The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that one in five Americans suffer from asthma and other allergies. This makes it the fifth most common chronic disease in the nation, with a 33-percent chance of newborns getting one if either parents have an allergy. The country spends nearly $14.5 billion every year in the fight against allergies.
In light of this, people have taken measures to reduce, if not completely eliminate, the likelihood of getting allergies at home. Among these measures include mattress protectors, a removable blanket that shields the bed from irritants. However, a recent study shows that these covers do little good in mitigating allergic reactions.
Researcher Whitney Arroyave for the Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine led the study. Reuters’ Shereen Jegtvig reports:
“The study team found that use of the mattress covers had a large effect in reducing exposure to house mite dust levels – about 20 percent – but this reduction had no statistically significant impact on house dust mite sensitization, or symptoms such as wheezing, asthma, runny nose or dermatitis.
Arroyave said it isn’t clear why dust mite covers don’t seem to be effective in relieving allergies, but it’s possible they don’t lower mite levels enough to improve symptoms, or maybe beds aren’t the main source of exposure for the dust mites.”
Around the mid-1970s, mattresses were untreated, rendering them largely unprotected from mites and other allergens. Roughly 30 years later, the Consumer Product Safety Commission required mattress manufacturers to treat their beds with approved chemicals, such as boric acid. This has now become commonplace in treated cotton mattresses.
It should be obvious to replace mattresses that are old and worn out, since beds easily become breeding grounds for allergens, such as dust mites, over time. Fortunately, today’s bedroom furniture in Sacramento, CA and other areas are more resistant to allergens than before. This should help especially those who are more susceptible to allergens.
While allergists aren’t quick to rule out mattress covers as a source of allergens despite the study results, it’s still ideal to check your bed once a while. If you’re spending too much time cleaning the mattress, it may be every reason to buy new Sacramento beds from stores like The Healthy Bed Store.
(Article information from “Mattress covers may not help with dust mite allergies,” Reuters, February 28, 2014)