A couple of weeks ago, I received this ominous image in an email…
I was intrigued, so I attended the Aller-Ease Bring Your Own Pillow (BYOP) Event that the image was promoting. What was I thinking?! After handing over my pillow that I brought from home to be tested, I spoke with Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy doctor. Since both my husband and older son suffer from allergies, I was interested to hear what he had to say. He shared that most allergy and asthma challenges are a combination of genetics and environment. (There’s not much that we can do about genetics, but we can tackle our environments.) He encouraged allergy sufferers to keep windows closed so that the pollen/mold spores/etc. in the air can not circulate inside. He also shared about indoor allergy hotspots – especially the bedroom. It turns out that the bed’s box spring, mattress and pillows are prime areas for dust mites to breed. To be more specific “mold spores, pet dander and dust mite feces” lurk inside the average pillow and mattress (yuck!).
Next, I was shown allergens inside an average pillow after 1, 5, 10 and 15 years. Let’s just say, that it was not a pretty sight. After being thoroughly grossed out, I was given some good news – I could protect my bedding with allergen barriers. I was introduced to the Aller-Ease protective bed covers. This line (of pillows, pillow protectors and mattress protectors) provides a barrier to the small, microscopic particles that can trigger allergies. They are offered in both waterproof (great for young kids) and breathable cotton styles. In any event, I left armed with pillow protectors, a mattress protector and a nice, soft new pillow, so it was a happy ending!
Fast forward a week…I receive my pillow results back. Was I ready to see the results? Here’s the official analysis on my (2 years old) pillow:
”Relatively clean pillow at this point, as expected with a younger pillow. A little bit of pollen and insect parts. Most important to note the 1,400 skin cells in the sample. Remember, dust mites feed on skin cells so they are certainly in there eating the skin cells. Dust mites feed on shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings, such as your pillow. Keep in mind a person sheds about 1.5 grams of skin cells and flakes every day, which is enough to feed roughly a million house dust mites under ideal conditions.”
My initial thoughts: “Whew – my pillow wasn’t totally gross. Insect parts? What – did a fly get stuck in my pillow?! Skin cells – do I need to exfoliate more?” Then, I moved on. I have the right materials to protect my bedding in the future, so I’m alright.
So here’s the fun part…
Until April 5th, the first 50 people to visit the new Aller-Ease site each day and enter will win a free Aller-Ease Cotton pillow protector to help prepare for the Spring Allergy Season. Good luck!