Best Products for Dust Mite Allergies
Are you allergic to dust mites? Want to learn how to get rid of them? Read on!
I was in my late 20s when I found out I was allergic to dust mites. Since then, it's been a struggle to find the best products to help keep my house clean so I can live my life without (too much) sneezing and coughing. It's been an ongoing process, but I was pretty happy to make these changes once I realized how much better I felt. I'm hoping you can benefit from my trials and errors.
Step 1: Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec?
The first thing my doctor did was put me on Claritin. That was a sugar pill for me. It honestly did nothing, which I realized when she switched me to Allegra. Once the Allegra kicked in, I remember walking around New York City (no dust mites there, no sirree), thinking, "Oh. My. God. THIS is how people usually live their lives?"
I've since changed to Zyrtec because it's equally effective for my allergies and I can get a decent price on the generic.
When I started taking these, they were all prescription, and now they are all over-the-counter, so I suppose you could try each and see what works. I would still discuss with your doctor though.
Step 2: Vacuum Cleaner with HEPA filter
If you are allergic to dust mites, the best option is really to pull up any wall-to-wall carpeting you have. If you can't do that, or don't want to, you should absolutely invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. You can even find a reasonably affordable one pretty easily (like this one on Amazon). In fact, I've gotten mine repaired a couple of times, and I'm pretty sure I've paid more for repairs than a new one. Hmmm, maybe it's time for me to get a new one also?
The HEPA filter cleans the air, so that's the important part for those of us with dust mite allergies. If you want to go crazy, you could splurge on a Dyson, but I've found any old vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter works fine.
Step 3: A Mattress Protector
I bought my mattress protectors several years ago (I'm noticing that a lot of them say 15-year warranty, so perhaps I need to start looking for more!). I confess I don't clean them as much as I should; it's a real pain to pull them off the mattress and get them back on. But I haven't noticed any bad effects. They still work. I love these; I really used to wake up sneezing every single day, and now I ... don't. It's amazing when you think about it. Don't forget to get covers for your pillows as well -- that's where your head is!
I only wish there was something portable I could use for hotel rooms!
Step 4: An Air Purifier
I bought one of these years ago when I was first diagnosed with my allergies, but at some point I stopped using it, and even ended up selling it at a yard sale. It was really difficult to get replacement filters for it, so when it stopped working, it _really_ stopped working. Fast forward several years, and I was having a lot of sneezing fits, even with my mattress covers and medication. I decided it was time to go the air purifier route again. I've never looked back.
This one has been fantastic. I change the pre-filter whenever the light goes on (and they are often pretty inexpensive). It's a little loud if you go up to the higher levels, but I usually run it non-stop on low. I think of it as a white noise machine too.
Step 5: Dust Mite Spray
This is a new addition to my arsenal. It's great if you don't have time to do a full cleaning. This is great in a pinch, but probably a complete cleaning is better (who has time for that though?). I've just started using it, so I don't have a lot to add. I like it, but I haven't decided if I love it yet or not. I would imagine if you haven't implemented all these other changes, you would see a much more noticeable improvement than I have. It's definitely cheaper than an air purifier and mattress covers though, so if your allergies aren't bad, I think it's definitely worth a shot.