cold and flu season, but if you have the sniffles and feel
exhausted, the culprit might not be a germ.
the last time you dusted everything in your bedroom?
question Dr. Neeta Ogden, an adult and pediatric allergist and
immunologist at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New
Jersey, finds herself often asking patients.
complain about the cough that they canít shake in the
winter," she said. "Many times that can be due to
on bedroom surfaces can disrupt sleep, causing exhaustion and
even irritating symptoms like coughing or sneezing that people
might not realize are rooted near the bed.
think the bedroom is really the No. 1 place that they may not
be aware of thatís harboring allergens," Ogden said.
is a main source to examine. Dust mites hide in the mattress
and pillows "because they actually feed off of our skin
cells," she said.
solution? She suggests a barrier between the mattress and you,
like an AllerEase mattress protector.
some people, it can be a real problem," she said.
check your furniture. Perhaps the last time you cleaned for
guests, you skipped the bedroom, knowing you could close the
door. Or maybe that became skipping the last few cleanings.
layer of dust often collects on a lamp or dresser or
windowsill. And below the bed, dust balls gather, and they can
include dust mites.
might find dander or even roach residue or pollen," she
wipes available, she suggests, or even make a cleaning
solution at home with vinegar and water.
down these surfaces on a regular basis," she said.
isnít exempt: Throw it in laundry with hot water and a hot
dryer cycle once a week, she said.
with stuffed animals. "Anything thatís stuffed is going
to harbor dust mites," she said.
them, or freeze them for 24 hours to get rid of any dust
forget pillows: Wash pillowcases, she suggests, in 130-degree
water. Consider protectors for those too, and as a last
resort, replace your pillows.
all, as she noted, "once sleep is affected, itís
affecting quality of life."