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Dust mite allergy, What is home dust?

June 16th, 2010

House dust mite allergy is a sort of allergy to a tiny creature living in the home dust which can be found in all houses and workplaces. They are probably the most common reason for perennial allergic rhinitis. House dust mite allergy commonly shows the symptoms that are similar to pollen allergy. It can also awake the symptoms of asthma.

What is home dust?
So-called home dust is not a single substance, as you might have thought. Instead, it’s a varied mixture of a great number of potentially allergenic components. There might be found dander from your pets; fibers from various fabrics; stuffing materials like cotton lint or feathers; in damp areas – usually mold and fungus spores; bacteria; bits of plants and insects; food particles and many other allergens depending on the individual house.

Another component of a home dust is tiny mites. House dust mites, usually living in the bedding, carpeting and upholstered furniture, thrive during the warm season and die in the cold one. However, in a warm and damp home they may keep thriving even in winter. Those particles that you can see magically floating in a shaft of sunlight contain dead house dust mites and their droppings. It’s precisely their droppings, which are proteins, that in fact cause the allergic reaction.

The droppings of cockroaches can also be an important factor in provoking allergy symptoms from house allergens, especially in some US urban areas.

What is dust? What are dust mites? Why so many dust mites?

June 11th, 2010

What is dust?

Dust is made up of molds, fungus, bacteria, pollen, dust mites, dust mite feces and particles shed by people and animals known as dander. The most damaging to our health are dust mite fecal pallets, which contain guanine. This substance is a health hazard that can trigger allergic reactions. A larger number of allergy sufferer’s react to the allergens created by dust mites. Symptoms range from itchy and watery eyes to sinus aggravations such as sneezing blocked sinuses, coughing, hay fever and skin problems such as eczema. Some people experience headaches, depression and fatigue, which can also be related to the inhalation of these organisms found in dust.

Dust mites feed on molds, bacteria, and human skin scales. Dust mites cannot feed on dander until it is partially digested by an aspergillus fungus.

Mattress environments are ideal for the perfect dust mite habitat since they are warm, moist and provide a constant daily renewable source of skin scales and moisture to feed these microscopic creatures. Humans shed about 1/5 ounce of dander weekly. Some of these allergens become airborne with movement on our beds stirring up the dust which accumulates in our mattresses and bedding.

What are dust mites?

Dust mites are related to ticks and spiders. They have 8 legs, no eyes, and a sucker for a mouth in front of their body. They have been described as walking stomachs. They are translucent and are invisible to the human eye since they measure 250 to 300 microns in length.

Optimum conditions for dust mites are temperatures of 20-25 degrees C and humidity’s over 55%. One female dust mites can lay up to 100 eggs. Highest mite densities occur in the humid weather months. Dust mites absorb water; they do not drink which is why they require moisture in their environment. Humans release up to one pint of moisture nightly providing ideal moisture for dust mite survival. It is not unusual to count up to 2,500 mites in only one tiny gram of dust. Each dust mite produces about 20 particles of feces every day. A typical double mattress can have one millions mites alive & feeding at any given time. Dust mite feces, containing a substance known as quanine, continues to cause allergic symptoms long after the mite that produced them has died.

Why so many dust mites?

Dust mites have been found throughout the world. At least 13 species have been recorded from house dust although Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (skin eating mites) makes up the majority of total house mite population. Dust mites are invisible to the naked eye. They are found mostly in moist and warm environments like our bedding, upholstery and carpets. The main sources of nutrients are flakes of skin or dander. Since humans shed large quantities of skin scales daily, mites have an abundant food supply.

We spend one third of our lives on our mattresses and pillows making this the most unsanitary environment we are in constant contact with. Our mattresses are an Ecosystem for dust mites, bacteria, viruses and fungal spores. Studies have counted up to 2,500 mites in only one gram of dust, which translates to one million mites in a double size mattress.

When we move around our beds, the fine particles created from the dust mite’s droppings become airborne which can trigger an allergic reaction. An ordinary pillow can double it’s weight every 2-3 years in dust mites, their eggs and feces.

How to Prevent the Impact of Dust Mites in Your Home

June 6th, 2010

No matter how clean is your house and how often you tidy it up, dust mites will inhabit the soft surfaces of your interior and furniture. These insects are inevitable human companions used to our comfort and inexhaustible source of food.

However, a few simple actions can significantly reduce their population in your house up to concentration safe for your health. Follow the instructions below and feel protected from these parasites.

Dust mite allergens
Dust mites are the source of severe allergic reactions and a few popular diseases like asthma. That is why it is extremely important to control their number at home. While dust mites themselves are almost harmless to human health, their excrements can cause various disorders. Due to the lack of stomach, the process of gastrointestinal digestion is held outside their bodies with the help of special enzymes and fungus that mites secrete on dust pieces before eating. These enzymes and fungus are a source of human allergic reaction. The more mites are at home, the bigger concentration of allergic trigger we have.

