HOUSE DUST MITE ALLERGY- All you should know!
Q. What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that feed on dead human skin cells and thrive in warm, humid environments. They are not parasites that bite, sting, or burrow into our bodies. Instead, people who are allergic to dust or dust mites are reacting to inhaling proteins in dust that come from dust mite feces, urine, or decaying bodies. Any inflammation of the nasal passages caused by dust mites is considered a dust allergy.
Q. Where do dust mites live?
Dust mites can live in the bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets, or curtains in your home. Dust mites are nearly everywhere; roughly four out of five homes in the United States have detectable levels of dust mite allergen in at least one bed.
Q. People state that since dust mites are microscopic, they don't affect indoor air quality. True/ False?
If you want to improve your indoor air quality, dust mite containment and prevention is a key step. Dust mite debris can become airborne, affecting indoor air quality.
Q. What are dust Mite sources?
Dust mites occur naturally and can appear in nearly all homes. Humidity is the most important factor in determining whether a house has high concentrations of dust mites because dust mites do not drink water as we do; they absorb moisture from the air. In areas with low humidity, like deserts, dust mites cannot survive.
Q. Dust mite allergy is an airborne disorder. True/ False?
Unlike pet allergens, dust mite allergens do not usually stay airborne but instead settle within minutes into dust or fabrics. These allergens commonly cling to bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets, and curtains, which also serve as nests. Most exposure to dust mite allergens occurs while sleeping and when the dust is disturbed during bed-making or other movements.
Q. How do Dust Mite Allergens Affect Health?
Dust Mites are one of the major indoor triggers for people with allergies and asthma. Chronic, ongoing exposure to dust mites at home can dramatically impact the health of people with asthma and those who are allergic or sensitive to mites. These allergens can trigger mild to severe allergic symptoms in sensitized individuals and can be responsible for asthma attacks. A mild case may cause an occasional runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. In severe cases, the condition is ongoing, or chronic, resulting in persistent sneezing, cough, congestion, facial pressure, or even a severe asthma attack. People with asthma who are sensitive to mites face an increased risk of flare-ups or asthma attacks.
Q. What is the best way to be sure that house dust mites (HDM) will not come into my bed?
First is to understand how the mite lives and then take measures to make sure a mite is not welcomed in your bed. Cover your mattress, pillows, and duvets with micro-porous material. Remove carpets and clutter. Do not make your bed in the morning, simply air it all day long to reduce moisture from sleep.
Q. Do I have to treat all the beds in my home?
Doctors recommend that all beds be made anti-mite beds with dust mite proof allergy pillow cover and an allergy mattress cover.
Q. How to Protect Against Dust Mites?
You can take action to reduce or eliminate dust mites in your home.
• Reduce humidity. To minimize the growth of dust mites, keep your home below 50 percent humidity. In humid areas, air conditioning and dehumidifiers can help.
• Reduce the places where dust mites can live. Remove some of the furniture or use furniture with smooth surfaces, eliminate drapes and curtains, and cover mattresses and pillows with allergen encasements to reduce dust mites. Wash bedding in hot water (at least 130 degrees F) once a week. Minimize clutter, stuffed animals, and other places where dust mites live. If that’s not possible, wash stuffed animals weekly in hot water (at least 130 degrees F).
• Replace carpets. Carpeting should be removed from the home, especially if occupants are allergic to dust mites. If you must retain the carpet, use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency filter. Damp clean floors often, focusing on capturing dirt and dust without wet mopping.
• Dust regularly. Incorporating dusting into your regular cleaning routine can reduce the amount of dust and improve overall indoor air quality in your home. When dusting, use something that can trap and lock dust (like a wet washcloth or microfiber cloth) to reduce the amount of it that is stirred up when cleaning. People with allergies to dust mites or with asthma triggered by dust mite allergies need to reduce dust mites in their homes. Older homes, homes located in regions with humid climates, lower-income residences, are more likely to have high concentrations of dust mites.
Q. Dust mites are only found in dust. Myth or Fact?
Dust in your home is mostly made up of human debris (skin cells, hair, etc.) and it also contains dirt, pollen, mold spores, microplastics, and fibers. If you have animals in your home, it will contain a larger amount of animal dander as well. All homes have animal dander even if they don’t have pets. Sometimes dust mites are found in dust. But they don’t live there for long, especially if the dust is on a hard surface. To live, dust mites need moisture and to feed on human skin cells. They thrive in humid locations like your bed (you sweat and breathe, trapping humidity under your covers). They are also found in your fabric furniture (couches, chairs) and carpet. They are sometimes found in your curtains. They like stuffed animals, especially those allowed on the bed. Dust mites thrive in these areas because these are not normal places you clean for dust.
Q. Dusting is the only way to get rid of dust mites. Isn’t it?
It’s partially true. There are two ways to prevent exposure to dust mites:
• Reduce humidity
• Block access to human skin (barrier) Dust mites will still live in your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets, but with regular washing with hot water, you can keep the numbers down.
