Dust Mite Allergies

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dust-mite-allergiesIt would be hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard about the dreaded “dust mite.” But most people have no idea that the dust mite is the number one cause of household related allergies and asthma.

Dust mites are found in the indoor environment and are most prevalent in the bedroom where they fest on the skin flakes in bedding. Oddly enough, people are rarely allergic to the dust mite themselves but the feces of the dust mite. The fecal matter of the dust mites contain a protein that allergy and asthma sufferers are sensitive to. In fact, allergy and asthma researchers state that most all allergy and asthma sufferers are hypersensitive to the protein found dust mite feces. It is only a matter of how much of this protein they must breath in at any one time to create a direct symptom.

The Microscopic Dust Mite
House dust mites, due to their very small size and translucent bodies, are barely visible to the unaided eye. A typical house dust mite measures 0.25–0.3 millimeters (0.010–0.012 in) in length. For accurate identification, one needs at least 10× magnification. The body of the house dust mite has a striated cuticle. They have eight legs and can become airborne by attaching them selves to a household dust particle.

The Dust Mite Life-Cycle
The average life cycle for a male house dust mite is 10 to 19 days. A mated female house dust mite can last up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life. In a 10-week life span, a house dust mite will produce approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles.

Controlling Dust Mites

The primary and most effective method of controlling dust mites and their fecal particles is by using a HEPA vacuum to control the household dust particles. Here a a few tips:

  • HEPA vacuum your mattress and box springs every month to remove microscopic skin flakes and other small dust particles.
  • Run a HEPA air purifier in the bedroom and other highly-used room 24/7.
  • Encase your mattress in a hypo-allergenic cover and wash weekly.
  • Keep dogs, cats and all other pets which produce dander from entering your bedroom.
  • HEPA vacuum all upholstery furniture, rugs and carpeting in the home weekly and all other surfaces every other week to minimize dust particles in the home.
  • Keep your skin moisturized will minimize the amount of skin flakes which you shed during sleeping.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

Related Posts: Dust Allergies.

The Unknown Micro World : Dust Mites

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Fire Ant Allergy

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fire-ant-allergyFire ants were originally introduced to the United States from South America during the 1920s, fire ants are now well established in several southern states. The venom of the fire ants differs from that of small biting insects, in that it can produce several local allergic reactions or systemic anaphylactic reactions.

The fire ants attack by biting to secure itself, then inserts its stinging apparatus, which contains the venom. Highly sensitive individuals with high levels of allergic antibodies against the venom of the fire ant are usually treated with immunotherapy.

Someone who is sensitive to insect bites should avoid:

  • Standing in the direct path of fire ant mounds and their traffic zones
  • Contact with a nest
  • Throwing objects or disturbing a nest
  • Hitting a mound when mowing
  • Planting flowers in a fire ant zone
  • Trimming hedges or shrubs in a fire ant zone
  • Walking barefoot outdoors
  • Cooking or eating outdoors

Fire Ant Control Tips

There are many safe fire ants mound control products available today which will help in controlling the fire ant population in your yard. However, they usually require more than one application per season. Always make sure you keep your pets away from fire ant zones as they can also have severe fire ant reactions when bitten. If you have a fire ant problem in your yard then it is advisable that you walk your perimeter weekly to help spot new mounds and zones so you can treat them promptly.

About the author: About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.


Dust Allergy

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Dust Allergy Dilemma

One of the most prevalent indoor air pollutants and the primary cause of a dust allergy falls into the big category simply called “dust particulate matter” or “dust particles.” If you were to classify many of the household airborne pollutants, they would fall into the general category of a dust particle.

We have all heard of household dust so you may be wondering, “What’s such a big deal about a dust particle?”

Well there are actually 3 big deals …

  1. The size of the dust particle
  2. The amount of airborne dust particles
  3. The type of dust particle

If a dust particle is very small we call this a sub-micron particle. A sub-micron particle can lodge deep within the lung tissues. If there are just a few of these sub-micron particles in the indoor environment it wouldn’t really be a big deal. However, extensive studies have proven that these sub-micron particles “by count” are more than 90% of the particles in any residential indoor environment. In fact, I have tested many homes over the years for sub-micron particles and have never found a count less than 90%; while most houses I have checked have been closer to 98%.

But what does this mean?

The answer is tied into the third point above . . . “The type of dust particle.”

