Many people try to avoid outdoor allergens as much as possible and often forget that there are allergens lurking inside their home. Dust mites are a year-round allergen and can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, itching, and asthma symptoms. Even though dust mites thrive in warm weather, the bugs survive in homes during the winter as people begin to use heating systems and humidifiers. For individuals who suffer from a dust mite allergy, their symptoms may flare this season so, the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers are sharing the dirt on dust mites and how you can get rid of them in your home. Dust Mites Eat Skin Cells Shed by People Dust mites feed on dead skin cells. We shed skin while sleeping so, bedding provides the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive. To minimize the number of dust mites in your bedding, we recommend allergy-proof bedding. You should also wash your bedding in hot water to kill dust mites. The water should be at least 130 ℉. Dust Mites Absorb Water from Humidity in the Atmosphere Rather than drink water, dust mites absorb it. The best way for them to absorb moisture is through the humidity in the atmosphere. Your home may increase in humidity when you use heaters or humidifiers. If you have a dust mite allergy, reducing the relative humidity (RH) in your home is the best way to control dust mites. Buy a dehumidifier for your home and maintain an RH level of less than 50%. This study showed that homes with lower RH levels had significant reductions in dust mites. Dust Contains the Feces and Decaying Bodies of Dust Mites The dust in your home is comprised of many decaying dust mites. This means that the dust sitting on your tv stand and table could be the cause of your sneezing. Since dust is almost everywhere in your home, it is nearly impossible to completely get rid of them. However, once you begin to allergy-proof your home, your dust mite allergy symptoms will improve. Dust Mite Allergy Is Caused by the Proteins in Dust Mite Debris The proteins in dust mite debris are the cause of dust mite allergies. If you experience mild allergy symptoms while at home, you could be allergic to dust mites. An allergy test at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers can help determine the allergy within minutes. Our Board-Certified Allergists will also help manage your dust mite allergy so you can experience relief all year round. Book your appointment online or call (212) 686-4448 for a personalized allergy treatment plan. Meet the Physician Collaborator Dr. Sima Patel is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and one of our highly trained NYC allergists. She is Board-Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Patel online or by calling or visiting one of our six allergy centers throughout Manhattan and Queens.