The house dust mite (occasionally described as by allergists as HDM) is a cosmopolitan visitor in human habitation. Dust mites nourish themselves on organic detritus along the lines of flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable habitat of houses.
House dust mites truly are a frequent reason for asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide. The mite’s gut contains a potent digestive enzyme (notably proteases) that persists in their faeces and is a major inducer of allergic reactions for instance wheezing. The mites exoskeletons can also bring about allergies.
The European house dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) and the American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) are two separate species, but are not necessarily confined to Europe or Canada And America; a 3rd species Euroglyphus maynei also occurs widely.
The house dust mite survives in most climates, even at high altitude. House dust mites thrive within the indoor environment offered by homes, specifically in bedrooms and kitchens. Dustmites survive well in mattresses, carpets, furniture and bedding, with figures around 188 animals/g dust.
Even in dry climates, house dustmites survive and reproduce easily in bedding (particularly in pillows), deriving moisture out of the humidity generated by human respiring, sweating and saliva.
House dust mites consume tiny particles of organic matter. Like all acari, house dust mites make use of a simple gut; they’ve got no stomach but rather diverticulae, which are sacs or pouches that divert out from hollow organs. Like many decomposer animals, they go for food that has been pre-decomposed by fungi.
Allergens generated by house dust mites are among the most common triggers of asthma. Researchers have shown the mean attributable fraction of adult asthma as a result of atopic sensitization was 30% and 18% for sensitization to dust mites. Taken into consideration this can mean up to 1.2 billion people could have some form of chronic sensitization to dust mites.
It is generally believed that the accumulated detritus from dust mites can add appreciably to the weight of mattresses and pillows. While it is true that the faecal matter of dust mites will increase after some time, there is no scientific evidence for these claims.
Allergy and asthma sufferers are also often advised to avoid feather pillows due to the assumed increased presence of the house dust mite allergen . The complete opposite, however, is true.
A 1996 study from the British Medical Journal indicates that polyester fibre pillows were contaminated with more than 8 times the total weight of Der p I and 3.57 times more micrograms of Der p I per gram of fine dust than feather pillows.
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