Q. People with asthma don’t have to worry about dust mites. True/ False?
Dust mites are a concern for people with dust mite allergies. And many people with dust mite allergy also have eczema and asthma that is triggered by dust mites. But dust mites are also a problem for people with asthma even if they aren't allergic to dust mites. The dust mite debris (dead bodies, fecal matter) they create is considered an irritant that worsens indoor air pollution. The dust mite debris is then inhaled and is an irritant to inflamed lungs.
Q. What is the best way to be sure that house dust mites (HDM) will not come into my bed?
First is to understand how the mite lives and then take measures to make sure a mite is not welcomed in your bed. Cover your mattress, pillows, and duvets with micro-porous material. Remove carpets and clutter. Do not make your bed in the morning, simply air it all day long to reduce moisture from sleep.
Q. By taking steps to cover the mattress, pillow, and duvet how soon will I notice a difference in my child's health?
This will depend upon your child's health and confirmed allergies. What you will be doing is practicing 'sleep hygiene’ or creating a safer sleep environment recommended by doctors.
Q. Why are house dust mites so harmful?
House dust mites (HDM) produce powerful enzymes that are strong enough to break down delicate cells, then go on to enter the body, a bit like an invasion. For some people, this invasion causes a reaction, for others, it's just unwanted dirt that gets cleaned up naturally. Interestingly, doctors have found that some aggressive pollen seems to work in the same destructive way, but these are seasonal pollens, while HDM can be year-round pests in allergy.
Q. Why isn't just vacuuming my mattress good enough to get rid of house dust mites?
House dust mites (HDM) hide away from the light and burrow deep into the mattress clinging on with powerful hooks and suckers on each of their eight legs. However, vacuuming a mattress will reduce some of the dust that mites consider as food. The vacuum used should include a HEPA filter.
Q. Can mites live on top of covers?
Yes, if left undisturbed with moisture and plenty of food mites will multiply on the top of a microporous cover. It is important to dust the covers regularly to prevent this from happening.
Q. Do we need to cover all the beds and bedding?
Yes! If more than one bed in a home needs anti-mite treatment consider replacing old bedding by a quality mattress. Clinically proven anti-mite sprays are available to help keep mattresses mite free.
Q. Do mites bite?
No, house dust mites (HDM) do not bite, but enzymes in HDM droppings can harm or kill delicate cells causing a breach in cell defenses.
Q. How do house dust mites (HDM) get into my bed in the first place?
Mites can travel about by clinging to material, fur, feathers, or anything that will give them a place to hide and a ride to a new home. Socks, soft toys, or nightclothes can transport mites to a bed.
Q. We Indians are immune to dust mites. Myth or fact?
House dust mites (HDMs) are extensively reported as potent allergens worldwide with India being in the top row. HDM sensitization is hugely reported in India and has led to the concern of implementing proper guidelines for the treatment of the sufferers. Climatic conditions and a rapid shift of lifestyle toward a more indoor and urbanized pattern are denoted as the probable causes of increased HDM exposure and sensitization. On the contrary, the varying rate of HDM allergy in a similar climate and urbanized areas throughout the world suggest the influence of genetic predisposition. At present, in India, avoidance of HDM exposure is recommended as the baseline defense. Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) guidelines are proposed in India to maintain uniformity in the diagnostic techniques and management strategies throughout the country. Considering the genetic susceptibility toward allergic diseases, the concept of 'personalized medicine' is preferred over the 'mass targeted treatment'. From the Indian perspective, the present problem is that Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and D. farinae allergens are not well characterized at the molecular level. Therefore, India is still reliant on less standardized allergen extracts. The proper identification, purification, and molecular characterization of HDM allergens can combat this problem. For more information visit or call 999-999-2020.
Q. How to diagnose dust mite allergies?
Dr. Dangs Lab- Allergy & Intolerance profiles provide the estimation of the concentration of specific antibodies in the blood that are elevated due to exposure to allergens. Dr. Dangs Lab Allergy & Intolerance profile consists of the following tests: TEST NAME SPECIMEN REQUIREMENT & TAT/REPORT Allergy (IgE based)-Basic Food Profile Run day: Thursday Reporting: Next day Allergy (IgE based)-Comprehensive Food Profile Run day: Thursday Reporting: Next day Allergy (IgE based)-Basic Respiratory Profile Run day: Thursday Reporting: Next day Allergy (IgE based)-Comprehensive Respiratory Profile Run day: Thursday Reporting: Next day Allergy (IgE based)-Comprehensive Paediatric profile Run day: Thursday Reporting: Next day Food intolerance (IgG based)-22/44/90/180/270 & 90 vegetarian items 3 weeks About Dr. Dangs Lab Allergy Test
• Multiparameter assay containing optimized combinations of relevant allergens enables the simultaneous analysis of specific IgE against these allergens.
• Highly sensitive and specific assay with minimal cross-reactivity among different allergens.
• Non-invasive, a single prick blood test with comprehensive coverage of common Respiratory and Food Allergens.
• Availability of experienced pediatric sampling experts with Pediatric Allergen profile covering component testing of milk for α-Lactalbumin, β-Lactoglobulin, Casein, and BSA (Bovine serum albumin). Assay performed under direct supervision of highly trained and specialist doctors.
• Lab follows highest levels of infection control.

Publisher’s name- Dr. Dangs Lab


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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion.