Winter is here! Time to stay indoors!
House dust and house dust mites are a major indoor cause of chronic, persistent allergic symptoms and asthma. High concentrations of dust and dust mites are found in mattresses, pillows, stuffed furniture, comforters and carpeting. Your allergic problem can be decreased by reducing the amount of house dust and house dust mite debris that you breathe. Here are some tips to keep indoor allergens away!!!
- The box springs, mattress, and pillows should be encased in impermeable covers. (Dust proof encasements.) One cover should enclose the entire mattress, another the box springs. A cotton or synthetic mattress cover can be placed over the plastic mattress encasing to make it more comfortable. The sheets and the cotton or synthetic cover should be washed in hot water (130°) weekly. All bedding (blankets and spread) should be washed in hot water (130°) monthly. In several months, tears in the covers may occur and these can be repaired with plastic tape, however, in time the covers usually have to be replaced. These casing usually can be purchased from local department stores or special surface covers can be ordered from online websites.
- Feather pillows are to be completely avoided. Dacron pillows are preferred to foam rubber pillows since the latter may become suitable for the growth of molds. Changing all pillows in the bedroom to meet these specifications is necessary. All pillows, regardless of the material, should be encased with impermeable covers.
- A bedroom is preferred which is not carpeted, i.e., has a wood, tile or linoleum floor. Carpet on a cement slab is most likely to be contaminated with dust mites.
- If you house clean, cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or mask. Do not remain in the room after cleaning it. Cleaning is preferable done by someone other than the affected patient.
- Everything should be removed from the bedroom and closets and cleaned thoroughly. After cleaning, only frequently used items should be returned to the closet and bedroom.
- Your bedroom should be as dust-free as possible. It should contain a minimum of furniture. Bare walls and windows are preferable, although washable rugs and curtains may be used. Avoid chenille spreads, comforters, heavy rugs, drapes, venetian blinds, upholstered furniture, excess books, and any other unnecessary bedroom equipment.
- The room should be cleaned every few days using a vacuum cleaner, damp cloth, or oil mop. A “double bagged” vacuum cleaner is ideal for cleaning. Avoid a broom or duster and keep the windows and doors of the bedroom closed as much as possible. A room air conditioner is advised for the Idaho climate if central air conditioning is not available. The household furnace/air conditioning filter should be changed as recommended.
- Wood, metal, or plastic furniture is preferable. Stuffed furniture is to be avoided as much as possible. Children’s stuffed toys should be avoided unless composed of Dacron, foam rubber, or plastic material. All smoking in the house should cease.
Learn more about the kinds of allergies to be cautious about, and treatment options here.