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How I Avoid Those Pesky Dust Mites And Saved My Hobby

How I Avoid Those Pesky Dust Mites And Have My Hobby

Have allergic asthma like me? Then there’s a good probability you’re allergic to dust mites like me. Those little critters live among the dust in your home. And they so happen to be one of the most prevalent allergens inside homes. They are hard, almost impossible, to avoid. Here’s how I do it.

Dust Mites.


How do you avoid thee?

The answer: It’s not easy. You can have the cleanest house in the world, and dust mites will still find there way in. They feed on flakes of human skin. So, basically, anything touched by humans can become infected by these little critters.

Sad, they even cover my old baseball cards. I love my cards. So, in order to handle them, I took all my favorite cards and put them in top loaders.

Of course, in the process of doing this, I felt symptoms. But, it was worth it. Today, I can handle those cards any time I want without having to inhale mites. The rest of my favorite cards got put into plastic sheets in three-ring-binders.

I do avoid stored boxes like the plague

Well, I kind of lied there. I love to look through old boxes. I love history. Like, I love looking through old pictures and papers and stuff. About a month ago I was cleaning my house. I came across a box. I opened it to see what was inside. It was papers from when I was a kid. I took my time going through them. As you might imagine, this backfired. My asthma flared up.

So, I’m reminded, for the 350th time, I need to be careful with such things. But, it didn’t stop me. Last weekend I visited mom’s house. I was looking through an antique cabinet. The cabinet has lots of drawers. In one drawer were old stamps. I remembered the episode from a month earlier. But, it wasn’t enough to satiate my curiosity. Instead, I decided to work quickly.

My curiosity was rewarded. I shuffled through the old stamps. At the bottom of the drawer was a yellowed envelope. It was to my grandpa who died in 1970. The letter was written in Polish. Mom said it was from his sister in Poland. Cool!

My allergies don’t stop me from enjoying life

That sentence is very true. But, I have learned to be careful. And, it does slow me down quite a bit. Like, I could look through that box of stamps all in one day. But, considering my dust mite allergy, it will take me days, and maybe even weeks or months.

But, once I get things sorted out, I’m done. My baseball cards are stored in plastic sheets. I do the same with my old papers. They are also stored in plastic sheets and put in three-ring-binders. If I want to see them, I can do so without inhaling dust mites.

Trust me, this really does help. You can enjoy your family history without the sniffles, sneezes, and wheezes. You can enjoy your old baseball cards. You can enjoy fill in the blank.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Shellzoo
    9 months ago

    I have always had trouble with dust. I can’t remember dust not bothering me. When I moved to my house and was packing up all my collections and keepsakes, I ended up with 2 days of wheezing. I did not know I had asthma at the time but learned to avoid dusty situations and places. 2 weeks ago I went shopping for antiques and ended up needing my albuterol inhaler after going into a very dusty and moldy shop. I love shopping for antiques and I really don’t want to give up that hobby so my plan is to avoid that shop and stick to shops that are less dusty. I think it might still be risky as antiques often are dusty so if it happens again, I might have to stick to outdoor antique markets and online shops like Etsy and Ebay. I guess we keep learning what works and does not work and make adjustments.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    9 months ago

    It sounds like putting a mask in your purse would probably be a good idea. And, I suppose, we asthmatics shouldn’t be embarrassed about wearing such things. I’m sure other people won’t care, especially those we are buying things from. That sounds like a good gift idea. I love cooking in cast iron pans. John. Site Moderator.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    9 months ago

    Hi. Shellzoo. I was thinking the same thing as Leon, that wearing a mask might help. I have not resorted to that yet when perusing through such places (antique shops, Good Will, Salvation Army, etc.), but it would probably be a good idea. Or you can just make it a quick perusal. Easier said than done, hey? But, you certainly don’t want your asthma to get in the way of your fun. John. Site Moderator.

  • Shellzoo
    9 months ago

    I really need to buy a mask to keep in my purse. I admit embarrassment if wearing a mask in public but the best antiques are found in dusty places. I also enjoy thrifting at local thrift shops. I have been finding rusty cast iron pans, cleaning and seasoning them and will give as Christmas gifts to family and friends.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    9 months ago

    Hi Shellzoo and thanks for your comments about how dust affects you and what your plans are. Do you think that wearing a protective mask (which will act as a barrier to the dust for your upper airway) will provide you with the protection you need? I always use a mask when vacuuming, cleaning the ceiling fans, or doing anything that exposes me to those allergens. Wishing you well, Leon (site moderator)

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