuum. It’s best to have hard surface floors. Carpets and rugs collect more than dirt; they collect dust mites as well. Frequently vacuum with a sealed HEPA vacuum and damp mop hard surface floors.

Wash Frequently. Even though you zip everything up in dust mite covers, allergens will collect on your sheets, pillow cases, and blankets. An effective part of your dust mite allergy control program is stripping sheets, pillow cases, and blankets off the bed every 7 days and washing in 140°F water. If you can’t get your water this hot at home (and most people can’t) just add some De-Mite Laundry Additive to your detergent and wash in cold water. Those creepy dust mites will be washed away.

sunshine by stuart miles
courtesy Stuart Miles@freedigital photos

Let the Sun Shine. I know your mother told you to make your bed as soon as you arise, but leaving the bed unmade for a few hours may actually help your allergies. By exposing sheets and blankets to air and sunshine, moisture will evaporate. Dust mites don’t like dry environments and leaving your bed sheets exposed will help keep things dry. Just remember to make the bed before your Mom comes over.

Are you afraid of dust mites, bed bugs, or other insects (like spiders?). Leave a comment, we’d love to know what creeps you out.

Til next time!

Cheryl

Primaloft is the Superior Down-Alternative Comforter

If you have allergies and you love down, your bedding choices have down bedding contributed to allergiesbeen a bit of a downer.  Face it, most materials that have been manufactured to be an alternative to down are just down-right awful. They clump, they lump, they just aren’t down.  That’s until Primaloft perfected the down-alternative and created a down-alternative comforter that feels just like down!

Air is Nature’s Insulator

Down is made up of the feathers from various birds.  The feathers form little balls that trap air.  Down is such a comfy filling for a comforter because feathers don’t weigh much and the air they trap doesn’t weigh much.  However, the air is a great insulator.  It’s what makes down and wool warm.  But unlike wool, down doesn’t weigh much.  So, you get warmth without much weight.

The Problem with Down Comforters

Down comforters are warm and provide a comforting weight.  However, the feathers inside are magnets for dust mites.  Unlike wool, which has lanolin, down doesn’t have any natural property to repel dust mites.

Some people are actually allergic to the feathers themselves, but this is not as common as an allergy to the dust mites they harbor.

Another negative to down is keeping them clean.  Most down comforters are destroyed by washing and drying.  The fill clumps and lumps and feathers poke through the cover.  It’s a mess.

Primaloft is the Down-Alternative Solution

Finally, down lovers have a solution – Primaloft.  The patented Primaloft fill is a synthetic fiber with all the good properties of down and none of the bad.   In addition, Primaloft can be safely washed and dried over and over again.  Hotels and resorts have used Primaloft fill for luxury bedding for years.  Now it is available for home use through The Allergy Store.

Primaloft Down-Alternative Comforters

Down Alternative Comforter

Primaloft Down Alternative Comforters are the perfect alternative to down.   Each comforter is filled with Primaloft fill treated with an antimicrobial to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria.   They are covered in a silky smooth 230 thread count Cambric cotton fabric that feels simply silky against your face as you cuddle in comfort.

When it’s time to freshen your down-alternative comforter up, there are no worries and no fuss.  Just pop in the washer and dry in the dryer.  No expensive dry cleaning process is needed.

Treat Your Loved Ones – Treat Yourself

Winter is just around the corner.  Those long cold nights will be much more comfortable when you snuggle with a Primaloft-filled Down-Alternative Comforter.  A Down-Alternative Comforter is a gift that says you want to cuddle them with comfort night after night.

Treat them or treat yourself.  Either way, you get free shipping and friendly service with each Primaloft purchase from The Allergy Store

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

Have You Heard the News About Sick Bed Syndrome?

The Allergy Store has been telling people for years about the health problems associated with dust mites.  Turns out there might be more to worry about in your mattress, pillows, and bed linens than just dust mites.

What is Sick Bed Syndrome?

Dr. Lisa Ackerly, home health hygienist, described Sick Bed Syndrome to the Daily Mail  as a condition where the bed becomes a breeding ground not only for dust mites, but disease causing bacteria and viruses.

She explains  because people spend a lot of time in their beds, with many choosing to sleep naked, mattresses can become a breeding ground for micro-organisms, that trigger a range of nasty illnesses.   You can read the entire article about Sick Bed Syndrome here.

Raw Facts on Sleeping in the Nude

bacteria, viruses, mold, dust mites contribute to sick bed syndromeEven though it is common, sleeping in the nude can spread disease.  Dr. Ackerly explains that if you are carrying norovirus with no symptoms and sleeping in the nude, you are contaminating your linens with a virus that will survive regular washing.   That means you can continue to contaminate you and loved ones again and again and again.

Salmonella (food poisoning) can also be shed onto the bed sheets if you sleep in the nude.

As it is, we shed skin cells constantly in our bed, by sleeping in the nude more of those cells make to our sheets, mattresses and pillows than if they were captured by nightclothes.

Combating Sick Bed Syndrome

Hopefully you are not reading about this in bed at 3 am. If you are, we’ve probably ruined any chance you had of getting a good night’s sleep.  Sorry.  But there are some practical things you can do to combat sick bed syndrome.

Lower Humidity.  Lower the humidity and lower the molds and dust mites in your bedroom.

Vacuum Frequently.  Dr. Ackerly recommends frequent “hoovering” (you have to love those British terms) of the bedroom.  To those of us in the US, that means to vacuum often.  She also recommends that you have a hard surface floor in the bedroom.

Disinfect Linens.  Frequent hot water washing is recommended. combat sick bed syndrome with vital oxideSheets, pillow cases, and blankets should be removed from the bed and laundered in 140°F water.  To combat bacteria and viruses, add Vital Oxide disinfecting agent to the wash.  If you are allergic to dust mites, De-Mite Laundry Additive will get rid of the little buggers in cold or warm water.

Do a Separate Load.  Wash bed linens separately to prevent transfer of any contamination from linens to clothing.  she recommends that if you send your linens out to a commercial laundry, that you inquire about the use of disinfecting agents and the temperature of the water they use for washing. Some companies wash with cooler water to reduce risk of damaging fabrics.

Protect your Bed.  Use zippered mattress covers to zip up your get your allergy zippered mattress covers protect against sick bed syndromemattress and keep out dust mites, molds, and pollen.  Zippered pillow covers are also available to protect your pillows.

Expose Duvets.  Dr. Ackerly also recommends that you “air” out your duvets on a regular basis.  By exposing them to sunlight, you reduce moisture (see step 1) making them much healthier for sleeping.  If you don’t have the “alpine” air she mentions, you can still hang outside on a sunny day.

Sick bed syndrome can be avoided and the bonus is that many of the same steps that you take to prevent sick bed syndrome will also help you relieve your allergy symptoms.  Now there is some allergy news to cheer about.

Til Next Time

Cheryl