Prevent your home from mites’ congestion
The first step in fighting dust mites is diligent general cleaning. Pick up all your bedding, curtains, towels and other soft materials and run all this through the washing machine cycle with dryer. This may help reduce the number of mites in your bed and surrounding areas. Don’t keep the clothes you’ve already wore in the wardrobe: wash it regularly, as well as other materials that contact with your skin to limit the amount of food for mites. If your washing machine is not big enough to handle all your home stuff, go to laundries that offer proper equipment. Only a complex cleaning can really help in reducing mites population in your home.

While all bedding is washing, clean your house from dust with vacuum cleaner and wet cleaning. Clean up all the areas, including all ‘hard-to-reach’ corners and surfaces.

Next, while your bedding and draperies are in the washing machine, do a thorough vacuuming and dusting of your house. They say that cleanliness is next to godliness – well, in this case, cleanliness is vital for a home free from dust mites! Think about it – dust mites thrive off of your skin cells and other dust particles, so if you remove these items from your home, they’ll have less food to live off of. Frequent vacuuming and dusting helps to keep potential food supplies low, which keeps dust mites away from your home.

The other baneful factor for dust mites is low humidity. Dust mites can’t survive in houses with humidity of 50% and less. That is why most of mites prefer beds, where people produce enough vapors while sleeping. Keeping your home ‘dry’, periodically turning off the humidifier will help to reduce the number of parasites in the rooms, as carpets and soft furniture will become unfit for them. Of course take care of your bed, refresh the furnishing regularly, as well as the bedding.

Another important habitat of dust mites is furniture covered with soft textile. Mites are very small creatures, and due to such microscopic sizes they can easily hide deep in the sofas or arm-chairs, avoiding vacuum cleaning and other preventive procedures. Obviously we can’t clean the whole furniture in washing machines. All you can do is regular vacuum cleaning that will help to remove dust and skin flakes that attract mites.

Also there are a lot of hypoallergenic materials that are made so that dust and other snips can’t pass though them. Choose the furniture covered with such materials to avoid the ingress of mites inside the soft furniture structure.

It is impossible to get rid of all mites and keep your house sterile like operating room. The absence of dust mites is possible only if you live in an empty house without furniture and any hint of a comfort. Your warm and comfortable rooms inevitably attract mites. However you can significantly reduce their number by keeping your house clean and tidy, frequently washing all textile interior elements and cleaning all surfaces from dust.

Lifestyle and dust mites, The best strategy for managing the house dust mite allergy

June 3rd, 2010

The best strategy for managing the house dust mite allergy is to avoid exposure to mites.

Although it’s impossible to completely remove dust mites from your house, it’s still possible to considerably reduce their population, if you follow the suggestions below.

- The bedding should be chosen rationally. Down or wool bedcovers are difficult to clean regularly and attract dust.

- Use non-allergen bed covers. Enclose your pillows and mattress into allergen-blocking or dust-proof covers. They are usually made of tightly woven fabric or vinyl and are able to prevent house dust mites from settling in the pillows or mattress. Cover the box springs with vinyl or plastic case.

- Wash linen every week. Hot wash all pillowcases, sheets, bedcovers and blankets at a minimum 130oF, as this temperature will kill the mites and erase allergens. In case of linen is prohibited to be washed hot, it should be put in the drier for twenty minutes at the same temperature before washing and drying for eliminating allergens. The non-washable linen can be frozen for twenty-four hours, but it will only kill the mites, but not eliminate the allergens.

- Choose washable soft toys. Don’t put them on the bed, hot wash them frequently and dry thoroughly.

- Lower the humidity. The best rate of humidity for your house is 30-50%. You can get a hygrometer at hardware stores to measure the humidity, and an air conditioner plus dehumidifier to keep the right level.

- Do dusting. It’s better to use an oiled or wet rag for that rather than dry mop. This won’t let dust airborne and resettle.

- Remove unnecessary things. They collect dust, which means they also collect house dust mites. Take tabletop ornaments, books and different knickknacks away from your bedroom.

- Vacuum frequently. When you vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture, you eliminate the surface dust, and what is more important– the food supply for the mites. However, vacuuming is not very effective at killing most dust mites and their allergens. The best type of a vacuum cleaner is that having a HEPA filter or double-layered microfilter bag which can help reduce the dust emissions from the device. If you suffer from severe allergies, ask someone else to do the dirty work, while you are staying out of the area being vacuumed during the process and for extra twenty minutes after finishing.

