How to use air purifiers to fight allergies to dust and dustmites
Many of us are familiar with that itchy nose and throat that come from being exposed to a dusty environment. This allergy to dust is actually caused by an allergy to the mites in that dust. To help us understand this sensitivity that so many of us experience, let’s answer some questions: what is a dust mite, why are people allergic to them, and how can an air purifier help?
What is allergy to dust and allergy to dust mites?
A very common type of allergy, almost half of the population experiences an allergy to dust mites1,2,3. While the symptoms are mild for many, this allergy can lead to more serious afflictions like asthma in both adults and children. It is estimated that 80 to 95% of asthma in children stems from an allergy. Allergic rhinitis – acute or chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose – may be the cause. Furthermore, almost half of people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma4, drawing an intimate link between the two. One study showed that allergy to dust mites is a leading cause in 57% of asthma cases.
What are these infamous dust mites? Dust mites are small arachnids (belonging to the same family as spiders). As they only measure a few microns, they are invisible to the naked eye. The amount of mite species numbers in the thousands, including the even less-appreciated ticks and chiggers. There are only about ten species of mites that can be found in the home and cause allergies in humans. These are what are commonly known as “dust mites”: they feed mainly on our biological debris (hair, dead skin, nails, etc.) and those of our pets.
House dust mites can be quite useful and play a crucial part of the ecosystem by recycling some of our organic waste. Unfortunately, due to certain proteins found in their exoskeletons and droppings, they can lead to sensitivities and allergies in a significant percentage of people.
Symptoms of dust mite allergy closely resemble the classic symptoms of respiratory or other seasonal allergies: sneezing, skin reactions, sore throat and eyes, or even eczema. For some people, these symptoms can turn into rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or asthma.
With one gram of dust containing up to 2000 mites, it takes an exposure of just two milligrams of dust mites to cause an allergic reaction6. Furthermore, dust mites produce up to 200 times their weight in excreta (to which we are allergic).
Dust mites live in colonies containing as many as several million mites. They usually congregate in mattresses and bedding, curtains, rugs, carpets, and all textiles in general. Their populations are higher in winter than in summer.
How can an air purifier help with your allergy to dust and dust mites?
As many allergy-prone people know, the first line of action against dust mites is to regularly clean and air out your space, particularly bedding. However, air purifiers serve as an excellent solution to combat this type of allergy – as long as they come equipped with a HEPA filter, as is the case with all Eoleaf products.
Filtering dust mites and their waste
Air purifiers containing a HEPA filter can filter all dust and fine particles down to the size of 0.01 microns. This means that they can effectively remove dust from the air including the dust mites themselves.
A large percentage of the dust present in our homes is suspended in the air, making it harder to see than the dust found on our living surfaces. However, just because we cannot see it does not mean it does not exist; the moment a ray of sunlight illuminates the room, particles of dust are immediately exposed. The dust suspended in the air is usually generated when we move about to vacuum or perform other activities in the home. This is where an air purifier comes into play: it jumps into action to completely remove this dust from the air.
Dusty air does not simply pass through a HEPA filter in Eoleaf air purifiers. Our devices are also equipped with a pre-filter and a bamboo fibre filter, both of which are excellent forces in acting against dust and everything it contains.
It is crucial to choose an air purifier with a size – and, thus, power – properly adapted to handle your space. Whilst choosing the size of your air purifier, refer to the "CADR" (Clean Air Delivery Rate). This benchmark indicator measures the volume of air an air purifier cleans over a given period of time. A properly-sized air purifier should be able to purify all the air in your space within just a few minutes.
High-quality air purifiers contain a broad spectrum of filtration technologies and action, allowing them to combat a variety of pollutants and allergens present in your air. Some examples are as follows:
Eoleaf devices combine 8 filtration technologies and can remove 99.97% of particles with a diameter of greater than or equal to 0.01 µm. Our devices are proven to help fight cross-allergies and any potentially irritating substances in your indoor air, filling your home with fresh, breathable air.
1 Bauchau, V., Durham, S. (2004). Prevalence and rate of diagnosis of allergic rhinits in Europe, European Respiratory Journal, vol. 24, no 5, p. 758-764.
2 Arbes, S. J., Jr., Gergen, P. J., Elliott, L., Zeldin, D. C. (2005). Prevalences of positive skin test responses to 10 common allergens in the US population: results from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, J Allergy Clin Immunol., vol. 116, no 2, p. 377-383.
3 République Française. (2017, May 30). Un dérèglement du système immunitaire de plus en plus fréquents . Inserm. Retrieved January 6, 2023, from https://www.inserm.fr/dossier/allergies/
4 Mullol J. et al. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma Update (ARIA 2008) : the perspective from Spain. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2008 ;18 :327-334 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18331513/
5 Gregory, L. G., & Lloyd, C. M. (2011). Orchestrating house dust mite-associated allergy in the lung. Trends in Immunology, 32(9), 402–411. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1471490611001116?via%3Dihub
6 Loumé, L. (2015, October 11). Printemps : 7 choses que vous ignorez (peut-être) sur les acariens. Sciences et Avenir. Retrieved January 6, 2023, from https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/sante/allergies/printemps-7-choses-que-vous-ignorez-peut-etre-sur-les-acariens_28021