Home Allergies House Dust Control
House Dust Control

House dust control plays a very important part in the treatment of those individuals who are allergic to dust. House dust is always present o matter how clean you keep your house. Dust, in microscopic quantities, is always floating in the air. It cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced. Reducing the amount of house dust is very beneficial because the allergic symptoms are proportionately related to the amount of dust exposure. The less the amount of dust, the less the symptoms.

The bedroom is the most important room of the house, because we spend more time in there than in any other room. When it comes to cleaning the house, the bedroom is often neglected. Bedroom dust is highly allergenic because of the presence of a microscopic organism called a "dust mite." The mite thrives on human hair, skin sheddings, etc., which are often present in the bed. Box springs, mattresses and pillows are other favorite places for mites. Dust mites prefer temperatures above 70 degrees F and humidity over 40%. Studies indicate that about 10% of the US population is allergic to dust mites. Among young asthmatics almost 45% are allergic to dust mites.

Following is a list of measures to help you reduce house dust and mites. They are listed in order of importance. While it may not be practical to follow all the directions, as many as possible should be followed.

Box spring, mattress, and pillow should be covered by a plastic airtight, zippered encasing. Such encasings can be obtained from department stores or one of the several allergy supply stores. 

The bedroom should be cleaned at least once a week, if possible, twice a week. Wash the pillowcases, bed sheets, vacuum the floor, clean the windows, books and any furniture in the bedroom.

Do not allow any animals in the bedroom. If you are allergic to animals, then animals should be removed from the house. Even if you are not allergic to the animal, you should not allow the animal in the bedroom at any time during the day or night. Animals shed hair and skin dander and mites grow on these sheddings. It is helps to wash indoor cats once a week. This greatly reduces the amount of cat dander in the house. 

The bedroom should be kept as empty as possible. Remove books, stuffed animals, and other unnecessary items from the bedroom. The closet doors should be kept closed at all times. 

Replace the filter in the furnace at least twice a year. Cover the heater outlet with coarse muslin and change the muslin frequently. 

If you have a humidifier at home, change the water frequently (at least twice a week). 

Most room filters were found to be ineffective in reducing the number of mites or dust related allergy symptoms. Similarly the efficacy of the chemical agents to reduce mite allergy is not proved.