How Dust Mites Affect People with Asthma
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Did you know that dust mites are one of the most common triggers of asthma attacks? They are tiny arachnids that live in warm, humid environments and feed on human skin and other organic materials such as feathers, hair, and dead human skin. Although they’re almost invisible to the naked eye, these tiny creatures can cause significant health problems. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to reduce their numbers in your home and keep them from coming back again.
How Dust Mites Can Cause Asthma Attacks
Dust mites are arachnids that live in warm, humid environments. They feed on human skin and other organic materials such as feathers, hair, and dead human skin and can cause severe allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them. Most people are immune to dust mites, the body produces antibodies to fight off the mites. However, people with asthma are more likely to have a hypersensitive immune response, meaning that their immune system overreacts and triggers an inflammatory response. This can cause symptoms like sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments with plenty of dead organic matter to feed on, and they prefer temperatures between 18-30 degrees Celsius and 50-80% humidity. Their nests are made entirely of dead human skin, hair, and feathers, mixed with fecal matter, droppings, and eggs. When there is too low humidity, the mites’ fecal matter dries out and becomes airborne. When this happens, the dried droppings can become airborne and irritate people’s lungs.
The Dangers of Breathing in Dust Mite Waste
Because of all the contaminants in their waste, inhaling dust mite droppings is hazardous. Dust mite waste is a complex mixture of proteins, bacteria, and other toxic materials that can cause problems if they get into your lungs. When you breathe in dust mites, you are likely to experience symptoms such as redness, irritation, and swelling of the nose and throat. The waste from dust mites can also irritate the linings of your lungs, leading to asthma symptoms or even asthma attacks in people who are already sensitive to these proteins. Dust mites are one of the most common triggers of asthma attacks, especially among young children and adults with asthma who are already genetically predisposed to reacting poorly to dust mite waste.
Strategies for Reducing the Risk of Exposure to Dust Mites
You can do a few things to reduce the risk of exposure to dust mites and their waste. When the humidity is too high, mites thrive and produce more waste, so reducing humidity is a great start. Regular cleaning can also reduce the number of mites in your home. When cleaning, be sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These filters are specially designed to catch dust mites and other allergens in the air. You can also reduce the number of mites in your home by using dust-proof covers on your mattress and pillows and thoroughly cleaning your bedding regularly. Try washing your bedding in hot water once a week. You can also try adding essential oils to the washer to infuse your linens with anti-microbial properties.
Mite Allergy Treatment.
If you or a loved one has asthma and is sensitive to dust mites, there are a few ways to treat the symptoms. The first step is to reduce your time in rooms with high mite concentrations. You can keep your doors closed when you’re not in the room. You can also install air filters in rooms with high mite concentrations. After cleaning, try leaving your house for a few hours to let the mites stirred up by cleaning settle back again. Taking medications prescribed by your doctor may also help reduce asthma symptoms triggered by dust mites. Your doctor may recommend a daily asthma medication or a short-term dust mite allergy treatment to manage symptoms during periods of high mite exposure.
Dust mites are tiny arachnids that live in warm, humid environments and feed on human skin and other organic materials such as feathers, hair, and dead human skin. They thrive in warm, humid environments with plenty of dead organic matter to feed on. There are a few ways to reduce the risk of exposure to dust mites and their waste, including reducing the humidity in your home, regularly cleaning your home, and using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.