Health Info

Health Info

The Air We Breath
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A healthy indoor environment is crucial for our well-being and health. Actually, the weight of the air we inhale indoors is greater than the total weight of all the food and drink we consume in our lifetime. In today's world, indoor air pollution is two to five times higher than air pollution of the outdoor variety. Several investigations indicate that our poor indoor climate may be the cause of the many cases of respiratory diseases found today. We breath approximately 20,000 times per day and fill our lungs with an average 13 m³ of air. Research has shown that there is approximately 250-300 mg. of fine dust particles in every 1 m³ of air in our homes. In other words, we breathe approximately 4 grams of pure dust into our lungs every day without noticing it.

Research conducted on the matter also shows that the dust in our homes is many times more hazardous than that which is found outside and that we spend most of our time in our homes. What have we done until now to rid ourselves of the dust in our homes?

Mites, Allergies and Asthma

Did you know that the dust in our homes is the cause for a number of illnesses including allergies and asthma? House dust carries microbes that are not seen with the naked eye, bacteria and dust mites, all of which pose serious hazards to our health if they are not eliminated. Living entities called mites feed off our discarded skin cells and live with us in the beds on which we sleep. Mite feces are regarded as the most dangerous causes of allergic diseases. Only with the Lura will you be able to rid the air in your home of all the dust and rid your beds of the little monsters which share your bed!

What's dust mites?

With Lura's dust eliminating effect, you and your loved ones can expect healthier days ahead. If you wonder how, click onto the links below and read all about the harmful impact that house dust, mites and their related allergies can have on your overall health and wellness.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acarina
Order: Acariformes
Family: Pyroglyphidae
Genus: Dermatophagoides
Species: D. pteronyssinus


House dust mites are microscope bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. Dust mites are harmless to most people. They don't carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces.

Skin cells and scales, commonly called dander, are often concentrated in lounging areas, mattresses, frequently used furniture and associated carpeted areas, often harbor large numbers of these microscopic mites. Since the average human sloughs off 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week. That gives dust mites a lot to eat.

Cats and dogs create far more dander for dust mites to eat. A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites. Nearly 100,000 mites can live in one square yard of carpet. Ready to convince your spouse to start bathing regularly?

Did you know a single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day, each containing a protein to which many people are allergic? The proteins in that combination of feces and shed skin are what cause allergic reactions in humans. Depending on the person and exposure, reactions can range from itchy eyes to asthma attacks. And finally, unlike other types of mites, house dust mites are not parasites, since they only eat dead tissue. Gross, but true.

Size

The body of a house dust mite is just visible against a dark background in normal light. A typical house dust mite measures 420 micrometers in length and 250 to 320 micrometers in width. Both male and female adult house dust mites are creamy blue and have a rectangular shape. The body of the house dust mite also contains a striated cuticle. Like all acari, house dust mites have eight legs. Dust mites can be transported airborne by minor air currents generated from normal household activities

Life cycle

The average life cycle for a male house dust mite is 10 to 19 days. A mated female house dust mite can live for 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 2000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-infested dust particles.

A simple washing will remove most of the waste matter. Both being exposed to temperatures of over 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) for a period of one hour, freezing, or exposure to temperatures below 20°C, will typically prove fatal to house dust mites; a relative humidity less than 50 may also be fatal. Ten minutes in household clothes dryer at lethal temperatures has been shown to be sufficient to kill all the dust mites in bedding. House dust mites reproduce quickly enough that their effect on human health can be significant.

Habitat

Beds are a prime habitat (where 1/3 of life occurs). A typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. (Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.) Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it. A favorite food is dander (both human and animal skin flakes). Humans shed about 1/5 ounce of dander (dead skin) each week. About 80 percent of the material seen floating in a sunbeam is actually skin flakes. Also, bedroom carpeting and household upholstery support high mite populations.

Dust mites & Allergy

Dust mites eat skin cells people shed, and rather than drinking water, they absorb water from humidity in the atmosphere. They thrive in temperatures around 70 F (21 C) and a relative humidity around 70 percent.

Household dust contains all kinds of tiny particles, but a large portion of it is made up of human skin cells. This dust is easily trapped in the fibers of bed linens, furniture cushions and carpeting. These materials also hold moisture well. Consequently, bedrooms are ideal habitats for dust mites. Dust also contains the feces and decaying bodies of dust mites, and it's a protein present in this dust mite "debris" that's the culprit in dust mite allergy. What causes the allergic reaction?

Dust mite allergy is an immune system reaction to a certain dust mite protein. This reaction triggers inflammation in the lining of the nasal passages (allergic rhinitis), causing sneezing, runny nose and other signs and symptoms associated with hay fever.
If you have dust mite allergy, your body generates an allergy-causing antibody to a protein found in the dust mite debris. In other words, it's mistakenly identified this protein as something that could harm you. Once your body has developed an allergy-causing antibody to a particular agent (allergen) — in this case, the dust mite protein — your immune system will be sensitive to it. When you inhale dust mite debris, your immune system responds and produces an inflammatory response in your nasal passages or lungs.

The dust mite allergen can cause two kinds of immune system responses in the airways of your lungs. An allergen can prompt inflammation in air passages. Therefore, prolonged or regular exposure to the allergen can cause the ongoing (chronic) inflammation associated with asthma. Exposure to an allergen also may cause sudden, severe constriction of air passages (bronchospasms).
For some people, dust mite allergy may be the primary cause of inflammation and contraction of airways of the lungs (asthma), resulting in wheezing, shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties.

Dust mites, relatives of the spider, are too small to see without a microscope. Dust mites eat skin cells shed by people, and they thrive in warm, humid environments. In most homes, bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting provide an ideal environment for dust mites.
Steps to reduce the number of dust mites in your home can often control dust mite allergy. Medications or other treatments may be necessary to relieve symptoms and manage asthma.

Symptoms

Dust mite allergy symptoms caused by inflammation of nasal passages include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Frequent awakening
  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

If your dust mite allergy contributes to asthma, you may also experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Bouts of coughing or wheezing that are worsened by a respiratory virus such as a cold or the flu

A dust mite allergy can range from mild to severe. A mild case of dust mite allergy may cause an occasional runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. In severe cases, the condition is ongoing, or chronic, resulting in persistent sneezing, cough, congestion, facial pressure or severe asthma attack.

Source: www.mayoclinic.com

Dust mites & Asthma

Researchers in America have discovered why house-dust mites are a major cause of asthma symptoms.

Dr Christopher Karp and colleagues at the Division of Molecular Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre, found that house-dust mites trick the immune system into believing that it is facing a bacterial infection. This causes the immune system to mount a strong allergic response to the mites, which can in turn lead to an asthma attack.

90% of people with asthma say that they are sensitive to the droppings of house-dust mites - tiny creatures that live in the dust that builds in carpets, bedding, soft furnishings and soft toys around the house.

Dr Elaine Vickers, Research Relations Manager at Asthma UK commented: 'Over the years, scientists have discovered the precise identity of many asthma-triggering molecules (known as allergens) in substances such as pollen, dust, mould and animal dander. However, until now, they haven't known why the human body should respond to these allergens in such a destructive way.

'Dr Karp's discovery of the mechanism through which the dust mite allergen, Der p 2, triggers asthma symptoms is an important step forward. A similar mechanism could well be behind the effects of other allergens, and this new understanding of how allergens affect the body should help scientists create new asthma treatments.'