Most people with asthma are allergic to dust mite droppings. Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in warm, damp places. They are too small to see, but they live in mattresses, pillows, and house dust. They live off dead skin flakes, which we all shed. Dust mite allergy can cause asthma flare-ups. Your health care provider can test you for dust mite allergy. If you have this allergy, there are many steps you can take to control dust mites at home.

Control Dust Mites in the Bedroom

You spend many hours in your bedroom every day. Take these steps to control dust mites in your bed and bedroom:

Control Dust Throughout Your Home

Housecleaning


Ask your health care provider about special products to control dust mites. Here are some other tips:

  • Ask others to vacuum carpets and upholstery weekly. If you can, leave home during the vacuuming. If you must vacuum, ask your doctor about wearing a special mask.

  • Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters or double-ply bags in your vacuum cleaner.

  • Wipe all smooth furniture and counters with a damp cloth once a week.

Furniture and Window Coverings


Upholstered furniture and some window coverings hold dust mites. Try these ideas instead:

  • Choose nonfabric upholstery, like leather or vinyl.

  • Replace horizontal blinds with pull-down shades or vertical blinds.

  • Hang washable curtains instead of heavy drapes.

Reduce Indoor Humidity


Dust mites need humid (damp) air to survive. Try these tips:

  • Don't use humidifiers, vaporizers, or evaporative (swamp) coolers.

  • Try a dehumidifier to reduce air moisture to less than 50%.

Copyright: © 2000-2010 The StayWell Company, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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Asthma is more common in boys than girls.