A simple solution to a serious problem?
Asthma is one of the most difficult of the disorders to live with. An asthma attack can set in at any time, and you may find that you are allergic or sensitive to a wide range of problems no “normal breather” would ever think about. Anything from a bit of pollen to a few grains of dust in the air can trigger an asthma reaction, affecting your breathing. Well, according to a new study, dust allergy bedding may be the key to preventing asthma attacks. Something as simple as a new bedsheet could help to stop your asthma before it kicks in!
A study conducted in the UK found that dust mite-proof bed covers could drastically reduce asthma flare-ups. Close to 300 children were included in the study. Their beds were covered either with a regular sheet (placebo) or a mite-proof bed cover, and the scientists tracked their health for a full year.
Within that year, 42% of the children with the placebo bed covers experienced a severe asthma flare-up that led them to be hospitalized. Compare that to the 29% of kids with mite-proof bed covers, and you can see the real difference—almost 40% fewer instances of attacks! Not only did the instances of asthma flare-ups decrease, but the kids with the mite-proof bedding went for longer before experiencing their first flare-up after the study began.
One thing to note is that the bed covers didn’t decrease the children’s risk of less severe asthma attacks. The study only examined asthma flare-ups severe enough to require hospitalization or a visit to the emergency room. It didn’t look at the instances of minor asthma attacks or how the bedding could affect them.
READ MORE: 8 Dangerous Chemicals in Wallpaper
The data does indicate that even though the mite-proof bedding may not actually prevent asthma attacks, it can curb them. The severity of the flare-ups can be reduced, and the bed covers can enhance protection and delay the flare-ups. For parents of asthmatic children, it’s a good idea to invest in the dust allergy bedding to stop dust mites from causing harm to your child.
Be warned: mite-proof bed covers are pricey—up to $200 for a single set. They are definitely not an investment to take lightly. They may only last a few years (like regular bed covers), meaning you’ll have to buy a new set more often than you’d like. At $200 per set, that’s a big investment.
The study recommends considering it for children who are allergic to dust mites, not for ALL asthmatic children. If your child has no negative reaction to dust mites, the bed covers may not do anything for them. However, for children who react strongly to the presence of dust mites, they’re a worthwhile investment to consider.
There are many other things you can do to reduce your child’s risk of asthma attacks:
- Avoid having pets (cats and dogs) in the house
- Stay away from places where people smoke—secondhand smoke can do a number on your child’s lungs
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture in the room
- Get rid of mold in your home, and fix leaks and drips that could contribute to mold production
- Stay away from harsh chemicals and cleaning products in your home
- Change your child’s pillowcases, sheets, and bedcovers to allergy-proof ones
- Get rid of any carpets or stuffed animals that could be collecting dust
- Pay attention to allergy season and the quality of the air around your home
Do these things, and you can decrease your child’s risk of asthma flare-ups!