What is dust made of?
This may fall into the category of questions you don’t want to know the answer to, but here is the not-so-pretty truth: household dust is made up of dust mites, hair, dead skin cells, pollen, soil, and lots more icky stuff.2
As you move around your space, you kick up the dust that has accumulated in your house. It floats around for a bit, then falls to the floor after picking up more substances (in other words, after making more dust).2
Where does it come from?
The short answer is that dust comes from both inside and outside your house.3 Pollen and other airborne particles enter the house when you do. They can also get in when you open a window. Particles get on your clothes and shoes, which bring these unwelcome visitors inside.
Things get a little bit more complicated when you take a closer look at indoor dust. Carpeting, upholstered furniture, pillows, and bedding are all made up of fibers. When these fibers start to decay, particles enter the air and contribute to the dust in our homes.3
Now comes the part no one really wants to talk about. Specifically, the “other stuff” that makes up household dust. If you have pets in the house (more on this below), chances are the dust in your house is largely made up of pet hair. The rest of it is most likely comprised of a lovely mixture of dead skin cells, human hair, dust mites, and other bugs.3
What you can do about it
Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are lots of easy, everyday things you can do to reduce the amount of dust in your home greatly. Some easy ways to do this include:4
Increasing the flow of outdoor air
Using air cleaners with certified allergy and asthma filters
Vacuuming frequently with certified allergy and asthma filters
If your allergies are flaring up, or you are particularly sensitive to dust, consider wearing a mask while doing your household cleaning. Also keep in mind that while a good-quality vacuum with a clean filter is an excellent weapon in the fight against allergies, the opposite is also true; a poor-quality vacuum can actually put more dust back into the air.4
Your furry friends
All cats and dogs — even hairless ones — contain allergens. That’s because the source of pet allergies isn’t actually in the fur but in a protein found in a pet’s saliva or urine.5 Some dog and cat breeds contain fewer allergens than others, but when you hear that a pet is “hypoallergenic” it simply means that they don’t shed as much, so there is less fur for allergens to stick to.5
If you already have a pet or are looking to make your home a safer place for an allergy sufferer, here are three easy things you can do to reduce pet allergy greatly symptoms:6
- Designate a room or section of your home as a “pet-free zone.” Pet hair loves to collect in soft places like bedding and upholstered furniture. Keep pets from entering certain rooms, and you will greatly reduce the chances of pet dander settling in those areas.
- Use HEPA air purifiers throughout your home. A good-quality air purifier with a filter that’s often changed is a great way to keep clean air circulating throughout your home.
- Give your pets a bath at least once a week. Not all cats and dogs love bath time, but they’ll get used to it. You should also make sure to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for your kitten, puppy, cat, or dog.
Telfast® is here to help fight dust allergies
Telfast® is on your side, whether you're inside or out. If you experience sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes or an itchy nose and throat, nasal congestion, sinus congestion and pressure, or swelling of nasal passages, Telfast® has products that can help. 7
With a comprehensive range of products, you’re sure to find the one that works best for your indoor allergy symptoms. No matter which product you choose, you can feel good knowing Telfast® is the #1 allergist-recommended allergy medicine brand for non-drowsy relief.*
4. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Editors. Control Indoor Allergens to Improve Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (aafa.org), 2021
5. Mayo Clinic, James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D. Pet allergy: Are there hypoallergenic dog breeds?, Mayo Clinic, 2019
6. The Humane Society of the United States, Editors. How to live with allergies and pets, The Humane Society of the United States, 2021
7. Telfast Gulf PIL – last revised November 2020
Get information about allergies and advice on relieving symptoms so you can live your greatness.
*Among OTC oral antihistamines.