With the widespread occurrence of different allergens, allergic people aren’t safe even in the comfort of their own bedroom. Irritants often make mattresses, pillows, and blankets their home, putting basically anyone at risk. Given this situation, specialized allergy-free bedding have been developed to offer a certain degree of protection. Yahoo! Voices writer Gary Davis lists down what he believes are five of the most common indoor allergens.
Dust mites are microscopic organisms that inhabit beddings like pillows and carpeting. Their feces and dead bodies dry up on the pillows or blankets, and end up irritating the inner linings of the nose as they fly into the air. In fact, there can be millions of dust mites on a single pillow. Next up is pet dander, which is composed of tiny, microscopic bits of skin shed by cats, dogs, and other furry or feathered animals. Often, the fur comes with small “hitchhikers” that do the same exact damage as dust mites. The last three are the common house dust, plant pollen, and mold – all of which are as equally-irritating as the first two.
Of all the five, dust mites are considered the most notorious. While some people might think that dust mites occupy a small area of their mattresses or pillows, they’re basically wrong – in fact, dead dust mites and their waste can even double a mattress’s weight in ten years. Non-allergic people might be immune to these mites, but hypersensitive ones will find them quite bothersome; this is why quality anti-allergy bedding are their first line of defense.
Dust mites can be found almost everywhere, as long as there are “hosts” that they can feed on. Their favorite food are dead skin cells, animal dander, pollen, and fungi. Dust mite-allergic people often experience a load of symptoms whenever they come in contact with infested items. Symptoms include red and watery eyes, runny/itchy nose and constant sneezing, sore throat, coughing, and skin rashes/itching.
Dust-mite proof covers work. One study involving actually found that allergic kids slept better with the help of protective covers. Microscopic examination also showed that dust mite colonies have dwindled on their pillows and mattresses. Allergy supply stores like the Allergy Relief Store offer such covers made up of an assortment of materials like plastic or vinyl. They likewise come with zippers that seal the allergens in, preventing the user from inhaling them.
Additional ways of preventing dust mites and other allergens include regular cleaning of the beddings using hot water, at least once or twice a week. Getting rid of or washing stuffed animals can also reduce allergens; similar to carpets and rugs, their fibers are favorite hangouts for dust mites and other microscopic nuisances.
(Source: Five of the Most Common Indoor Allergens, Yahoo! Voices, February 20, 2009)