Hay fever typically starts to rear its ugly head around summertime, however, pesky dust mites can really disrupt your sleep. Dust mites can be a problem the whole year-round, but they prefer warm, humid environments. A dust allergy can make other allergy symptoms, including hay fever symptoms, much worse.

Dust mites

Dust mites are microscopic bugs, about 0.2mm long, and constitute part of household dust. They live off dead skin flakes and they and their waste are a major cause of allergies, although they are otherwise harmless.

How Your Bed Can Affect Your Hay Fever

How can you tell if you might have a dust mite problem?

You can look out for the typical allergy symptoms: itchy skin, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, a blocked nose, or red, watery eyes. If there are no other obvious allergens around the house, any combination of these symptoms may well be caused by dust mites.

What might make a dust mite problem worse?

The more soft furnishings you have in your house, the more places for dust mites to thrive. Dust mites live off dead skin, so animal dander is likely to increase the problem. This doesn’t mean you should start to worry about your mattress or sofa cushions, but it may mean you need to be even more on the ball about cleaning in order to keep dust mites away.

How should you handle dust mites?

Dust mites are all but impossible to completely get rid of, but you can certainly do things to decrease the number of dust mites in your home. Changing your bedding regularly, airing the house, and not only vacuuming your floors but frequently going over your furniture with an upholstery attachment are just some of the ways you can keep dust mites away.

How Your Bed Can Affect Your Hay Fever

Does the type of mattress I have make a difference?

The short answer is yes. If you have a mattress with natural fillings such as cotton, wool, cashmere, silk, mohair, lambswool or horsehair, the chances of dust mites building up are higher. These natural fibres have large pore sizes, which makes it easier for dust mites to pass through. By comparison, synthetic fillings or closed-cell structure foams have smaller pore sizes, which makes it harder for dust mites to pass through and build up. These include polyester, memory foam, reflex foam, comfort foam, Geltex. The only natural filling that discourages dust mites is latex due to its closed-cell structure.