- Using air purifiers will help collect airborne dust and control it if you maintain frequent cleaning practices. But they can’t remove the dust mites themselves as they are too heavy to stay up in the air and get filtered. Sometimes they may be airborne after finishing cleaning, but quickly fall back onto surfaces.

- Avoid carpets and other comfortable habitats for dust mites, especially if the carpeting is placed directly over concrete, because it easily holds moisture, thus providing a humid environment for dust mites. Remove wall-to-wall carpeting, if possible, and replace it with linoleum, tile, vinyl or wood flooring. Also think over removing such bedroom furnishings as horizontal blinds, non-washable curtains and upholstered furniture.

Allergy skin test picture, Skin Prick Allergy Test pictures

May 24th, 2010

Description of the test
An allergy skin test identifies which substance triggers an allergic reaction. A small amount of the substance, or allergen, is introduced to the body through the skin. If the skin reddens or swells then the test is read as positive and the person is probably allergic to that substance. The reaction is due to the release of histamine, a chemical naturally found in the body, which causes swelling, redness, and itching (also known as a wheal). This test is performed by an allergist.

allergy skin test picture

Allergy skin test pctures

Allergy skin test pictures

Allergy skin test picture, pictures os skin allergy test.

Fighting the Dust Mites with Spray, house dust mite spray

May 22nd, 2010

Dust mites sprayHome dust mites are very little arthropods on eight legs that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Every gram of house dust contains up to a hundred thousand mites. The common home dust mites differ from any other types of mites, as they do not bite. How do they survive? By eating dander shed from the human and animal skin. The trouble is that dust mites can cause lots of people health problems, as many humans are allergic to the mites’ droppings. It doesn’t matter whether the home mite is alive or dead – once their excretions and sloughed off skin go airborne, they may lead to some health-related conditions. Fortunately, you can control the dust mites’ effects using dust mite spray.

If you are allergic to the mites’ droppings, it can cause you allergic rhinitis or asthma attack, with symptoms of the latter being difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing. As for allergic rhinitis, it can cause sinuses and an inflamed, swollen nose, with the symptoms including watery itchy eyes, sinus headaches, a runny nose, coughs and sneezing. Unluckily, for the person allergic to dust mites, the reaction becomes stronger with every case of exposure to mites. This means you should make every effort in order to eliminate or at least limit the exposure, using usual methods and, if needed, the house dust mite spray.

The safest way of keeping dust mites out of the house is to keep your home clean. Since the dust mites like living in carpets, bedding, clothing and upholstered furniture, you can lower the infestation chances by regular laundering and vacuuming. As the mites also propagate in very humid places, running dehumidifier or an air filter can also help decrease the dust mites’ impact.

Besides usual cleanliness, you can find helpful to use a house dust mite spray, which is able to reduce or even eliminate lots of dust mites. There’re different types of mite spray, one containing natural ingredients, while others being of the chemical insecticide sorts. Another successful method is steam cleaning, as furniture and mattresses may be treated and the steam heat is able to kill off developing colonies of house dust mites. Although using a pump sprayer with mite spray in a fine mist is usually very effective, sometimes regular applications of spray might be necessary. Finally, you may try laundering clothing with custom anti-allergen detergent, as this can be very helpful to people extremely sensitive to home dust mites.

Pictures of dust mites, house dust mites pictures

May 20th, 2010

Pictures of dust mites, house dust mites pictures.

Pictures of dust mites

House dust mites pictures

House dust mites photos

Picture of house dust mite

Pictures of home dust mites

House dust mites photos, home dust mites pictures, pictures of home dust mites.

House dust mites pictures, pictures of dust mites, photos dust mites.

Warning! House dust mites!

May 20th, 2010

Many people having asthma may be sensitive to the house dust mites, or, precisely, to their droppings. Dust mites are little creatures living in the dust gathering around the home – in carpets, linen, soft toys and furnishings.

If you discovered that you are allergic to house dust mites and they may aggravate your asthma, don’t be afraid. You are able to decrease the symptoms by simply following the tips below. But if your symptoms won’t improve after implementing all these measures, there’s no sense to continue them.

1. Vacuum your house regularly. Your vacuum cleaner should have a good suction as well as filtered exhaust so that it wouldn’t scatter dust. Do damp dusting on all the surfaces or put an attachment onto your cleaner.

2. Put a complete barrier covers on your pillow, mattress and duvet.

3. Take all soft toys away from the bed. Keep them in a plastic bag in the freezer for at least 6 hours every 1-2 weeks in order to kill mites.

4. Replace all the carpets with hard flooring.

5. If you are allergic, ask someone who isn’t to vacuum and stay out of the room during the process.

6. Wash pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers in hot water (over 60oC) every week. Despite there are some people allergic to feather pillows, there’s no evidence that so called ‘hypo-allergenic’ synthetic ones make any better.

