Keeping Your Home Asthma Safe
Breathe Easier in a Dust-Free Environment
Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from allergies, exacerbated simply by being inside their homes. This staggering amount has triggered a need for allergy control products designed to help those with asthma control the sources of irritation. An asthma sufferer's ultimate defense against harmful domestic allergens, including dust mites and pet dander, is specially designed cleaning products intended to repel dust from being kicked up into the air. Studies show that dusting and vacuuming on a weekly basis with anti-allergenic products significantly decreases harmful allergens.
More and more Americans are realizing that allergic reactions are caused not just by seasonal pollens, but by dust-borne allergens living in their homes and thriving in their beds, couches, curtains, and carpets. Pet hairs and their dander are carried through the air and onto clothing, aggravating asthma symptoms, even if you don't own a pet. The immune system reacts to these substances by developing allergies ranging from mild irritation to serious distress. In asthma, this results in the narrowing of the airways, making it hard to breathe and bringing on possibly fatal asthma attacks.
As a result, scientists are beginning to figure out ways to control allergens to reduce potential asthma attacks. Taking steps to control your indoor environment is essential if you want to reduce the allergic triggers that cause irritation and respiratory issues.
What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny, microscopic creatures that look similar to a spider. They are ever-present in mattresses, bedding, furniture, carpets, and curtains. Dust mites are partial to warm and humid environments and feed on the flaked skin shed by humans and animals. Allergies from these creatures can be especially harmful in homes where the indoor humidity is high or in houses located at low altitudes. Symptoms may include a congested or runny nose, sneezing (particularly in the morning,) watery eyes, itchy rashes, coughing and wheezing. These symptoms may appear together, but individuals with asthma may not realize they are allergic to dust mites. Americans spend 90% of their time in indoors. Scientists say dust mites, which unlike pets are nearly impossible to avoid, cause these allergies.
Dust mites thrive in the summer months due to high levels of humidity and warm temperatures. This is the optimal time for their food supply chain. Cut off their food supply and they die Asthma and allergy sufferers will be glad to know there are numerous ways to do away with annoying dust mites. Always be sure to wash your bedding in hot water at more than 140F degrees. This means you may need to turn up your water heater to accommodate the process. Other ways to kill dust mites include using vapor cleaners and tannin (acid.) In the Winter months, enclosing their natural habitat in plastic bags and placing them in below freezing temperatures can kill them.
Protecting Your Home from Dust Mites
Allergies and asthma occur when dust mites increase the levels of antigens called "Der p1," eliciting asthma related allergies. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor pollution levels can be anywhere from two to one hundred times higher than those found outdoors. That means over 40 million Americans suffer from these problems daily from just being home, according to the American Lung Association. Your ordinary vacuum and over-the-counter products only shift harmful dust and dust mite allergens from one area of your house to another. If you're an asthma sufferer, you'll want to avoid this potentially deadly course of action. You can find all the cleaning products and vacuum cleaners required to keep dust mites away on our website .
The following are some key ways to improve the air you breathe and reduce allergic irritants:
- Avoid carpets since they trap thousands of volatile compounds
- Stick to flooring and cotton throw rugs that are un-dyed, untreated, and unbleached
- Reduce moisture and mold in the bathroom by running a ceiling fan when taking a hot shower
- Open windows daily to air out the house
- Keep an air purifier with a HEPA filter running for improved ventilation
- Vacuum with HEPA vacuum cleaners and steam cleaners that capture dust
- Vapor Steam your upholstery, mattresses, and carpets to kill dust mites
- Keep pets outdoors, if possible, and brush your pets' hair outdoors as well
- Scrub areas where mold is visible, such as window moldings, shower curtains, and bathroom walls and fixtures
- Dehumidify your home to discourage mold growth
- Avoid stuffed animals, but if you have them, put the stuffed animals in the freezer periodically
Good Night, Sleep Tight, the Bed Bugs Can't Bite!
Dust mites are partial to the warmth of a bed and pillow. The simple solution to protecting yourself from asthma related allergies is to purchase dust mite bedding encasings. You can purchase the encasings for your mattress, box spring, pillows, and comforter/duvet covers. Dust mite encasing bedding protects you from dust mites, their body parts, and feces. Made with a tightly woven breathable fabric, encasing bedding products create an effective allergen dust mite barrier. They are washable and won't shrink.
Another essential bedding product necessary to curb your asthma is the use of a feather or down pillow. However, some people are allergic to these pillows. A recent study from The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology cites feather and down pillows contain lower levels of allergy-causing substances than synthetic pillows do. Be sure to wash your bedding with hot water in at least 140F degrees.
Put HEPA Filters and Air Purifiers to the Test
Have you ever wondered why dust re-appears right after you just finished cleaning your home? It's not uncommon for dust to reinvent itself in the same spot you think you may have removed it from. The secret is to clean your air — not just your house. High efficiency HEPA particulate air filters are used in homes across the country, working to improve indoor air quality for millions of asthma sufferers and keep the air fresh and clean. HEPA filters improve ventilation by removing 99.97% of irritating airborne particles and allergens such as endotoxins, pollen, cat dander, dust, and tobacco. This will help reduce allergic reactions of those suffering from asthma and other allergies. You can find many models on our website, including:
Be sure to check our website often for the latest products, news, and up-to-date information from our professional consultants.