One of the biggest causes of allergies are dust mites, those tiny insects found in household dust. According to a report by the charity Allergy UK, they are the UK’s most common indoor allergen. The report has also revealed that there could be as many as 12 million of us who have a reaction to them, in varying degrees. Signs of an allergic reaction to dust mites include sneezing, runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes and congestion. Dust mite allergies can also aggravate the symptoms of asthma. What’s more, if you also have eczema, a severe allergy reaction can cause a flare-up of the condition.
The report has also found that over half of indoor allergy sufferers said their symptoms were worse in the bedroom, with allergic reactions leading to disrupted sleep, which in turn will exacerbate the symptoms. Continued disruption to sleep patterns will eventually impact on daily life. It’s hard to concentrate on those all-important tasks at home or work if you are feeling tired and generally run down.
Of course, there are a number of things you can do on a day to day basis to help limit the number of dust mites in your home. As advised by the NHS website these include regular cleaning with a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter, cleaning cushions, soft toys, curtains and upholstered furniture, and choosing wood or hard vinyl floor coverings instead of carpet.
In addition to keeping your bedroom clear of as much dust as possible, your choice of bedding will also impact on your sleep. It’s not just about duvets and pillows but the report also found that 13% of allergy sufferers had used their mattress for 11 years or more and 3% has kept theirs for 20 years or longer. This leads to a huge accumulation of dust mites and (yes, we must say it!) their droppings – not often something that we really want to think about!
When considering soft bedding, if you have a dust mite alle