There are many sub-micron dust particles in the indoor environment you just don’t want to breathe in every day.

Some of the more common dust particles which are known allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Dust mite feces
  • Mold spores
  • Broken-down pesticide dust
  • Broken-down dead insects
  • Bacteria from vacuum cleaner bags
  • Broken down tree and grass pollen
  • and more

People with chronic allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems probably have some level of a hypersensitivity (allergic response) to one or more of these allergens found in house particles. The key to controlling a dust allergy is limiting the amount of these sub-micron dust particles floating in the air of your home.

HEPA To The Rescue

A HEPA vacuum used regularly will drastically reduce the amount of these airborne dust particles over time. By combining the use of HEPA air purifiers in the main rooms of the home along with weekly vacuuming, your should notice a marked improvement in your indoor air quality and dust related allergy symptoms.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

80% Of Allergies Linked To Household Dust Mites

Dust Mite Allergy

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DustMitesA dust mite allergy is actually a hyper-sensitivity reaction to proteins found in the feces of dust mites. These proteins may attack the respiratory airways causing mild to severe allergic reactions and even asthma. House dust mites are found most homes around the world.

Microscopic Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic organisms that thrive in warm and humid environments such as furniture and bedding materials. Their favorite food is human skin flakes and animal dander. Since human actually shed thousand of skin flakes everyday and dogs, cats and other household pets shed dander daily, dust mites never run out of food.

As we inhale large quantities of dust mite protein allergens, the body produces antibodies in the form of a chemical compound known as histamine. Histamine is what causes an allergic reaction and can lead to swelling and irritation of the upper respiratory passages. It is believed that dust mites allergies are one of the primary causes of childhood asthma symptoms and the predisposition for this allergy is often hereditary.

Unlike pollen, dust mites are present all year round causing constant allergic reactions. The excretion from the mites dries out and can become airborne when someone walks over a rug, sits down in a chair or shakes the bed clothes, creating immediate symptoms in allergic people.

Controlling Dust Mites

The best tool controlling these microscopic dust mites is the HEPA (High Efficient Particle Air) vacuum. The certified HEPA vacuum cleaner (or central vacuum system) is the best dust, skin flakes and dust mite removing device over which you have total control. You decide what surfaces you vacuum and when. Any other vacuum filter is potentially a vacuum polluter and only recycles the microscopic dust which can be responsible for many respiratory allergies and asthma.

About the author:
The Sick House Center is a resource and information center about indoor air pollution and other related subjects. Read about Indoor Allergies Prevention at the Sick House Center.

How to Cure Dust Allergies

Wasp Allergy

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There are some people who are allergic to wasp bites, which means that their immune systems react to the venom injected by a stinging insect. Venom bites of insects contains several chemicals that, when introduced through a bite, causes the release of histamine, which causes local tissue damage and other chemicals that cause allergic symptoms. After the first sting, the allergic person’s body produces an allergic substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody that reacts with insect venom. If he or she is bitten by the bug again to the same species or similar insect venom interacts with the IgE antibody response to the first bite.

The resulting tissue damage is largely responsible for the pain, swelling, redness and we experience itching at the site of the bite. Although most local reactions are mild and cause localized swelling and inflammation around the site bite, the area of swelling and inflammation can be very large. For example, one may be bitten on the finger, however, inflammation can progress to include whole arm. Both of these reactions, by virtue of the fact that adjoin the site of the bite and allergic reactions are considered.

For a small number of people with severe venom allergy, stings can be deadly, insects belonging to the class of Hymenoptera are capable of injecting venom into humans and animals. Severe allergic reactions to insect stings can involve many body organs and may develop rapidly. This reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include itching and hives over large areas of the body, swelling in the throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, dizziness, stomach pains, nausea or diarrhea. In severe cases, a rapid fall in blood pressure can lead to shock and unconsciousness. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and can be fatal. If you or anyone else experience any of these symptoms after an insect bite, get emergency medical treatment immediately. After symptoms are treated in the emergency room, you must also obtain a referral to an allergist to learn about treatment options.

Insect bite or poison insect bite can be one of the most dangerous allergens. Most people who are stung by bees, wasps, hornets, wasps and fire ants have little to fear. At worst, these people may experience mild pain, swelling and itching at the bite site.

