How Can You Prevent Pillow Allergies?

August 12, 2012  |  allergies

girl hugging pillowHave you ever experienced waking up in the morning sneezing your head off, but unsure where you got the allergies? Or were there times when you stayed up all night with a runny nose?

You may wonder why you have scratchy eyes and sniffles even if it is not pollen season, or even if you have not exposed yourself to other allergens.

There is one source of allergens you probably have never thought of – your pillow.

Your pillow, especially if you have been using it for years changed for years, may be home to tiny organisms called dust mites. Essentially, they are almost everywhere  and you cannot see them. They are very small, at around 0.4 millimeters in size. Usually, these dust mites love hot weather. They are almost everywhere in the tropics, such as Florida and some parts of Asia, but they are quite rare in places with colder climate.

How Do Dust Mites Cause Allergies?

Dust mites love eating up flakes of human skin, but it is not their bites that cause allergies. It’s their feces. The fecal matter of dust mites contains a substance called DerP1, which can cause allergies. People who allergic to the feces of dust mites may experience eczema, sinus problems that never goes away, and asthma-like symptoms.

How To Prevent Your Pillow From Becoming A Potent Allergen?

close up of pillowHaving allergies is not fun at all  it prevents you from going to sleep due to your runny nose, you keep on sniffling, and your eyes water up. Your skin gets red and rashes may pop up, can put you in a generally rotten mood. Here are some tips to prevent your pillow from becoming one of your allergens:

  • Wash your pillow cases, linen, blankets, comforters and all else in hot water every week. This can stop the spread of dust mites, which thrive on the dead skin cells that shed off your face and body.
  • You may try buying a plastic dust mite casing that can cover your pillows, mattress, and even your box springs. If you feel uncomfortable sleeping with the feel of plastic along your face, there are dust mite casings that are plastic on the inside, but cloth on the outside.
  • Purchase more pillows, and assign a rotation. Since dust mites feed on flakes of the skin, if you cycle the use of the pillows, they will be kept in control numbers. This is also helpful when your other pillows are in the wash. Buy a plastic case for those pillows you’re keeping in the closet to avoid dust accumulation.
  • Buy hypoallergenic pillows. There are many pillows, especially those made from synthetic materials which are hypoallergenic. Dust mites and other allergens tend to thrive more in organic pillows. You can invest in a hypoallergenic memory foam pillow, for example. It does not only protect you from allergens and dust mites, it also provides excellent support for your neck and head when you sleep. Dust mites live not just on pillows but on mattresses and linens, too. So it may also be a good idea to get a hypoallergenic set for everything.

These are just a few things that you can do to avoid allergies at night. This way you can get the good night’s rest that you deserve.