What is a dust mite allergy? Do air purifiers work for dust mites? What is the best air purifier for a dust mite allergy?
Are you struggling with allergies from dust mites? If so, you’re not alone. Dust mites are tiny insects that feed on dead skin cells and can cause a wide range of allergic reactions. They thrive in warm, humid environments. In this blog, we’ll discuss the causes and symptoms of dust mite allergies, how to avoid them, and how the right air purifier can help combat this problem.
What is dust mite allergy?
Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to the proteins found in dust mites’ feces. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live in your home and feed off of dead skin cells and pet dander (which is also composed of dead skin cells). Dust mites live in mattresses, furniture, carpets, curtains, and other soft furnishings. The prefer warm environments with humidity above 70 percent according to WebMD. When their microscopic waste products become airborne, they can trigger respiratory symptoms from sneezing and coughing to itchy eyes, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, dust mite allergies can cause asthma attacks and even anaphylactic shock. Dust mite allergies can also trigger allergic reactions in other parts of the body. These reactions can include skin rashes, hives, and eczema. In some cases, the reaction may be delayed, so it’s important to pay attention to your body and be aware of any changes.
How bad is it?
As many as 20 million American have a dust mite allergy, and a dust mite allergy can be mild or severe, according to the Mayo Clinic:
“Some signs and symptoms of dust mite allergy, such as a runny nose or sneezing, are similar to those of the common cold. Sometimes it's difficult to know whether you have a cold or an allergy. If symptoms persist for longer than one week, you might have an allergy.
If your signs and symptoms are severe — such as severe nasal congestion, wheezing or difficulty sleeping — call your doctor. Seek emergency care if wheezing or shortness of breath rapidly worsens or if you are short of breath with minimal activity.”
Dust Allergy Prevention: How to make your home dust-mite-unfriendly?
It seems like getting rid of dust mites comes down to the three R’s: Reduce, Remove, and Replace. The American Lung Association website has some helpful tips for reducing dust mites. Here are some of them, directly from lung.org:
- Reduce humidity. Keep your home below 50 percent humidity.
- Reduce the places where dust mites can live.
- Remove upholstered furniture or use furniture with smooth surfaces.
- Remove drapes and curtains.
- Cover mattresses and pillows with allergen encasements.
- Wash bedding in hot water (at least 120 degrees F) once a week.
- Reduce clutter, stuffed animals, and other places where dust mites live. If that’s not possible, wash stuffed animals weekly in hot water (at least 130 degrees) to kill and wash away dust mites.
- Replace Carpeting should be removed from the home, especially if occupants are allergic to dust mites. If you must keep the carpet, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.
- Damp clean floors often.
- Dust regularly.
Benefits of using an air purifier to combat dust mite allergy
In addition to the above steps to reduce the presence of dust mite, a well-designed, non-clogging dust mite air purifier can help. Air purifiers work by trapping particles in the air, such as dust mite waste, and removing them, which can help reduce the symptoms of dust mite allergies.
Types of dust mite air purifiers
The most common type is a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. This type of filter traps particles in the air and removes them from the air, including dust mite waste. However, HEPA air purifiers clog with use, so as more particulate matter is trapped, the airflow is blocked, and the clean air delivery rate slows down. So less of the dust mite waste is removed from the air. HEPA is also an old technology that hasn’t changed much in almost 100 years.
Fortunately, there is now a remarkable alternative to HEPA: Brio™ from Agentis Air is an in-room air purifier that uses advanced electrostatic technology to trap and remove airborne dust mite waste without filter clogging. With Brio the clean air flow, or what could be called the dust-mite-removal rate stays at peak level between filter changes. HEPA air purifiers can’t make the same promise because of their blocking and clogging technology. Brio also removes other fine and ultrafine invisible irritants and allergens, including pet dander, mold spores, pollen, smoke, and viruses as small as 0.011 microns.
How to use an air purifier for a dust mite allergy
Once you’ve chosen an air purifier, it’s important to use it correctly. If you have a HEPA air purifier, it is important to change the filter frequently, because as mentioned earlier, a clogging filter equals reduced performance. Here’s where there is a big difference between HEPA air purifiers and Brio. In tests of similarly sized air purifiers, the HEPA air purifiers needed filter changes four to five times as often as Brio to stay at the same performance level. Meaning one Brio air filter can last four to five times as long as a comparable HEPA filter. And that also means Brio can save you a lot of money year after year. Especially if you have air purifiers in every room. Shop for Brio.
It’s also important to place the air purifier in the right place. It should be placed in the room where you spend the most time, such as the bedroom or living room, but it also belongs in the rooms that are the most dust-mite friendly – with curtains, pillows, rugs and other fabrics.
Finally, it’s important to keep the air purifier running at all times. This will help keep the air in your home clean and reduce the amount of dust mite waste and other allergens in the air.
Find out more about air purifiers and allergies
Dust mite allergies can be a difficult problem to deal with. However, with proper prevention and the use of the right type of air purifier, you can reduce the amount of dust mite allergens in the air and help reduce your symptoms.