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Knowledge is Power

Ashley Day, MA

I have been employed at BreatheAmerica for the last three years. Since the beginning I have learned so much about Allergy and Asthma. I have had the privilege to work with some of the best doctors, people who dedicate their time to help people gain control of their allergy and asthma symptoms.

I have found that one of the best ways to gain control is through education, and this month I thought it might be helpful to provide some information on dust mites. For creatures you can’t even see, dust mites can stir up a lot of trouble. About 20 million Americans are allergic to these little bugs. You may feel as if you have an endless cold or even asthma.

For people who are allergic to dust mites, the symptoms are similar to those of pollen allergies:¬† red, itchy, watery eyes; runny, itchy, stuffy nose; and sneezing are all symptoms you could experience. Medication can help, but there are also simple ways to keep dust mites away. To get rid of these tiny creatures in your home, it helps to know about their living habits. They prefer temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer and humidity of 75% to 80%. They can’t survive in colder, drier places.

In the U.S., dust mite allergies peak in July and August, due to the warm weather. Dust mites like to eat dead skin from pets and humans. You probably shed enough skin a day to feed a million dust mites. Flakes of dead skin in carpeting, beds, and furniture are like snacks for dust mites. It is wise to always dust with a damp cloth and vacuum often. Using dust mite resistant covers for your box spring, mattress, and pillows are also ways of preventing exposure.

I look forward to continuing our mission at BreatheAmerica Tulsa, to improve the lives of patients struggling with allergy and asthma.

UPDATE: BreatheAmerica centers in Richmond, Columbus, and Tulsa have closed. Please visit our location page for information on our Albuquerque, El Paso, and Shreveport clinics.