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What should I do if I am allergic to dust mites?

Dust mites, which causes dust allergies, live in your bedding, furniture and carpets, so it's common to wake up in the morning with symptoms. In this video, allergy specialist Tania Elliot, MD, shares some tips for avoiding dust allergies at home.

Intermountain Registered Dietitians
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

If you test positive for dust mite allergy:

  • Wash bed linens and stuffed toys at least once a week in hot water to kill dust mites. The temperature of the water must be hotter than 130° to kill the mites. (Everything on the bed should be washable with hot water—sheets, pillowcases, any stuffed animals—or have a special allergy cover.)
  • Put airtight covers around mattresses, box springs, pillows and comforters.
  • If possible, replace wall-to-wall carpeting with solid surface flooring and washable throw rugs.
  • Regularly wipe furniture with a damp cloth each month during the winter season. Place filters over heater vents.
  • When possible, replace upholstered furniture with wood, leather and vinyl furniture that can be easily wiped clean.
  • Keep indoor humidity to less than 50 percent. In dry areas of the West, this is usually easy to do (unless you have a swamp cooler or humidifier).

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends the following tips to help reduce the number of dust mites in your home:

  • Cover mattresses and pillows in zippered dust-proof covers.
  • Wash sheets and blankets weekly in hot water (at least 130 degrees F).
  • Remove wall-to-wall carpeting from your bedroom as well as blinds, curtains, blankets, upholstered furniture, and down-filled covers and pillows.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom.
  • Wear a filter mask when cleaning in the bedroom.
  • Vacuuming and dusting can stir up dust, so try to stay out of the bedroom after cleaning. Also, use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate accumulator (HEPA) filter or a double-layered bag.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home to less than 50 percent as dust mites thrive in humid environments.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.