Microscopic Hazards to Watch for in Your Home This Winter

We typically associate allergies with spring and summer, when high pollen counts fill the air and leave allergy sufferers sniffling and sneezing. However, winter brings its own microscopic hazards, with dust mites and mold spores creating misery for a whole new set of sufferers. ”

An allergic reaction can occur when the immune system overreacts to the presence of a foreign substance. When it is alerted to a possible invasion, the immune system begins production of proteins known as antibodies. However this process can go into overdrive and perceive a substance as harmful when it is not. The resulting immune response, such as a runny nose, is an attempt to flush out the mistaken invader.

The Mayo Clinic describes dust mites and microscopic insects that thrive in dusty house conditions. Bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets are ideal homes for dust mines and they especially covet warm, humid conditions. Once the heating gets turned on, dust mites find the perfect environment to breed.

The allergic reactions to dust mites can vary amongst individuals. Those with mild reactions may have occasional bouts of sneezing, with watery eyes and a runny nose. For some unfortunate people, the condition is chronic and leaves them with persistent sneezing, congestion, facial pressure, and cough.

Although many people see their beds as their main source of comfort, dust mites may be guilty of the same. Depending on a mattress’ age, it can be home to between 1 million and 10 million dust mites.

Even more shocking, the weight of a mattress can double in 10 years due to a dust mite infestation. A pillow can also collect its fair share – with its weight rising by about 10% after a year.

It is estimated by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology that close to 27% of Americans has dust mite sensitivity.

 

Written by Elijah Lamond