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The little known villain in respiratory health issues today is the dust mite and your mattress is a haven for them. These little critters can cause all kinds of respiratory problems and who knew a mattress could be the major source.
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Irritation of nerves from dust mites can happen within our airways and nasal passages resulting in runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. These reactions cause air to be expelled powerfully from the nose or trachea. It is in this manner, (dust mites / their waste) irritants trapped in the mucus, which coats the respiratory tract and is then expelled and moved into the mouth where it is then swallowed.
The more serious reactions that are known develop is sinus infections (sinusitis). People with dust mite allergies and asthma often have difficult time controlling their symptoms. Most people will blame their problems on simple hay fever, mold, or just plain old dust never suspecting the real culprit.
The mites’ favorite food is dead human skin like high humidity and temperatures over 70 degrees. Our skin cells shed and fall from our bodies accumulating in our mattresses. The dead skin cells then become attached to various bedding components such as cotton, fibers, foams, and of course all natural latex. They can eat enough skin cells to double the weight of a mattress in ten or more years from their fecal matter, the source of most allergic reactions. In the case of latex these little critters are picky when it comes to their diet and frankly don’t like the taste of latex.
Dust mites aren’t dangerous in the way people think like biting, spreading illness or disease. The main damaging effect can be significant though for some individuals in the form of allergic response.
Regular washing of bed linens such as sheets, mattress pads, and regular vacuuming of the mattress helps, but the mites still exist on the surface and deep down in the bed. A good barrier type mattress cover or pillow protector that is dust mite resistant is recommended. They are particularly helpful if used from day one with a new mattress and pillow. Getting rid of them is virtually impossible. Vacuuming only cleans the surface of a mattress and they can go deep into the open cell structure of a mattress.
Enter our hero the all-natural latex rubber mattress. It is hypoallergenic mold and fungus resistant and dust mites do not like it. They find it harder to penetrate and build their homes in this being said, regular mattress maintenance; examples vacuuming and changing sheets and bedding regularly.