House Dust Mite Perceptions
The general understanding of house dust mite allergies among US allergists include the following: Allergy reactions in people are caused by an allergen present in dust mites feces. Dust mites like to reproduce in warm and high humidity places, especially in the bedroom. The main symptoms of house dust mite allergy are allergic rhinitis, sneezing, runny nose and it is associated with asthma. The best option to treat a dust mite allergy is to go to an allergist or immunologist.
A General Overview of House Dust Mites
- According to Allergist Jeffrey M. Wilson; there's been more than 50 years since the first house dust allergen was recognized as such. The discovery came from microscopic observation of mites in a sample of the dust of damp houses.
- When this mite allergen was isolated to scientific studies it was first called F4P1 and subsequently Der p 1; after these studies were focused exclusively to the mites' feces it was found that the allergen on these feces is the main cause of the allergenic effect of dust mites.
- Dust mites' ideal temperature to reproduce is between 68-77 °F and the ideal humidity is between 70-80%. Currently there are at least 13 different species of dust mites identified and they are very well adapted to live indoors at home.
Causes of House Dust Mite Allergy
- According to The American College of Allergists, dust mites are one of the most common indoor allergens. This is because dust mites are invisible to the naked eye, so they reproduce freely and in high quantities.
- According to allergist Wilson; the mite's fecal particles measure between 20 to 30 micrometers in diameter and are encased in a peritrophic membrane that prevents them from breaking up.
- These large fecal particles enter the bronchi by inhalation. This can cause progressive inflammation of the lungs and provoke the creation of IgE (Immunoglobulin E) which induce the allergic response.
Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergy
- The most common symptoms of dust mite allergy are; allergic rhinitis, sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, scratchy throat, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. This allergen could cause asthma as well.
- The symptoms of this allergy could be present year-round. Due to this characteristic, some allergists classify this allergy as "perennial".
How to Reduce Dust Mites in House
- According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which has Jennifer LeBovidge PhD as its allergist-scientist leader; to completely avoid allergies by mite feces is almost impossible in most cases, but some measures can be taken to reduce the mite population to the minimum.
- Allergist Wilson states that the bedroom is the primary focus of dust mites. To reduce dust mites to a minimum a coordinated plan is crucial. These factors must be taken into account: the materials used for covering pillows and mattresses, humidity control, room air-cleaners, carpets, and lastly, vacuum cleaners.
- An important measure to kill dust mites is to use water with temperatures up to 130°F when doing laundry. It is important to carefully wash sheets, blankets, bedspreads, duvet covers, and comforters every week and at high temperature.
Ways to Treat Dust Mite Allergy
- When a dust mite allergy affects a family member, even when the numbers of dust mites and their feces are reduced to the minimum; it is important to go see a physician. If the allergy symptoms are not under control after 3-6 months it is necessary to visit a specialist.
- Going to an allergist or immunologist is the most effective way to reduce and in some cases eliminate the allergic reaction to mites and their waste. An expert can formulate "allergy shots" to help manage the immune system’s response specifically to dust mite allergens.
Your research team began research on trusted websites such as the official website of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology where we found an interesting article about research led by MD, PhD Jeffrey M. Wilson, allergist and immunologist who cares for patients at UVA Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. Also, The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology website, this organization is formed by professionals of health who focus on allergies. Lastly, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, led by Allergist Jennifer LeBovidge PhD, an allergist in charge of the Allergy and Asthma programs in the Boston Children's Hospital. All the information is highly reliable and gives an overall understanding of US allergists about dust mites allergies. It is important to mention that most of the sources don't have a specific year of publication, the reason is that they are the official website of the organizations and the information contained is updated when is needed.