Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on dead skins cells from humans. Just thinking that these living creatures are thriving inside of your mattress is enough to make you drop whatever you are doing and get a real good mattress cleaning. How do dust mites get into a mattress? Is there a danger to the health of people who sleep on a mattress containing dust mites? True facts about dust mites will answer the questions that surround their existence.
Dust mites are more concentrated in the fall and winter months because people seal up doors and windows in the home during this time. It is important to get a regular cleaning of your mattress since the average dust mite mattress contains from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites. The mites thrive in the warm, moist environments that occur when people are in bed. They get into the mattress from dead skin that is shed by all humans; around 1/5 ounces each week. Carpeting and upholstered furniture also contain dust mites. A good look at a sun beam will reveal dust mites happily floating along its shaft munching on dead skill cells along with other indoor air pollutants.
Allergic to Dust Mites?
As unpleasant as this image may be, dust mites are not harmful to most healthy people. In fact, the allergic reaction actually comes from the skin and feces of the mites. Each dust mite produces 20 droppings every day. The American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology reports that about 10 percent of Americans have an allergic reaction from sleeping on a mattress filled with dust mites. Most of these people also have allergic reactions to other substances, such as pollen. Asthma sufferers are also susceptible to reaction from dust mite feces and skin.
Although some people are predisposed to allergy symptoms caused by dust mites, some people develop allergies to the mites after long time exposure. In 2010 the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Services reported that up to 50 percent of the air in American homes has high enough allergen levels to cause allergic reactions to people are usually non-allergic. This is one reason why it is crucial to have a consistent mattress cleaning even if there are no allergy sufferers in the home.
Dust mites can cause nasal polyps to develop in some people who sleep on a dust mite mattress. Polyps occur when the soft tissue of the lining in the sinus becomes swollen. The tissue expands into the nose forming nasal polyps. Occasionally, polyps will grow large enough to result in breathing problems or affect a person’s sense of smell. Either of these conditions would require medical treatment. Cleaning your mattress on a regular basis reduces the chances of these and other health issues.
Signs that a person has a mattress rich in dust mites include increased allergic reactions or other issues as mentioned above. Homeowners can have their mattress and other furniture tested for dust mites if they are suspected. The good news is that there are several ways to reduce dust mite population in the home. Regular mattress cleaning, whether done by the homeowner or a professional service, is a good line of defense in the fight against dust mite infestation.
Some mattress types tend to be more resistant to dust mites than others. Latex mattresses and some memory foam mattresses like the Tempurpedic are said to be more resistant to dust mites than a traditional innerspring mattress. If you have a new innerspring mattress, you’ll want to cover it with a dust mite resistant cover all of the time. This way, you’ll only need to worry about your sheets and pillows, which can be easily cleaned and rid of dust mites.