Mites are one of the major indoor triggers for people with allergies and asthma. Dust mite exposure can even cause asthma.
Discussing the fact that autoimmune disorders often accelerate biological aging led to a discussion of other disorders with similar consequences. The consensus was that the focus should be on chronic disorders as well as any other disorder that causes irreversible damage to the organs and systems of the body. It was clear that this would be a long list. It was also clear that those with autoimmune disorders might also be coping with any condition on the list.
While every issue on the list was deemed worthy of consideration, the discussion quickly started to focus on allergies, the relationship between allergies and asthma, and the significance of dust mite allergy. The information on dust mite allergies blindsided many participants. Many of the online sites that discuss dust mites sensationalize them as microscopic “monsters” that are found in almost every home, especially in the bed.
In some cases this is because the website is designed to sell anti dust mite products. In other cases it is simply an approach to increasing readership. Unfortunately, this approach grosses out many readers and they do not want to read anything else about dust mites or to even think about them.
For the majority of the population, those who are not sensitive or allergic to dust mites, ignoring the topic of dust mites may be a feasible plan of action. However, this is not a rational response for anyone who has respiratory allergies or asthma. For this smaller proportion of the population that has asthma or respiratory allergeries it is important to be educated about dust mites and to develop a plan for reducing their impact on health.
I found the Dust Mite page on the website of the National Lung Association (http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/indoor/indoor-air-pollutants/dust-mites.html) to be very helpful. In just a few straight forward paragraphs the page defines dust mites and explains from where they come. It also discusses who should be concerned about dust mites and the steps that can reduce their presence in beds and in other places in the home. I recommend this page to anyone with a household member who has asthma or is sensitive to other respiratory allergens. In the second category I include people who have recurring episodes of nasal, sinus, and ear inflammation or infections as well as those who experience seasonal allergies.
For those with an interest in research literature and reports, I suggest the following as good places to start.
Calderon, M. A., Kleine-Tebbe, J., Linneberg, A., De Blay, F., Fernandez de Rojas, D. H., Virchow, J. C., & Demoly, P. (2015). House dust mite respiratory allergy: An overview of current therapeutic strategies. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology-in Practice, 3(6), 843-855. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2015.06.019 – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213219815003335
Kanchongkittiphon, W., Mendell, M. J., Gaffin, J. M., Wang, G., & Phipatanakul, W. (2015). Indoor environmental exposures and exacerbation of asthma: An update to the 2000 review by the institute of medicine. Environmental Health Perspectives, 123(1), 6-20. doi:10.1289/ehp.1307922 – https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307922/
Pomes, A., Chapman, M. D., & Wunschmann, S. (2016). Indoor allergens and allergic respiratory disease. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 16(6), 43. doi:10.1007/s11882-016-0622-9 – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11882-016-0622-9