Dust mites in the News
When many of us think of dust mites, we envision the Lysol commercials. Yet there is much more to dust mites than being the fodder for furniture polish commercials. Dust mites are tiny microscopic spider like creatures that live in household furniture such as mattresses, carpets, curtains, bedding, or upholstered furniture. Many of us don’t even realize the number or quantity of dust mites that we live with every day. The Bay City Times reported that dust mites and dust mite debris can cause a mattress to double in weight over a ten year period.
Winter is the time of the year when dust mites take center stage in the news and articles, because this is the time of the year when people are staying inside. People who are prone to dust mite allergies are often thrown into loops. And, since one of the main causes of allergic asthma is house dust mites, there are a number of news reports that are geared toward helping people fight dust mites. In people with dust mite allergies, dust mites trigger inflammation in the lining of the nose and/or bronchial tubes. A recent article in the Tehran Times outlined the link between common allergies, such as dust mite allergy, and asthma.
Dust mites affect people with allergies differently. In an article regarding PWAs or people with albinism, The Malaysian Star reported that a 2006 study had revealed that these people were two times as allergic to dust mites as other individuals who participated within the study. Although there was no definitive answer for why this was the case, one reason given was that people with albinism usually spend more time in dark areas than their counterparts, typically due to their sensitivity to bright lights.
Yet there are other health problems that can be irritated by dust mites. A News 10 article by Marcie Fraser, touched on the fact eczema in children, especially infants can be aggravated by dust mites and other skin irritants. On October 10, 2008, the Nashua Telegraph ran an article that stated that dust mites can affects your pets as well. Dust mite allergies are common in cats and dogs that spend the majority of their time indoors. Your indoor pets may fall victim to dust mites typically when the windows are consistently kept closed. If you notice that your cat or dog is scratching intensely and frequently, you may want to call your vet, as this is a symptom of dust mite allergies in pets.
An article in the September 30th issues of USA Today, noted that changing the environment in your home is usually more effective than allergy pills. The article goes on to discuss a few of the ways the indoor allergy sufferers can combat triggers, such as dust mites. A simple trick for controlling dust mites include washings your bed sheets, covers, comforter, pillows, and pillowcases in hot water from time to time. Yet, a more extreme way to fight dust mites for serious dust mite allergy suffers is to remove all carpeting from your bedroom. You may also want to consider using wool or incorporating wool in your bedding materials. The Las Vegas Review Journal noted that wool keeps away moisture and acts like a natural repellent for dust mites.
Since dust mites are prone to damp areas and thrive off dead human skin cells, an article in Metro Canada suggested that dust mite allergy sufferers regularly vacuum carpeted floors. Although, using the additional attachments on common lounging areas such as sofas, couches, chairs, curtain, and rugs couldn’t hurt.
There have been new studies done to understand the effect of dust mites and the immune system’s ability to fight dust mite allergies. Although most research in house dust mites or HDM have used rodents; recent studies have used sheep. These studies have sought to expand the knowledge and understand of the immune effects of HDM. Though these studies are still ongoing, there have been great strides in the technology of fighting dust mites. The Canadian paper, The Kingston Whig-Standard noted that the Tempur-pedic terry-velour mattress covers are designed to be resistant to dust mites. Although it has not hit the mainstream consumer just yet, according to an article on the UK’s Heating and Ventilation website, Sanyo developed a new virus washer. This powerful machine has proven effective in fighting both airborne viruses and bacterial pathogens. And, has a five-layer filter system that removes both pollen and dust mites.
Most dust mite allergy sufferers and those with allergies have adapted to their circumstances. They begin to see dust mite allergies as year round colds. Yet, there are ways to reduce the dust mites within your home. Using simple tactics will greatly improve your quality of living not just during the common winter months when people stay inside, but all year long. Remember, dust mites are prone to moist areas that are rich in dead human skin cells. So, it’s important to keeps these areas routinely vacuumed, and cleaned.