Updated: Aug 17, 2019
About eight months ago, I suddenly developed extreme allergy symptoms. My sinuses were congested, my eczema was uncontrollable, I wasn't sleeping through the night, and I was waking up with itchy, swollen eyes. An allergy test showed that I was extremely allergic to dust mites.
Dust mites, invisible to the naked eye, are in everything that is made of cloth and fabric. They thrive in humid areas but, with that being said, they can live all year and in dry areas. Worst of all, it's impossible to get rid of them. An allergic reaction is caused by the bug itself and it's waste products. Unfortunately, you can't avoid dust mites but here are great ways to keep them under control.
Step 1: Controlling Your Symptoms
My allergist recommend Zyrtec. You can buy the generic brand, which is just as good, at Costco. It doesn't leave me feeling drowsy either. He also recommend taking Flonase to help with the nasal congestion. Between the two, my allergy symptoms are gone.
Step 2: Deep Clean
This is kinda a catch 22 because cleaning stirs up the mites causing a big reaction, but if you don't do a deep cleaning the mites thrive. (It's recommended by doctors to have someone without an allergy do all the cleaning but realistically that's not always possible.) I've heard it said that most vacuums only pick up 10% of the mites unless it has a HEPA filter. Whether or not that's true, vacuums still pick up everything mites eat (like dead skin, pet dander, dirt and more). Wash everything that is cloth or fabric that is possible in hot water (130 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter) to kill dust mites. If you can't wash it, at least vacuum it.
Step 3: Dust Mite Proofing
Most allergist recommend removing all carpet, fabric shades, etc. that can't be cleaned in a washer to keep the population to a minimum. It is especially important to make sure your bedroom is as free of mites as possible. After a deep cleaning or mattress, comforter, mattress cover, and pillow(s) replacement ,cover them with zippered dust-proof covers. These covers are made of a material with pores too small to let dust mites and their waste product through. The mites can still live in your sheets; however, the cover prevents them from getting into your mattress where you can't get rid of them. If you live in an area that's humid, a dehumidifier can help keep the number of mites down. Also, instead of making your bed you should fold the sheets back allowing your bed to air out. This keeps the humidity down in your bed.
Step 4: Buy a HEPA Filter (Or Even a Couple)
HEPA filters are the only filter than can filter out dust mites and their waste products. You wouldn't believe the amount of air pollutents it filters out. They are amazing filters!
I hope this helps you!