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Role of Pillows in Asthma

People who are suffering from asthma are very cautious about their surroundings making sure that they do not get an asthma attack. In this endeavor, they take proper care of hygiene in their personal life. You will see many asthmatic patients regularly changing their pillow covers as often as everyday.  However, they do not focus on the pillows, which could be serving as a host to many varieties of allergens. Pillows continue to be used for years before being replaced. Many dont even get the opportunity to get aired. This is harmful as these pillows act as a catalyst in an asthma attack.

The seriousness of this threat can be gauged by the fact that according to The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as many as 45% homes have dust mite concentrations that are higher than acceptable allergic sensitivity levels. With such a high percentage, you dont know what all types of microscopic creatures could be sharing your bed.

While the problem is not too acute for normal people, this is entirely different for patients suffering from chronic asthma, allergies, or respiratory ailments. The percentage does seem to create panic, but with a little bit of care and by following a hygienic lifestyle this problem could be resolved.

To address this problem, allergists and other health experts advise that pillows should be changed every one or two years and should be aired more frequently. Besides this, there are other more cumbersome methods such as weekly washing of all bedding in hot water at 130-160 degrees, and steam-cleaning the bedroom carpet and more frequently. They should also wash their bedding in hot water every week. This would be especially beneficial in bringing down symptoms in allergic and asthmatic patients, preventing the build up of dust mites. curtains frequently. There are also available in the arket, options such as the allergen-barrier bedding protectors which can be put to good use.

The mattress and pillow casings infected with house dust mites have a very strong effect on children. As a result, there are great benefits of using bedding, which is covered in allergy-proof material. This has been attested by the study published in January 2003, in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This bedding was tested on 60 children in Denmark and established that it was helpful in bringing down the medication requirement for children suffering from allergy asthma.

Thus in addition to replacing pillows every six months to two years, many doctors also recommend allergen-resistant pillow and mattress coverings. You might try encasing pillows with zippered plastic or vapor permeable fabrics. Hypoallergenic pillows made from polyester fibers are also a good option. Polyurethane-covered mattress and bedding encasings are impermeable to allergens but absorb perspiration, allowing the body to 'breathe'. Even allergy sufferers can use down pillows as long as the down is classified as hypoallergenic, which means the down was extensively cleaned with specialized soaps.

The environment of your home also decides the intensity of dust mites and other allergens in your bedding. For example, if you have a dusty climate and an airy home then there would be more dust and hence, more dust mites. On the other hand, if you have an airtight home, then too you are prone to allergens and dust mites, as they will be trapped inside. As a result, people with homes in dusty or humid and moldy climate should think about changing their bedding such as pillows, more often than others.

It is essential for allergic and asthmatic patients to change their pillows at least once every one or two years, perhaps even more frequently. They should also wash their bedding in hot water every week. This would be especially beneficial in bringing down symptoms in allergic and asthmatic patients, preventing the build up of dust mites.

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