What is an allergy?
An allergy is a response by the body’s immune system to something that is called an allergen. Some people are more sensitive to these allergens and react when exposed to them. It is important to note that not all reactions are harmful to a person, and only in some extreme cases will a person experience an acute allergic reaction to these allergens. These severe reactions can be life-threatening and are commonly known as anaphylaxis, hence the term anaphylactic shock.
Dust mites one of the most common sources of allergens
One of the most common sources of allergens within the home are dust mites. These dust mites share our living spaces and are found just about everywhere in the home. These tiny creatures live off the flakes of skin that people and animals shed every day. The waste produced by mites are the allergens that can trigger sneezing, wheezing, inflamed skin, runny nose, red eyes, and itchiness. The human immune system wrongly identifies these allergens as disease causing germs and releases antibodies to attack these allergens. This results in the allergic reactions and if not treated, can lead to severe health problems.
Many people often confuse a cold for what is actually an allergic reaction to these allergens. Subsequently the treatment of antibiotics only deal with the symptoms and not the actual cause of the allergic reactions.
So how does one deal with dust mites?
Due to their size and distribution they are very difficult to eradicate. The goal is more to manage them so that their impact is marginal. Mattresses and bedding materials are the most popular places for dust mites to congregate. Studies of home mattresses have shown that each gram of dust in them can contain more than 2,500 mites!
Dust mites in the mattress can be dealt most effectively with a vacuum cleaner that has a water filtration system. Having your mattress steam cleaned twice a year also helps a lot to prevent a major infestation.
In flooring there are various ways that one can deal with dust mites. Contrary to popular belief, tiles and hard floors are not necessarily the best way in which to combat allergens. Due to the smooth surface of the hard floors any movement of the air picks these up and are easily breathed in. The fibrous nature of carpets are best for keeping allergens trapped on the floor preventing them from being in the air. That said, a traditional carpet with the majority of underfelts available becomes a haven where dust mites breed. The carpeting itself is treated to kill off any dust mites and microbes, but then the underfelt becomes the greatest problem. Having a proper underfelt like Spillguard, which is part of Top Carpets and Floors Healthguard treatment, eliminates this problem due to the fact that it is non porous and dust mites cannot breed inside it.
With all flooring the best method is regular cleaning. Vacuuming and mopping of floors will remove dust and allergens. In carpeting, regular vacuuming with a good strong water filtration vacuum will help trap the allergens and dust mites in the water. Steam cleaning your carpets will also help eradicate the dust mite problem
When installing new flooring it is important to note that there will always be existing dust mites and other microbes that produce allergens. It is important to get rid of these prior to doing a new flooring installation. Top Carpets and Floors have developed a system to eliminate the problem at the start, providing a complete flooring solution that will prevent the transfer and growth of these allergen causing microbes for many years.