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Controlling Allergens: Dust Mites in the Bedroom

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Dust mite (magnified)

Many people with asthma are allergic to dust mites. Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in warm, damp places. They are too small to see, but they live in mattresses, pillows, and house dust. Dust mite allergy can cause asthma flare-ups. If you have this allergy, there are many steps you can take to control dust mites at home.

Take these steps to control dust mites in your bed and bedroom:

  1. Keep all clothing in a closet, with the door shut.

  2. Make sure the room is not too humid. It should be below 50% humidity.

  3. Choose wood, leather, or vinyl for furniture instead of upholstery.

  4. Wash all bedding, pillows, and stuffed toys in hot water (130°F) every week. Remove any items that cannot be washed.

  5. Use special covers on pillows, mattressess, and box springs. These covers are made for people with allergies.

  6. If you can, replace carpeting with tile or hardwood flooring. Use washable throw rugs, or don't use rugs at all.

  7. Dust furniture with a damp cloth at least once a week.

  8. Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to reduce humidity.

  9. Use pull-down shades or vertical window blinds that can be easily cleaned. Use these instead of curtains or drapes.

  10. Use filters over heater vents.

Online Medical Reviewer: Cunningham, Louise, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, MEd
Last Review Date: 5/19/2014
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