For as long as I can remember I have been told to use Allergy Bedding because of my dust mite allergy. I never questioned this, or gave it any thought in the last 30 years or so. I always had synthetic bedding.
Molly was diagnosed with severe dust mite allergy, along with Asthma, multiple food and other environmental allergies at a young age. Naturally I bought her synthetic allergy bedding. We take our meds to reduce symptoms, carry our inhalers, and generally do everything possible to reduce our symptoms, or so we thought…
Dust Mite Allergy
Dust mite allergy is very common, and it plays a significant role in asthma and allergic rhinitis – that’s a stuffed up nose to you and me. Molly’s dust mite allergy is serious enough that she qualifies for immunology therapy so it’s pretty bad. We follow all the advice on how to deal with Dust Mite Allergy – so that means:
Frequent vacuuming and dusting
Keeping rooms ventilated (open windows)
Dusts Mite covers on pillows and beds
We even have a dust mite hand held vacuum that we use on the bed and pillows along with anti-dust mite spray for soft furnishings. I remember well the toddler tantrums when I froze Molly’s favourite stuffed toy to kill dust mites. Not to mention the arguments over toys ‘having a bath in the washing machine’.
So you can imagine how I reacted when Molly came home from a few nights away claiming to have slept better on feather pillows. I was dismissive, and she was insistent in the way that only a 15 year old teenager can be. My answer to all issues like this is to do research, so off I toddled, confident that I’d be able to quote stats at her about how allergy bedding was so much better than feather for dust mite allergy…
The Facts on Dust Mites and Pillows
After 30 minutes on the computer it was a long walk downstairs….instead of being able to confirm that I was, naturally, right, I had to admit that all was not as I thought. Few people have an allergy to feathers so the issue is about the environment for dust mites. The Asthma and Allergy Centre site studies showing that feather pillows have been shown to harbour less dust mites than synthetic pillows, Live Science and Allergy Best Buys make similar observations. It’s all about the density of the weave, and creating a warm environment for dust mites to thrive. In light of this, I really didn’t feel I could refuse to do our own experiment.
So, two feather pillows were ordered. One for Molly, and one for me. For as long as I can remember both of us have woken up each morning with a stuffy nose. Both of us use Beconase nose spray each day, both of us are Asthmatic so its something that affects our daily life.
After switching pillows, both of us slept better, and have woken up with less stuffed up. The difference in considerable. I really think this needs to be more widely understood and recognised. Since allergic reactions to Dust Mites are an Asthma trigger in many people, this is actually serious stuff in my view. My take out on this is that if you have been using synthetic pillows thinking they’d help your Dust Mite allergy it’s time to think again. Take a look at the Dust Mite proof feather pillows that are available, it may just help!
For more information on Dust Mite Allergy do visit Allergy UK.