The only thing I hate more than getting out of bed in the morning is changing the sheets on said bed. I often wonder how often you should wash your pillow and sheets, and today, I was given a startling reminder to do it much more frequently. A resident of China known only as Ms. Xu found hundreds of mites living in her eyelashes — because she had not washed her pillowcase in five years.
Trust me when I tell you that I despise changing my sheets. I've gone an embarrassingly long time without doing so in the past, but that will now change. I thought I was one of the laziest humans alive, but Ms. Xu takes the cake. She has officially inspired my New Year's resolution to change my sheets on a regular, healthy basis.
Ms. Xu went to the doctor because her eyes had become too itchy and irritated to bear. The doctors examined her, and broke the news that her condition was no ordinary dry eye situation, but rather due to the fact that were hundreds of mites living in her eyelashes. Ms. Xu then admitted that she had not properly cared for her bedding in five years, and I can only imagine the look on the doctors' faces.
Perhaps it was something like that.
I'm happy to report that Ms. Xu's medical team treated her mites and she was able to make a full recovery. Her experience should definitely serve as a warning to everyone to wash your d*mn sheets. Before you run to the doctor to have your now itchy eyes checked, let me tell you that Xu described having irritated eyes for two years prior to seeking medical attention. While my sympathies go out to her, I can't help but wonder why she waited so long before getting help for the issue. Along with my own laziness comes procrastination, but even I cannot fathom suffering from such an uncomfortable eye condition for that long before soliciting help.
Don't chastise Xu too much, though. National Geographic reports that almost everyone already has mites living in and on their skin and hair. Good hygiene practices keep all those little guys under control, but their existence is apparently inevitable. I now need to accept the fact that there are bugs living and crawling all over me, all the time.
This will take me a minute to get over. While I process the fact that my body is merely a breeding ground for microscopic mites, a refresher course in personal hygiene may help with my PTSD.
Experts recommend washing your sheets once per week, but throwing the pillow case in the laundry machine isn't enough. It's time to start washing the actual pillows, too. CNN recommends doing this every three to six months. Consider it done. I hope I'm not the only one who hasn't been doing this already? I'm going to take the liberty of washing my down comforter (not just the cover) with the pillows, too. Xu's story has terrified me to my very core, enough that I'm even going to take this one step further and start cleaning my mattress twice a year. If you have a fabric headboard I'd recommend adding that to the list as well. Now, you'll have to excuse me while I spend the rest of the day changing my sheets and cleaning my pillows.
Bathing is no doubt important, but the lesson here is to DO YOUR LAUNDRY. Set aside an extra day for the chore, buy more sheets, do whatever you need to do, but please don't be the next victim to these mites. I don't want to have to write an article about you, too.