Becks Ware

Clean the unseen

About Allergies

What are Dust Mites?

According to Wikipedia, The house dust mite (sometimes referred to by allergists as HDM) is a cosmopolitan guest in human habitation. Dust mites feed on organic detritus such as flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings. House dust mites are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide. The mite's gut contains potent digestive enzymes (notably proteases) that persists in their feces and are major inducers of allergic reactions such as wheezing. The mite's exoskeleton can also contribute to allergic reactions.

Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live primarily in bedding and other soft furnishings in your home. Not seen by the naked eye, these creepy-crawlies live on dead skin cells shed by people and pet dander. Although mostly harmless, as they do not spread diseases, dust mites and more specifically their faeces can cause allergic reactions in susceptible people. These allergic reactions could be mild, in the form of sneezing and streaming noses and skin irritations, but may be more serious, in the form of asthma and allergic rhinitis (sinus complaints).

A typical mattress can contain in excess of tens of thousands of dust mites. Nearly 100 000 mites can live in one square yard of carpet. A single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day, containing the protein that is the primary allergen. Bacteria are attracted to the faecal waste created by the dust mites.

House dust mites are acari, a subclass of arachnids and have eight legs. The adult dust mite female lays between 40 – 80 eggs, which hatch into six legged larva. After the first moult, an eight legged nymph appears, which then undergoes two further stages of change before emerging as the eight legged adult. The life cycle from egg to adult is approximately one month, with an adult’s life expectancy between one and three months. Dust mites thrive in humid conditions, so the dust mite population in your home may peak in the warmer rainy summer months and decrease in the dryer winter months.

According to the BBC, dated 21 December 2010:
Dust mites "swarm" around houses, migrating as a group in search of moisture, according to a new study.
The collective movement happens when mites leave a dry area in search of higher humidity - the greatest source of which in a house is its human occupants. Mites gain nutrients from dead skin but also depend on moist air for survival. Millions of dust mites are found in the average home and their droppings are known to trigger asthma attacks.

In findings published in the journal Ethology, scientists reveal the previously unknown sociable side of house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus). "We expected the mites to move to areas of higher humidity, because they are dependent on air moisture to survive," said co-author Anne-Catherine Mailleux.

"However, the fact that they attract each other and prefer to move together rather than independently from one another was an important finding."

Researchers knew that house dust mites were unable to drink and depended on moisture in the air to survive. During their study they observed that male adult mites and nymphs moved as a group from a dry area in search of higher humidity. When offered the choice of more than one path providing access to moister air, mites were able to perceive which branch previous mites had chosen. More often than not, they then followed these other mites.

The study showed that, by tending to choose the same routes, dust mites travel collectively or "swarm". Although usually associated with flying insects, swarming is defined as the collective movement of a large number of organisms. This behaviour has been observed in a variety of species but was unknown in dust mites.

"So far, mites had not been considered as "social" animals, and this is the first study that shows that they tend to stick together when on the move," explained Ms Mailleux.

"This suggests that they need each other for some reason, that they are better in a group than alone."

The link between allergens and ADHD

Common household allergens could be aggravating your child's ADHD. A person's living environment can produce an adverse reaction, particularly if you are sensitive to them. ADHD allergens come in a myriad of different forms, but the most often encountered are dust and dust mites.

Some people are react to allergens by exhibiting ADD behaviour. Which people are most likely to be reacting to an allergen?

• ALLERGIC people (stuffy nose, eczema, asthma).
• People who often do not feel well or who are depressed
• Kids with the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome, who seem happy one moment and suddenly, without provocation, become a nasty wildebeest (provocation includes asking the child to clean his or her room).
• Kids with dark circles under their eyes ("allergy shiners").
• Kids who were colicky past the age of four months and were unhappy babies.
• Kids with chronic sleeping problems.
• People with reoccurring infections (ear, chest, sinus)

What kinds of reactions have been observed in children?

• hyperactivity
• trouble sleeping
• tantrums, aggressive behaviour, screaming
• whining, crying, not feeling well
• poor handwriting
• very tiny handwriting
• inability to concentrate
• dyslexics may reverse letters or do "mirror" writing while reacting
• digestive upset (bloating, belching, gagging, vomiting, constipation, nausea, gas)
• headaches
• wheezing, runny or itchy nose, scratchy eyes, coughing
• depression
• non-stop, senseless talk
• reoccurring infections: ear, chest, sinus
• bright red earlobes, red patches on cheeks
• dark circles, wrinkles and/or bags under the eyes
• eczema, hives, rashes

Unfortunately, regular household dust can be very toxic to sensitive people. What makes this ADHD allergen particularly problematic is that its effect can be so subtle that your primary symptoms would be lethargy and disorganized thinking.

Creating an allergen free living environment is vital to ADHD symptoms management. UV-C cleaning is a safe and effective way of reducing problematic symptoms of ADHD such as inattention, impulsivity, erratic behaviour and hyperactivity caused by sensitivities.

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