It is estimated that over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and of that number approximately 30 million American suffer from asthma. While there can be many different allergic triggers that cause respiratory allergies and asthma, one such allergic toxin naturally occurs in every bed and pillow, dust mites.
Not only do dust mites and their droppings cause symptoms such as red itchy eyes, sinus irritation and breathing difficulties, they can also lead to a full blown asthma attack, even worse during the time your body is trying to rejuvenate itself, while you sleep. It is well documented that a disproportionate percentage of asthma attacks that result in fatality occur during the hours we typically sleep, 12am to 6am. This is a direct result of allergens, dust mites and their droppings, and other micro toxins which build up over time in our mattresses, pillows, box springs, and duvets.
It’s a fact: the average person spends a third of their life (220,000 hours) in bed. Coupled with the reality that the average mattress can contain millions of dust mites and the implications are worrisome – those millions of microscopic dust mites can cause a little more than a few irritations over a lifetime.
Here are a few more dust mite facts:
• One dust mite will produce 20 waste droppings in a single day and females can produce upwards of 2000 fecal particles during their lifetime.
• Dust mite droppings are small enough to get lodged in a human lung’s bronchial tube, which results in asthma and skin irritation.
• Ten percent of the weight of a two-year-old pillow can be attributed to deceased dust mites and their excretions.
• Since they do not drink water but instead absorb moisture thru their shell, humid climates and seasons allow them to breed and thrive at a much higher rate.
• The average life span of a female dust mite is ten weeks; during this time she will lay 60 to 100 eggs.
Many families assume that simply washing their sheets once a week will solve the dust mite problem. This assumption is wrong in that bleach and soaps do not kill dust mites because they actually live in mattresses and pillows, not in the sheets or pillowcases that are being washed.
One way to kill dust mites is to either freeze or heat up your mattresses and pillows to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This has to be done for over an hour and needs to be repeated frequently, as dust mites reproduce in less than a five week span. However, constantly burning and freezing a pillow or mattress is dangerous and cumbersome, if not downright impossible (you’d need access to a meat locker to freeze a king-size mattress). Additionally, dust mites are not confined to your mattress or pillow, as they can be transported via minor air currents created by normal household activities.
Vacuuming your mattress or pillows also bears little effect, as dust mites have the ability to climb deep within your mattresses’ fabric. Put simply, cleaning, washing or vacuuming will not rid the average American household of dust mites and their enormous amounts of dust mite excretions.
With over 50 million Americans suffering from allergies or asthma, finding a sustainable method to combat the dust mite problem has to become a priority for households across the country.
Encasing your mattress and pillows in allergen-impermeable mattress encasements and pillow covers is the most simple and realistic way to protect your sleep. These encasements will trap existing dust mites inside your mattress and pillows and protect you from future dust mite infestations. It should be noted that one should search for an allergen bedding product that has a pore size of less than one micron to insure the highest level of protection from these known micro toxins.
Allergen-impermeable mattress encasements and pillow covers are relatively inexpensive and are widely available online and in most large or chain stores. These bedding encasements offer protection against dust mites, and help avoid allergy outbreaks and asthma attacks.