7. Dry the air with dehumidifiers to make the survival for the dust mites more difficult.

8. The soft furnishings should be cleaned using anti-dust mite chemicals.

What You Should Know About Bedbugs

May 19th, 2010

Bed bugs picturesWhat You Should Know About Bedbugs
Bedroom is a place for relaxation, rest and of course healthy sleep. No one wants to have parasites in bed that can leave painful bites and cause allergies. The fact of presence of parasites in your bed is really discomfortable, even if they are not harmful. Bedbugs are one of such invisible bad inhabitants.

Bedbugs: What Are They?
Bedbugs are insect parasites that are fed on human or animal blood. These are nesting parasites that live and multiply in the nests of their hosts. Being tiny in size, bedbugs are almost invisible to human eye and it is difficult to detect their presence until they bite. The scientific name of bedbugs is “cimex lectularius”.

What Problems Can Bedbugs Bring?
Bedbugs are mostly not harmful for human organism. But taking into account the discomfort caused by their presence, as well as bites and reactions on them, such as itching and skin irritation, bedbugs are not desirable companions in bad. Bedbugs don’t transmit any human infections or bacteria that can cause various diseases. Nevertheless researchers found that bedbugs provide with about 28 disease pathogens. They don’t infect people, but this fact doesn’t mean that it is OK if bedbugs stay in your bad. Living there, they produce lots of excrements that are collected in bed. They also can bring dirt and different matters form the outside.

Bedbugs’ Appearance
Adult individuals are about 5-7 mm in length, their oval body has explanate shape. The width is usually little less than length, or just the same. The bedbug eggs are very hard to detect because they are tiny, 1 mm long white colored balls that almost invisible on the surface. Nymphs or young bedbugs are almost transparent, not much bigger in size than eggs. As a rule it is easier to detect them after they’ve had a meal, because their transparency is changed on brown or dark red color – a food that came inside makes them more visible.

These insects have great adaptability to any environment. They have no wings, but can easily travel around both horizontal and vertical surfaces, moving rather fast. According to this try to hold your bed on a little distance from the walls, and watch the blankets not to touch the floor. The peak of bedbugs activity is the night time, when people are usually sleeping. During this time they can easily get what they want biting sleeping people and stay unnoticed.

Protection from Bedbugs
The most important warning in fight against bedbugs is avoiding using various chemicals in places and objects that directly contact with people. Various pesticides or insecticides that are not approved for using at home against bedbugs are strongly undesirable due to the risk of poisoning.
Most of pesticides available on the market are not effective in fight against bedbugs, some of them can only stimulate them to find new places for nesting and cause rapid growth of distribution area. The best way to select appropriate chemicals is to consult a competent specialist that will help to find the best poison targeted specifically at bedbugs.

Also you can use preventive measures like frequent washing your clothes and bedding at high temperatures (as high as possible) – bedbugs are sensitive to temperature and can’t stand heat, most of them will be destroyed. You can remove bedbugs from your bed by putting your mattress in special plastic covering. Once used it blocks their way to food, so in some time bedbugs living in the mattress will die out.

Controlling house dust mites in mattresses, killing dust mites mattresses

May 16th, 2010

During the night, when you sleep, your body sheds lots of dead skin cells. Unfortunately, tiny organisms living and thriving in house dust, called house dust mites, feed on your dead skin cells and breed in your mattress. However, you are able to decrease the chances of developing an allergy to the house dust mites by taking some precautions.

For starting you will need vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration, damp mop or rag, dust mite spray and a dust mite encasing.

Dust mite encasings1. First buy special fitted sheets which are made of plastic – they will help you manage the dust mite population in your mattress. These sheets are called dust mite encasings, and they work by encapsulating the mites from your linen and the rest of the bedding, thus effectively cutting them off their food (which is actually you, as they feed on your dead skin). Today’s plastic sheets are covered with flannel or cotton from the outside, so they are much more comfortable than the older versions.

2. In order to manage the dust mite population, it is recommended to vacuum your mattress every few weeks, preferably using a HEPA filter. Vacuum thoroughly between the box springs and mattress, and clean all the edges of the mattress coming in contact with walls. It’s also useful to vacuum the carpeting under your bed, but even better will be to remove all the carpeting from your bedroom and replace it with hardwood flooring.

3. Hot wash all your bedding, including blankets, pillowcases and sheets, on a weekly basis at a minimum 130oF.

4. Don’t use a dry broom for sweeping the floor close to your mattress. It will easily kick the dust up into the air, which will make dust mites from it fall right on your bed. A better way to clean the floor and manage the dust mites near your mattress is using a damp rag or mop.

5. Finally, spray treatments containing tannic acid onto your mattress in order to control their activity. Such products won’t kill dust mites themselves, but will de-activate the fecal matter which is exactly what causes many allergies.