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Cleaning Tips for Anyone With Allergies
Tags: poetry. Every time I see the words 'Gwen Harwood' my brain shuts down. This is what making people pull poetry apart in class does! Thank God I discovered Gwen after high school. Other important allergen-producing organisms that are found in house dust are found in Figure 1. The rest of this fact sheet, based on Chapter 10, "Mites," in Common-Sense Pest Control by Olkowski, Daar and Olkowski, will discuss biology of dust mites and will emphasize non-chemical control tactics.
An allergist, a medical doctor specially trained to treat allergies, should be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment of allergies. One of the most strongly allergenic materials found indoors is house dust, often heavily contaminated with the fecal pellets and cast skins of House Dust Mites.
Estimates are that dust mites may be a factor in 50 to 80 percent of asthmatics, as well as in countless cases of eczema, hay fever and other allergic ailments. Common causes of allergy include house dust mites, cat dander, cockroach droppings and grass pollen.
A geochemist’s simple tricks to reduce dust in your home
Symptoms are usually respiratory in nature sneezing, itching, watery eyes, wheezing, etc. However, there are reports of a red rash around the neck. Other allergic reactions may include headaches, fatigue and depression. The wheeze-inducing proteins are digestive juices from the mite gut which are quite potent. An exposure to the mites in the first, crucial year of life can trigger a lifelong allergy. There is no cure, only prevention. One must control house dust mite levels. The protein substances in the dust mite feces produces antibodies in humans who are allergic when these are inhaled or touch the skin.
These antibodies cause the release of histamines which causes to nasal congestion, swelling and irritation of the upper respiratory passages. A doctor can use skin tests and blood tests to confirm a suspected dust mite allergy. Diego Saporta, an otolaryngologist in Elizabeth, N. Do I often wake up with scratchy eyes? Do I sneeze repeatedly first thing in the morning? Saporta says.
Walking over a rug, sitting down in a chair, or shakings the bed clothes, makes the dried dust mite feces become airborne, making allergic person's symptoms worse. House dust mites, are too small to be visible to the naked eye; they are only to microns in length and have translucent bodies. It takes at least a 10X magnification to be able to correctly identify them. The adult mite's cuticle covering has simple striations that can be seen from both the dorsal top view and from the ventral bottom view. The ventral view of the house dust mite reveals long setae hairs extending from the outer margins of the body and shorter setae on the rest of the body.
Through the microscope, one will see many oval-shaped mites scuttling around and over one another. There are eight hairy legs, no eyes, no antennae, a mouthpart group in front of the body resembles head and a tough, translucent shell, giving a "fearsome appearance. Adult females lay up to 40 to 80 eggs singly or in small groups of three to five. After eggs hatch, a six-legged larva emerges. After the first molt, an eight-legged nymph appears. After two nymphal stages occur, an eight-legged adult emerges.
The life cycle from egg to adult is about one month with the adult living an additional one to three months. The diet is varied with the primary food source, consisting of dander skin scales from humans and animals.
However, needed nutrients can be provided from fish food flakes, pet food, fungi, cereals, crumbs, etc. Many mite species live in bird's nests, in barns, among stored grain, straw, etc. House dust mites are cosmopolitan in distribution with much of the research previously done in Europe.
One of the major limiting factors in mite survival and population development is the availability of water for sorption. Highest mite densities occur in the humid summer months and lowest in drier winter periods. Due to the large quantity of skin scales sloughed off daily by humans, mites have an abundant food supply.
Dust mite antigen levels are measured in bed dust, floor dust, and room air samples. Detection in room air was best during cleaning and bed-making activities. House dust mite presence is often suspected before they are actually seen and accurately identified.
Requests for control often come from individuals who have been diagnosed by medical personnel as allergic to the house dust mite or the allergens produced. The presence of house dust mites can be confirmed microscopically which requires collecting samples from mattresses, couches or carpets. Also, it requires the use of a microscope with sufficient magnification and the technical ability to recognize house dust mites under the microscope.
In general practice, testing is unnecessary. They virtually always show up in a test, so testing just adds expense. A better question than "are dust mites present? A number of researchers, like those at the University of Nebraska , have studied dust mite control and have a set of recommendations that are proven to be effective. Recommendations focus on "dust control. For the bedroom environment you will want to use some or all of the following methods.
We have listed them in order of practicality combined with effectiveness.
Bread, Not Stones: Remember You Are Dust
The FDA has approved Odactra tablets for dust mite immunotherapy, and says they are proven safe and effective. These pills are tacken daily, dissolve under the tongue and improve resistence to symptoms gradually. See this story in U. For those who don't want to rely on allergy medication, the answer may be immunotherapy.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about these, even if they are available over the counter. There are companies offering a service, using steam or ultraviolet light, to kill dust mites in mattresses and remove them. Peyton Eggleston, a pediatric allergist and professor at Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital in Baltimore, was that there isn't any scientific research or evidence to back up the service companies claims, and that the dust mites would probably return to previous levels within a month or two.
This substantiates the approaches above, including encasements see number 1, above. A cleaning might make sense if the mattress is fairly new 1 to 3 years and you encase it after the cleaning. It should also be noted that people are rarely allergic to only dust mites.
When a person has an allergy to dust mites, they are usually also allergic to other allergens. Bernstein, MD, of the University of Cincinnati says, "You have to recognize that people can be sensitive to multiple allergens -- as well as to non-allergic triggers such as odorants, irritating chemicals, tobacco smoke, mildew, and things of that nature, so these studies with just one or even two or three interventions are fraught with limitations.
Just to target dust mites and then to say these interventions don't work is out of context with patients' real lives. In that WebMD article, which initially implies that dust mite prevention methods are ineffective, the researchers insist that "reducing allergens in the home and in the office will help patients suffering from dust-mite allergy and asthma. In other words, if you use methods that.
To compound the problem, toxic and cancer-causing chemicals can attach themselves to PM yielding much more profound effects. The tiniest of particles can even pass into the bloodstream through the lungs. People most at risk from breathing particle pollution are children, the elderly, and people with respiratory or heart disease. Healthy people can be affected as well, especially outdoor exercisers. Effects of breathing PM for hours, days, or years include:. Get Involved Archive. Your Account. Airborne Dust Particles.