Your mattress could be to blame for breathing problems – expert

Asthma: St John Ambulance explain how to help during attack

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One expert has warned that the condition of your mattress could have an adverse effect on our breathing, among other issues. Health specialist at Pure Optical, Tammy Richards, shared what risks you could be taking every time you go to bed. Speaking exclusively with, she said: “If you’ve had your mattress for more than 10 years, it’s time for an upgrade.

“Mattresses can harbour all sorts of bacteria and dust mites, which can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.”

She explained: “There are many respiratory conditions that can be triggered by dust and mites in the mattress, including asthma, bronchitis, and allergies.

“If you have any of these conditions, it is important to keep your sleeping environment as clean and free from dust and mites as possible.

“A good way to do this is to invest in a quality mattress cover that is designed to keep dust and mites out.

“Other health conditions that have been linked to dust and mites in the mattress include skin conditions such as eczema, headaches, and fatigue.”

Ms Richards advised replacing your mattress every five to seven years.

“Although this can vary depending on the type of mattress and how often it is used,” she said.

“If you have any concerns about dust or mites in your mattress, it is best to consult with a doctor or allergist.

However, for those who are unable to replace their mattress there are ways to reduce the risk of mites.

She said: “Regularly vacuum and clean your mattress, paying special attention to areas where dust or mites might accumulate.

“Finally, if you have any respiratory conditions that could be triggered by dust or mites, it is important to keep your sleeping environment as clean and free from these allergens as possible.”

People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are more at risk of developing a health issue due to a mattress.

She added: “This is because dust and mites can trigger asthma attacks or exacerbations of other respiratory conditions.

“There is a growing body of research linking dust and mites in the mattress to a variety of respiratory and other health conditions.”

Asthma is a common condition caused by swelling of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.

This then forces the tubes to temporarily narrow.

For some sufferers this may happen randomly or it can occur exposure to a trigger.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • Allergies (to house dust mites, animal fur or pollen, for example)
  • Smoke, pollution and cold air
  • Exercise
  • Infections like colds or flu.

The main symptoms of asthma are:

  • A whistling sound when breathing (wheezing)
  • Breathlessness
  • A tight chest, which may feel like a band is tightening around it
  • Coughing.

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