Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Allergic to dust mites

  1. Apr 18, 2014 #1

    Averagesupernova

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Just found out I am allergic to dust mites. This news explains a lot in my health as of the last several years. Does anyone deal with this? I would appreciate any input on how to deal with what would seem like a losing battle concerning bedding. I can deal with getting rid of all the carpet and things like this. Wondering if an air or water bed is a good answer.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2014 #2

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yep, it's a big issue for me too. Here's what I suggest.

    Assume the mattress you're using is a thriving ecosystem full of mites because if you haven't been using a mattress cover, it most certainly is. If you can afford it, get a new mattress.

    Whether or not you can get a new mattress, you need to start using a mattress cover - one that will block mites. This is critical!

    Wash your sheets weekly in hot water, if possible. Wash the mattress cover in hot water about once a month.

    Get a new pillow every few months. They are very cheap at places like Target - think I paid $6 for my last one. Use a pillow cover - it's different from a pillow case (this is tough for me, I can't find one I really like, but you might have better luck).

    I have to take antihistamines every night or I'll get hives. Generic Benadryl works great and it's cheap. Bonus: it makes you sleepy.
     
  4. Apr 18, 2014 #3

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Try using DOT (disodium octaborate tetrahydrate) I think the household formulation is a powder and is sold as Polybor. I've used a different formulation, not for inside use, for termite-proofing wood. This is not borax.

    The toxicity of DOT is very low. DOT plus lots of vacuuming helps immensely. And do follow lisab's advice!
     
  5. Apr 18, 2014 #4

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Oh dear, I hate those things, luckily not allergic. Yes, get the mattress and pillow covers and WASH. Follow Jim and Lisab's advice!
     
  6. Apr 19, 2014 #5

    Averagesupernova

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I never use a pillow anymore so that is an easy fix. As far as a mattress cover goes I have always used one but will need to get something that won't let those little critters through. I already cranked the water heater temp up another 10 degrees specifically for washing bedding. It is another one of those learning experiences in life. I would love to get a new mattress but I see that as a very temporary fix since the one I have now is quite new. I am leaning towards something that they cannot burrow down into like air or water. Maybe I will just learn to sleep on a sheet of plywood. LOL
     
  7. Apr 19, 2014 #6

    wukunlin

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I had that pre-10. My parents rushed me to the emergency a bunch of times when the allergies gave me severe asthma attacks. The decided to desensitize me (that was in the final human trial stage at the time, so the cost was partially funded for us). I had to take regular jabs of dust mite antigens. It went from a needle every 3 days, to every week, then every month. Took around 2 years in total. My doctor had to monitor my reactions closely. I don't think I had any serious allergic reactions to dust mites afterwards.
     
  8. Apr 19, 2014 #7

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Mattress cover, pillow cover, duvet cover: I have them all. Keeps the mites out of your bedding (or in, I don't think you need a new mattress), the mites that live on top you can get rid off by washing regularly. Airing your bedding is also important, so don't make your bed when you get out: leave it open so that moisture (which mites like) evaporates.

    How about your couch and chairs? They usually are made out of fabric, get ones with a cleanable surface.
     
  9. Apr 19, 2014 #8

    Averagesupernova

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I talked to my sister who uses an inexpensive air mattress and they have good luck with it. Need to replace every couple of years because of leaks but for the price of a new mattress you can replace them quite often and have something new every couple of years. I bought a couch recently. And of course it is fabric. I didn't want it but the girlfriend twisted my arm til I gave in. Now that she is gone I should probably get the couch gone too. The most I use for a pillow is a folded up bath towel which can go in the wash every couple of days if necessary. The way I see it, the air mattress can be washed down periodically and all the other bedding can go through the washing machine. I'll get there. The allergy drugs are already improving my state of mind. Clearer thinking, better attitude and more confidence. Thanks for the replies so far everyone.
     
  10. Apr 19, 2014 #9

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    With regard to Benadryl (whose active ingrediant is diphenhydramine HCl), I've seen some studies linking it to Alzheimer's or dementia. This link (http://www.alz.org/professionals_and_researchers_behavioral_symptoms_pr.asp) contains the following information.

    I don't know the full story on diphenhydramine as yet, but I'm trying to err on the cautious side until I know more.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Allergic to dust mites
  1. Overwhelmed by dust! (Replies: 9)

  2. Gold dust (Replies: 3)

Loading...