Is Your Nose Always Stuffy Or Runny? It Could Be Caused By Your Pillows

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly suffering from a cold? If you just can’t seem to get rid of your runny nose, annoying cough, and watery eyes, the culprit could actually be your pillow.

Whenever I have cold symptoms, I want to spend extra time snuggled up in my bed — but that could actually be making it worse.

It’s possible that your cold symptoms are actually allergies — to the feces of tiny dust mites that live in your pillows and mattress!

Every day, we shed millions of dead skin cells, and many of them stay in our beds and pajamas. Shedding skin cells is absolutely natural, but when there’s a buildup of skin cells in your bed, dust mites are attracted to them.

Dust mites love eating dead skin cells, so beds and pillows are their favorite places to live. And as icky as they may be, the dust mites themselves are actually not the problem — it’s their poop that people are allergic to!

[H/T Daily Mail]

unmade bed

“Mites themselves don’t carry disease, it is an enzyme in the poo that some people are allergic to,” Lisa Ackerly, also known as the Hygiene Doctor, explained to Daily Mail.

“If people have asthma, it can make it worse. It can also give you a constant runny nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes and cough.”

pile of pillows

If that completely grosses you out, you’re not going to be excited about this next fact: If your pillow is 2 years old (or older), 10 percent of its weight is dead skin cells and dust mites.

house dust mite

Yes, you read that correctly: one-tenth of your pillow’s weight is skin cells and microscopic dust mites.

But don’t worry — there are some easy solutions to get rid of dust mites.

Not only will they help with the ickiness factor, but they can also help with allergies and cold symptoms.

unmade bed

Solution #1: Air out your bed.

Dust mites love warmth, so the colder you keep your bed, the less hospitable it is for mites.

I know that making your bed can start your day off on a productive note, but leaving it unmade can kill off the mites.

pillow on bed

Solution #2: Freeze your pillows.

Since cold kills dust mites, pop your pillow into the freezer for a bit — then toss it back onto your bed.

Solution #3: Tumble-dry your pillow.

Like the cold, high heat also kills dust mites. So wash it in your washing machine then toss it in the dryer on high heat to kill off the mites.

vacuuming futon

Solution #4: Keep your house clean.

Although it would be unreasonable to say “keep your house dust-free,” keeping your house clean is a great way to keep dust mites from setting up camp.

Vacuuming and sweeping are great ways to eliminate dead skin cells, which will give dust mites less to munch on.

dust mite

Keeping your home clean can not only make it look nice, but it can also keep you healthier.

If you’re constantly suffering from allergies and cold symptoms, you may be allergic to dust mite poop — but luckily there are some super simple solutions to solve the problem.

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