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Health Tip: Getting Rid of Dust Mites

-- No matter how clean your home is, tiny insects called dust mites may still live in mattresses, carpets, furniture and pillows.

Many people are allergic to dust mites, which can trigger symptoms such as congestion, runny and itchy nose, and sneezing. Mites also can worsen asthma symptoms.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to minimize the misery of dust mites:

  • Each week, wash all bed linens in hot water. This includes blankets, sheets and pillows.
  • Carpets can harbor dust mites, so opt for wood, linoleum or tile flooring in the bedroom.
  • Vacuum carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture each week.
  • Dust your home at least once weekly.
  • Buy washable stuffed animals for your children, and wash the stuffed animals frequently.
  • Talk with your doctor about whether it's a good idea to take an antihistamine and/or decongestant to help manage allergy symptoms.
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Posted: August 2009