Dust mites have been the bane of my existence but I only found out they were the culprit as an adult. Growing up I suffered from asthma, eczema and sinusitis. Throughout all of my childhood I remember ENT appointments, steroid creams for my skin, sorbolene cream, sprays up my nose, ventilator machines and I even remember this one time having the inside of my nostrils burnt out to try and deal with the symptoms I was experiencing.
When I was a kid allergies were not really a thing people looked into like they do now so no one ever said to me or my mum …. “she has an allergy to dust mites.”
About 6 months after having my first daughter she started to develop a spot of eczema on her face. For months I put barrier creams on it but it just wouldn’t go away. I was at my counsin’s house for lunch one day and his wife starting telling me about their son and all of the treatments they had gone through to deal with his eczema. She recommended I take my daughter along to see a certain specialist who dealt with allergens to get her tested. So I did.
I decided while I was there I might as well get myself tested and that is when I found out I had an extreme allergy to dust mites. And by extreme I mean EXTREME! It was so extreme the doctor said I should never vacuum or dust the house which I asked him to put in writing as proof to my husband I was not making this stuff up hahahaha.
It all made sense from that moment forward and I couldn’t believe it took me till I was 25 years old to figure out that was the underlying issue. Aside from medicating (hay fever tablets and nose sprays) there are a few things I have learnt along the way that help in my management of dust mites, mostly in the home environment, that I thought I would share.
- Latex mattress and pillow is a must! One of the most prevalent places you will find dust mites is in your mattress and pillow. Did you know that pillows can collect up to 2 pounds of dust mite faeces [the stuff you are allergic to]over a 2 year period. Latex is naturally dust mite and mould resistant so it is the best option to use for both a mattress and pillow to make sure you get a good night sleep and don’t spend the night sneezing or wheezing.
- Hepa filter vacuum cleaner. It is really important to get yourself a proper vacuum cleaner that does not circulate the dust back into the air. They are labelled these days to tell you they are allergy and asthma friendly so look for that.
- Wash all winter bedding BEFORE you put it on the bed. This is only something I have started doing recently after getting a washing machine that has an air bedding care option which uses extreme heat to kill off any dust mites that have been breeding in our doonas in the cupboard over summer.
- We were also recently gifted with a HoMedics Electrostatic Air Purifier. This air purifier is the world’s most advanced air cleaning system designed to improve your health by killing up to 99% of airborne viruses and bacteria in the home. From removing cold and flu viruses to pet hair, allergens and pollen, it also eliminates dust, smoke and unpleasant odours. The Air Purifier is 5 times better than a HEPA filter in cleaning microscopic particles. It has also been been recognised by the National Asthma Council of Australia as a Sensitive Choice product supporting asthma care.
- Wash all jumpers and winter clothes BEFORE wearing them. Similar to bedding our clothes and jumpers gather and breed dust mites as they are sitting up in the cupboard during summer. If you have a child susceptible to dust mites make sure you wash everything before they wear it to avoid an asthma episode or hay fever.
- Hemp body butter. This one is a little random but quite a few years ago I discovered hemp body butter from The Body Shop and my skin has not looked back. It is a very thick barrier cream but to date it has been the only non-steroid product I have found which will manage my eczema break outs during winter. I don’t leave home without it. It is worth checking out and used consistently it really helps me and my kids.
- Air humidifier. We also got the chance to try out the Homedics Oscillating Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier which is designed to put moisture back into the air to ease congestion and sinus problems. It also keeps your skin hydrated and supple which has been a great help with cracked lips and dryness! We have a number of Cool Mist humidifiers in our house but what I like about this one is it is quite large so I have it in our main living area plus the water tank holds enough water to last 48 hours continuously.
- Eucalyptus oil as fabric softener. For years now I have been using 2 capfuls of 100% eucalyptus oil (that I buy from ALDI) in every clothes wash as it is a known product that kills dust mites. It just means towels, sheets and clothes are dust mite free after every wash which is great 🙂
They are my best tips that I can think of at the moment but I would love you to share in a comment below any things you might do around your home to keep those incredibly annoying dust mites away??
Just as an FYI:
You can purchase The Hemp Body Butter from any Body Shop store or online here
I have the 13kg Samsumg Washing machine with bedding care you can check out here
You can find out about the Homedics products here
Stockists: Myer, Shaver Shop, Good Guys, Betta Electrical and good retailers. Phone 03-8756-6500 to confirm stockists