Dust mite allergy - recognize the signs and protect your health
House dust mites – you're not sleeping alone!
House dust mites are tiny relatives of the spider, 0.1-0.4 mm in size that can be found all around the world. The mites, which are only visible under a microscope, live in mattresses, pillows, blankets, upholstered furniture, and everywhere else where dust can gather – no matter how clean the home is. One gram of dust can contain up to 15,000 mites. Dust mites feed on flakes of skin shed by people and pets. One gram of skin flakes can feed up to one million mites. Dust mites thrive in warm and humid environments. Beds offer the best living conditions for mites. Therefore, over 90% of mites are found in mattresses, pillows, and duvets. The older the mattresses and bedding, the higher the number of mites.
Dust mites are a major allergy trigger
House dust mites are, after pollen, the second most common trigger of allergic respiratory diseases, including asthma. Dust mites can also aggravate existing eczema conditions. About one in every ten Americans suffers from dust mite allergy. Many more are sensitive to dust mites. Mites themselves are not the allergens. It is the proteins in their droppings, eggs and remains of decayed mites that cause the allergic reactions. During its short life of 6 weeks, a dust mite produces approximately 300 eggs and 200 times its body weight in droppings. Up to 15% of the weight of a 2 year old pillow can consist of dust mites and their droppings. If the droppings or other mite proteins enter the respiratory tract or come in contact with the skin, they can trigger an allergic reaction.
The extremely lightweight mite allergens stick to larger dust particles – hence the term “dust mite allergy”.
How do you recognize a dust mite allergy?
Reactions to dust mites occur as the allergens come into contact with your skin, your eyes, in the mucous membranes of your nasal passages and lungs.
A dust mite allergy is often confused with a common cold. Symptoms may include a runny or stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, or bouts of coughing and sneezing. Allergic skin reactions such as rashes and itching are also common, as dust mites are a trigger for eczema flare-ups.
Compared to pollen allergy sufferers who have seasonal symptoms, people with dust mites allergies suffer all year long, mite allergy symptoms vary in intensity throughout the day. Symptoms are typically worse during the night and when waking up in the morning, due to prolonged contact with dust mite allergens in your bed. Many dust mite allergy sufferers also experience a flare-up of their symptoms when handling their pillows and blankets.
If the symptoms of a dust mite allergy are not taken seriously and are not treated in time, the allergic reaction can spread from the upper to the lower airways and eventually lead to allergic asthma. Once acquired, allergic asthma often means life-long treatment with medication, and can significantly affect your daily activities.
Test your risk — simple, fast, free
If you suspect that you are suffering from a dust mite allergy, an allergy test performed by a doctor will give you a definitive diagnosis.
Before seeing the doctor, get a first indication by using our online self-test. Simply enter your current symptoms and answer basic medical history questions, and the test will gauge your personal risk for a dust mite allergy*
* The Allergo® online mite allergy risk test is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you think you have a dust mite allergy, please consult a health care provider.
What can I do? Avoiding contact with dust mite allergens is the key!
The most crucial step in preventing allergic reactions is to avoid contact with the allergy triggers: The proteins in mite droppings, eggs, and remains of dead mites.
Your primary aim should be to reduce house dust mites as much as possible, especially in your bed, because this is where the allergen accumulation is particularly high. Replacing old mattresses and washing all other parts of your bedding with hot water at least every 2 weeks are commonly recommended steps for dust mite allergy sufferers. However, it is not possible to completely get rid of dust mites and the mite population will quickly build up again, no matter how clean your house is. Without the use of encasings, a new mattress will be full of dust mites again after only 6 months.
An effective and proven method to avoid contact with dust mite allergens, is to dust mite proof your bed with high quality encasings.
Genuine allergo® encasings will turn your sleeping area into an allergen-free zone
To ensure complete protection against dust-mite allergens, you should cover your mattress, duvet, and pillows with Allergo® encasings.
Allergo natur® is one of the first companies in Germany to design and produce hypoallergenic mattress and bedding encasings, based on extensive leading-edge research and development. Today we’re the biggest and most experienced producer in our field. All Allergo® encasings are hand-manufactured in Germany with the highest quality standards in the industry. Each encasing is meticulously quality tested and certified by the renowned Hohenstein Institute, an internationally accredited test laboratory.
Allergo® encasings are made of high-end microfiber fabrics that top the best-in-class products on the market in allergen retention and breathability. Our Allergo® Majestic fabric and has an average pore size of less than 0.3 microns – Ten times smaller than comparable products on the market! Allergo® encasings are completely impermeable for dust mites and even the tiniest allergen particles. At the same time, Allergo® encasings are highly breathable, allowing free passage of air and water vapor, and creating a pleasant and healthy sleeping climate.
With these unique features, Allergo® encasings are a highly effective barrier against dust mite allergens. If you cover your mattress, pillows and duvets – including your partner's – with Allergo® encasing you are completely safe from dust mite allergens, 100% guaranteed. The encasings also effectively stop the dust mite population from growing. The enclosed dust mites have no more access to food, can no longer multiply, and eventually die.
Covering your mattress and all of your bedding with genuine Allergo® encasings is a simple and highly effective step to achieve maximum protection from dust mite allergens. This will alleviate your allergy symptoms and ensure a good night's sleep. Protecting yourself from inhaling dust mite allergens will also reduce your risk of developing allergic asthma in the long run.