In this article I will talk about a problem that afflicts millions of people: mites! You will find out what the symptoms are, where they lurk, the tips and remedies for sleeping in a mite-proof bedroom!
Mites: what, where, when and why …
Mites are microscopic organisms, which often keep us “company” throughout the year. Numerous studies have documented that dust mite allergy is one of the most common in Western countries. Mites represent the main risk factor for the development of asthma, while in children they can favor the appearance of other allergies such as mold, animal hair and pollen allergies.
With our climates, mites proliferate in every home, even the cleanest; the favorite environment is the bedroom and, in particular, the mattress and pillow. They do not bite and do not sting. The substances that cause the allergy are the enzymes present in the faeces of the mite which, mixing with the dust of the house, are deposited in particular on mattresses and pillows, up to 2 million; in a gram of powder, on the other hand, there can be up to 2,000. The movements of the body while sleeping or sitting they raise them just enough to be inhaled or touched and can therefore trigger allergic reactions of a respiratory or skin type.
What are the symptoms that signal a mite allergy?
In predisposed subjects, respiratory or skin symptoms may occur above all, ranging in intensity from mild to intense; they last longer than a simple cold and worsen in certain situations, for example under exertion or if you enter a poorly ventilated environment.
Here are the main symptoms of allergy not to be underestimated:
- unstoppable sneezing, especially upon awakening;
- bouts of dry cough during sleep;
- congestion, nasal itching, stuffy and runny nose;
- breathing difficulties (at night or during exertion).
- chest tightness and asthma.
- swollen eyes, which appear red, burn and watery;
- light discomfort;
- feeling of general malaise, weakness, fatigue which negatively affect the daytime quality of life;
- atopic eczema, redness, itching and rashes, especially on the face and scalp;
The certainty that it is an allergic reaction can only be obtained with a proper visit to the doctor, who will indicate the necessary skin tests and blood tests.
Which mattresses and pillows to improve the defenses against mites?
First of all it is very important to pay particular attention to the care of the bedroom, keeping it clean and airy. Then, our advice is to use memory, puracell (ecological water-based foam) and anti-mite mattresses. It is also essential that the mattress and pillow are made of hypoallergenic fiber on both sides and covered with breathable fabrics. All this guarantees our body to sleep in a healthy and dry environment. If, on the other hand, your sleeping system does not satisfy you, also read how and when to change mattresses.
Mites in the mattress: how to “disinfect” your bed?
- Cover mattresses and pillows with certified anti-mite products; wash these coatings at 60 ° C (mites only die at temperatures above 55 ° C). Every week, when changing the sheets, wipe both the mattress and the pillows with a well-wrung damp cloth to eliminate dust on the surface.
- Use the same precautions for all beds, especially if children suffer from these allergies.
- Use duvets and blankets with anti-mite treatment.
- Prefer sofas and armchairs made of leather, alcantara or other material impervious to allergens.
- Avoid acaricidal products on mattresses, pillows and sofas: only the few mites that live on the surface are eliminated. Furthermore, these products contain chemicals that could have a toxic and irritating effect on the skin and mucous membranes, especially in the case of prolonged contact.
- Remove rugs and carpets from the room: it is very difficult to remove mites from these locations.
- Ventilate often, even if only for a few minutes, the rooms of the house, such as the bathroom and kitchen, where there may be greater humidity.
- Avoid using humidifiers.
- Periodically clean the filters of the air heater or air conditioner.
- Clean the house purely with a damp cloth or use a vacuum cleaner with “cyclonic technology”. This system, thanks to a high suction speed, separates fine dust from hair and fluff, while depositing large debris in the container with HEPA filter. This is optimal for allergy sufferers, precisely because a speck of dust does not pass.