Roughly 4 out of 5 homes in the U.S. have detectable levels of dust mites as well as other allergens, bacteria and viruses. Dust mites and their waste products are one of the most common causes of year-round allergies and asthma. They flourish in the warm, humid temperatures of homes and feed on the tiny flakes of human skin that people normally shed each day. These flakes of skin work their way deep into the inner layers of furniture, bedding, and even into stuffed toys — places where mites thrive.
Dust mites are a major trigger for asthma symptoms. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children. Nearly five million American children under age 18 have experienced asthma symptoms, with most developing asthma before age five. Asthma symptoms in young children can be more extreme than in adults. Infants and toddlers have much smaller airways than older children and adults. Their airways are so small that even minor swelling and tightening of airways or increased amounts of mucus can block the flow of air making breathing extremely difficult. Children are at a higher risk for asthma if they are born prematurely, if they have eczema or have family history of allergies and asthma. Limiting exposure to dust mites can help delay or prevent allergies in asthma in children.
*Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America