Stanley Fineman, MD, Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic. Karen DeMuth, MD, Allergist, Emory Children’s Center. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Ohio State University—Extension Fact Sheet: "House Dust Mites."
Outdoor allergens, like pollen, can spell trouble both for those with hay fever and for people with asthma.
The tricky part about asthma is finding out what causes it—what triggers the symptoms in the patients. So, many patients—in fact most patients—have allergies triggering their asthma symptoms.
For Matthew Griffin there's no end to allergy season because some of his most troublesome triggers occur indoors.
I have a pretty wide variety of allergies. My biggest two or three is pollens and dust mites and dogs and cats.
Obviously you can't keep away from all triggers at all times, but you can draw your defenses around the areas where you'll get the most out of your efforts.
Karen DeMuth, MD:
We generally concentrate on the bedroom — to be honest with you — because that's the room where you spend, hopefully, eight hours every night sleeping.
So we want to make that bedroom as pristine as possible.
So it's probably a bad idea to let pets near your bed if you're allergic. But there are other factors to consider even if you don't have a pet…like how to contain dust mites.
Dust mites are little microscopic insects that feed on shed human skin.
Harmless to most people, the droppings left behind by these minuscule critters can ignite symptoms or an asthma attack for those allergic.
Dust mites tend to live on fabrics and upholstery that frequently come into contact with human or animal skin—like furniture, carpets, curtains, pillows and mattresses.
…So if we can help patients to avoid the dust mites and the best way to do that is really encasing the mattresses and box springs in a dust-mite-proof encasement.
You can further reduce dust mites in your bedroom by:
Replacing carpeting with wood or tile flooring; Removing clutter, like extra pillows and stuffed animals; Vacuuming under and around the bed on a regular basis;
and frequently washing bedding and curtains using hot water. As far as outdoor allergens go… do your best to keep them outside.
We have the air conditioning on a lot—we never open our windows.
Leave your shoes at the door or outside so that you don't track it in throughout the carpet or through the house because it can stay there.