A person does not suffer an allergic reaction the first time it is bitten by an insect. Instead, the initial encounter leads to awareness, in which the immune system reacts exaggerated insect venom and creates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to fight it. These antibodies trigger an allergic reaction the next time the body meets the insect venom.

The next time a person is bitten, these antibodies cause the mast cells to release chemicals such as histamine, which can cause inflammation in the body. Very allergic people can suffer anaphylaxis, in which fluid leaks from blood to tissues, causing inflammation and reducing blood pressure. Bronchial tissues may swell and cause difficulty breathing.

Stinging insects in the United States include honeybees, wasps, hornets, wasps and fire ants. While not everyone is allergic to insect venom, skin reactions, such as mild pain, swelling and redness can occur with an insect bite.  Most sting reactions are caused by five types of insects: wasps, bees, paper wasps, hornets and fire ants.

However, people with allergies to the venom are likely to experience more pronounced effects. A mild allergic reaction can cause nausea, increased swelling and other discomforts. At the other extreme, a rare disease who are allergic to after experiencing an allergic reaction. It is better to destroy the hive or nest of insects are known to cause allergy. Insects sting when disturbed by what is best off slowly, as you encounter any flying stinging insects.

About the Author:

Bryan Morris is a medical sales professional and likes doing research works on various types of allergies and their possible cure.

Related Post: Insect Allergy.


Bee Pollen Allergies

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bee pollenBee pollen and allergies has been a contentious issue for quite some time due to severe allergic reactions some people suffer after a bite bee. Some types of bee pollen allergy sufferers react so severely that they experience an anaphylactic reaction in which the throat, mouth and tongue swell up a point of closing of the throat, making breathing impossible. There have been many who have died from bee stings, however, allergy to bee stings and bee pollen and allergies are a bit murky. We will try to clarify the bee pollen and allergy treatment.

Bee Sting Allergy vs. Bee Pollen Allergy

While many people will react negatively to bee stings, these same people seem to benefit from bee pollen and allergy therapy. Bee pollen is used to treat allergies reduces production of histamine, which cause allergic reactions in the body as the common reaction of hay fever.

It is the defenses Your reaction to something introduced into the body, which is combating the causes and allergic reactions. Bee pollen and allergy desensitization work together These progressive body-reactive antibodies. The next time this substance enters the body, after receiving bee pollen therapy, body realizes that is not harmful and does not produce the allergic reaction.

Bee Pollen and Allergy Benefits

Bee pollen has been known who have many overall benefits to the human body and has many benefits. The benefits of bee pollen and allergy treatment is that it has been known to strengthen the respiratory system, is a source of protein that helps the body build a natural defense against allergic reactions. A survey of patients conducted by Dr. Leo Conway, MD showed all patients who were treated with bee pollen and allergy treatment, showed a marked improvement and became free from all allergy symptoms, regardless of geography or diet. Bee pollen and allergy therapy is becoming well known for its effectiveness in warding off allergic reactions.

Bee pollen warnings

Bee pollen is not be taken if you have had previous reactions to bee stings or bee pollen. In some cases, anaphylactic shock has been reported. If you have a history of any anaphylactic shock reaction to any allergies, bee pollen and treatment of allergy can not be the right therapy for you. If you have asthma, consult your doctor before starting the bee pollen and allergy therapy. Bee pollen contains allergens that can interact negatively with asthma.

We have used a bee product from a pristine source in New Zealand and is the most natural bee pollen source we have come across; www.bee-health-product.com. We have been using this supplement for over 3 years with excellent health results. We have achieved a general sense of well being and new improved energy levels.

About the author: John Gibbs runs a series of health related websites about bee related subjects and products.

Bee Collecting Pollen

Insect Allergy

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insect allergyIf you’re allergic to the stings or bites of insects, navigating your way rhough the summer can be more dangerous than bicycling through New York City. An estimated 2 million Americans have insect allergies, which send more than 500,000 of them to the hospital and cause at least 50 deaths per year. That figure may actually br higher, since some insect-allergy related deaths may not be recognized as such. Almost half of the fatal reactions occur in people who have no history of insect allergies. If you suspect you may be allergic, ask your doctor to do a skin test.

