Is house dust bad for allergies?

House dust is one of the most common reasons for asthma and other allergies. House dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed on dead animal and human skin cells. Their droppings contain enzymes that can cause allergic reactions, such as itchy eyes, postnasal drip and coughing. It's inevitable that every house is filled with dust from dead skin cells, which inevitably attract dust mites. However, there are things you can do to drastically decrease the dust mites in your home, essentially removing the cause of the allergy and alleviating breathing problems inside your home.

If you reduce the amount of dust in your home, the number of mites and the amount of waste they produce will be diminished as well. Dust builds up on areas that come into contact with shed skin cells, such as mattresses, bedding and carpeting. The mites naturally navigate toward these areas, and breed quickly. The more mites in your home, the more droppings they make, increasing problems for those who are allergic. Furthermore, each time you tread on a carpet or shake out your clothes, it causes the dust to go airborne, eventually resting on other surfaces, such as countertops or book cases. It is the airborne dust that produces the allergic reaction.


To reduce the amount of dust in your home, cover mattresses and pillows with dustproof bedding and regularly launder all bedding, nightclothes and stuffed toys with hot water. Clean surfaces from dust build-up often. Replace carpets with tile, wood or linoleum flooring and fabric furniture with wood or leather, which helps minimize the places where mites can hide.

In addition, ventilating your house every day can help remove the airborne dust particles naturally. Since dust mites thrive in warm, humid surroundings, consider buying a dehumidifier to reduce your home's humidity. Furthermore, you can purchase vacuum cleaners with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters attached, trapping dust mites as you work.