Dust mites are the types of mites commonly found in the dust of our houses that can be a cause of various types of allergic reactions. Mites, in biological terms, are referred to as small creatures or animals that act as a catalyst in the allergy formation. In biological terms many different definitions have been proposed for the dust mites.
Table of Contents
Dust mites identification
1. Appearance and size
Dust Mites are tiny microscopic creatures unable to see with unaided eye and can only be seen with the help of powerful microscopes. If observed under a microscope they are found to be small white bags. According to various biologists who have performed experiments on dust mites found out that dust mites have eight legs so they cannot be declared as insects. They are believed to be arthropods and fall under the family of spiders. About one-quarter to one-third of a millimeter is found to be the measure of a dust mite in the recent biological journal issued.
2. Habitat and distribution
There are different conditions under which the dust mites grow properly. Dust mites develop well under certain degrees of temperature. This temperature ranges from twenty to twenty-five degree Celsius. Humidity levels also contribute in the developing of dust mites. Humidity level of seventy to eighty percent if found to be favorable for the growth of dust mites. They are found to be present in our homes at various places. These dust mites are often found in houses on the mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets, curtains and even the stuff toys of children. These are the places on which dust mites grow or develop.
Dust mites found in our houses are believed to harmful especially for the patients of Asthma or any other allergy of this type since these dust mites can cause allergic reactions combining with the formerly present allergy in the human body. Since no house on this planet earth is hundred percent clean so it is unable to find a dust mite free house. Dust mites present in our houses are capable of producing powerful enzymes. These enzymes are powerful enough to enter the human body by breaking the delicate cells present inside the body. Once they enter the human body they make their way. However, the intensity of the allergic reaction caused by dust mites varies from person to person. For instance, in one person it can be cleaned by natural process while the other person may get allergic to many things in his surroundings.
3. Reproduction and lifecycle
Talking about the biology and life cycle of dust mites, some interesting facts are found out. Females dust mites lay approximately forty to eight eggs on individual basis. They sometimes lay eggs in the form of small groups. These small groups are mostly three to five in number. A larva emerges after the hatching of eggs. This larva is found to be six legged which develops into an eight legged with the passage of the time. This time is found to be near to one month that is the passage from an egg to adult for a dust mite is approximately a month. When a mite transforms into an adult its life span is found to be one to three months ranging from specie to specie.
4. Diet and food
According to observations by various biologists the essential diet of dust mites is flakes of shed human skin.
Other primary food sources 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. Based on the previous dust mite research carried out in Europe most of the dust mites were found in places with high humidity. Least population is found in dry climates.
Do dust mites bite?
A question is most frequently asked when the topic of dust mites comes over. It is often asked if the dust mites bite. It is surprisingly found out that out that dust mites don’t bite although they might be found out to be a part of the breaking of delicate cells of the human body. Dust mites are in fond of the dead human skin mostly in the form of dandruff, dead skin and the human hair.
Dust mite allergy
Dust mite allergy is the allergy caused by mite allergens present in our surroundings especially our houses enter our body and cause damage to the less powerful cells in our body. Even the waste of the dust mites can be the cause of the dust mite allergy. Mite allergen imperable overs are harmful for the human body.
Most dust mites leave their waste behind in the places they are found in abundance. These left overs continue to become a source of allergic reactions. The common symptoms for dust mite allergy are found to be the presence of constant sneezing. Constant sneezing causes a runny nose and somewhat is a cause of itching in the nose or throat. Due to the dust mite allergy the human eyes are also affected and become itchy and watery. Besides making the throat itchy, dust mite allergy commonly makes the person cough very often.
In the asthmatic patients the symptoms vary. These patients when found to be a victim of dust mite allergy often have a difficulty in breathing that breathing becomes more difficult for them in case of dust mite allergy. Weird whistle like sound comes out of their mouth every time they breathe out or in other words when these patients exhale. Also, they feel chest conjunction or a pain in their chests. All these symptoms in the asthmatic patients cause the make sleeping an issue for them. When they are unable to breathe properly they cannot sleep easily.
2. Diagnose and treatment
Doctors run different kinds of tests in order to diagnose this allergy. The most common of these tests include the skin prick test. Also, specific kind of blood tests are carried out which help the doctors diagnose this allergy.
Many doctors while suggesting treatment for this allergy recommend avoiding dust mites at a maximum level but this is not possible to completely get rid of contact with the dust mites. That is why other medications are used for the treatment of this disease. These medications include a variety of nose sprays, pills, liquid or drops. However, most of the patients are given nose sprays because their results are found to be surprisingly effective. Many patients of dust mite allergy are not relieved by the medications suggested to them. In this case the last treatment is the use of Allergy Shots. These shots contain a sufficient amount of allergen needed for the patient and are given in a continuous manner. It is found to be effective from the past many years.
How to get rid of dust mites
There are certain preventions that can be taken I order to get rid of the dust mites but complete avoidance from them is not possible. The very first step in these preventions is the keen observation of the furnishings present in your house. A large amount these mites may stick around in the corners of the sofa set or a couch. So depending on mere vacuuming is not a good option. There might be a possibility that you need to remove or modify some of them.
First of all, mattresses are the thing that should be observed. It is recommended to keep them covered. The use of dust free or dust proof covers would be more accurate. Encasing mattress and pillows in allergen-impermeable covers would avoid the risk at a higher extent. Also, the sheets and blankets found in our daily use should be washed at least once in a week. It is preferred to wash them hot water.
As mentioned above lower humidity is the favorite place for the dust mites to develop well, it is suggested to keep your house less humid so that there is no room for the mites to grow or even develop well. The humidity level, according to recent researchers, should be less than fifty percent in order to avoid dust mites in your house.
Other suggestions or most precisely preventions include keeping the house sanitation and cleaning up to date. It is found out the use of bare floors instead of wall to wall carpets lowers the risk of dust mite. Double layered micro filters bag are good to use in the presence of dust mite allergy. Even the rugs present in our houses should be washed with hot water whenever you get a chance to wash them. According to many of the biologists if a person adds the use of allergen-trapping air filters in his house it lessens the risk of dust mites. Also, treating carpets with an acaracide is recommended. Use of air conditioners is also preferable.
To conclude tiny little creatures of dust mites can cause dust mite allergy including a number of symptoms that can be harmful especially for the asthmatic patients. However, this allergy can be treated with various medications and allergy shots. A number of different precautions can be taken in order the dust mites and the allergy caused by them.