Insect Allergy Culprits

The culprits include stinging insects, such as bees, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, and fire ants, and biting insects, such as mosquitoes and bedbugs. Most of which are plentiful in late July, August and early September. You’ll know you’re allergic to one of them if, after you’ve been bitten, you develop hives, itchiness, swelling in areas other than the sting bite, difficulty breathing, dizziness, a hoarse voice, and/or swelling of the tongue. In severe reactions, you may lose consciousness and go into cardiac arrest as your body becomes overwhelmed and goes into anaphylactic shock. Don’t be surprised if the symptoms hit several hours after your encounter with the insect and gradually worsen before dissipating.

There’s really no way to know if you’re allergic to an insect until you’ve been stung, since this is one of the few allergies in which there is no clear family history. Just because a parent is allergic to bee stings doesn’t mean that you will be.

If you’re stung, try applying cold compresses and/or an over-the-counter hydro-cortisone cream to reduce the stinging and swelling, but even if that first reaction is mild, make sure you see an allergist.Not only do you need a doctor’s prescription for the epinephrine kit, you should ask if you’re a candidate for venom immunotherapy, or allergy shots, which can desensitize you to most insect stings.

Related Post: Wasp Allergy.

Excerpt from Allergy & Asthma Relief, Debra Gordon, Co-author of Allergy & Asthma Relief, Reader’s Digest, 2004

Insect Allergies Explained

Flea Allergies

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fleas allergyThe spring and summer months – the revival of long dormant vibrant colors, the spicy smell of the flowers and the nasty flea that may be waiting to attack your pet. Fleas are blood sucking, parasitic little irritants which can may cause itchy, hair loss and flea allergy dermatitis (caused by hypersensitivity to flea saliva).  These little demons can create misery for your pet and humans if allowed to invade the home.

There are over 2200 species of fleas which can live for weeks or months on a host such as a pet. Fleas are attracted to the hosts by factors such as smell, body temperature, air currents and lack of lighting. Fleas can also cause tapeworms in dogs. Most flea infestation cases will occur in the summer, which is the peak of flea populations.  Usually, a flea diagnosis is made by visual inspection of the pet and is better performed on a large white towel so they can be spotted easily.  Parting the hair can reveal flea excrement or moving fleas. Flea excrement is brownish black and shaped like a small pellet.

Eliminating Fleas

Eliminating fleas can be a month long process that requires multiple treatment of your pet and their indoor and/or outdoor environments. Here are some additional tips for helping your pet get through their flea infestation:

  • Prevention of flea bites. Consider treatments which will prevent flea bites that are gentle on your pet skin.
  • Treatment of secondary skin infections. Antibiotics and antifungal drugs may be necessary to treat secondary skin infections triggered by a flea sensitivity.
  • Breaking the itch cycle. If your pet is itching regularly, then consider a short course of steroids. This may be necessary to break the itch cycle and make your pet more comfortable.
  • Frequent bathing. Bath your pet regularly with a gentle and soothing bathing product. There are natural products which contain essential oils such as lavender which is known to kill fleas.
  • Clean bedding and rugs frequently. Bedding, furniture, rugs and carpets should be cleaned regularly to help remove flea larvae. Frequent vacuuming and carpet cleaning can help remove eggs and larvae from the pet’s indoor environment.
  • Flea preventatives. If your pet has flea allergies, a topical adult flea preventive is preferred instead of an oral product. The goal is to kill adults before they bite and reduce the pet’s exposure to their saliva.
  • Groom frequently. Groom your pet regularly if their skin is NOT irritated with a “flea comb” to help remove fleas.

Once fleas have been identified, it is important that pet owners remove the fleas and their eggs from the animal’s environment. Keep in mind that the flea life cycle is up to 35 days which may require an additional treatment to kill the new fleas as their eggs hatch. Treatment includes the removal of all household animals from flea infestation areas to prevent the pet from becoming reinfested. There are many available products that will kill fleas both indoors and outdoors.Products should chosen according to the animal for which they will be used and show be mixed or used as directed by the manufacturer.

You must treat both the outdoor and indoor environment simultaneously to prevent them from reoccurring. If you use a pest control chemical outdoors, make sure you allow to fully dry before allowing the animal access to the area. If your pet is believed to have flea or other skin allergies, then consult with a veterinarian which can customize a flea control program to meet animals  individual needs.

Related Post: Feline Allergy, Dog Allergies and Dander Allergy.

About the author: Dr. Elliott is one of the leading natural pet healers in the US. He has formulated products for the Queen of England’s dogs and horses and is the author of the best selling natural healing book-”The Healthy Wholistic Dog” and writes articles for a major pet insurance company.

Flea Allergy