No matter how clean a house is, all mattresses are prone to becoming contaminated with dust mites which can trigger asthma symptoms. Cleaning a mattress on a regular basis, every 6 months, can be a great help to asthma sufferers.
Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged arachnids, invisible to the human eye and can crawl through the weave of bedding fabrics. About 60% of mites in the home will be found in the mattress and these will feed on tiny flakes of shed human skin cells and produce droppings. As the body moves in the bed, dust and mite excrement is churned up with the mattress acting like bellows and blowing dirt into the mouth, nose, eyes and onto the skin which in turn can cause asthma symptoms to get worse. An average adult will shed about a gram of skin each day and although night clothes and bed linen are washed on a regular basis this will not protect the mattress from becoming infested.
There are many companies that will provide a mattress cleaning service which can help reduce the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms. They will use equipment that is chemical free and leaves the mattress clean and dry.
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Information written by the talkhealth team
Last revised: 6 December 2012
Next review: 13 December 2014