Acariens et respiration : dormez bien, ne laissez pas les punaises de lit piquer ?

Acariens et respiration : dormez bien, ne laissez pas les punaises de lit piquer ?

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Dust Mites and Breathing: Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite?

Struggling with dust mite allergies? Explore how dust mites affect your breathing and what you can do for dust mite remediation.

Dust Mites and Breathing

Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite? They don’t really bite. They just crawl up your nose, stifle your breathing and cause allergies and general immune system stress.

25% of all allergies and 50% of all asthmatic diseases are traceable to dust mites. Do you wake up in the morning with a stuffy, dry, caked or even bloody nose? Ear infections or hearing loss? Muddled thinking? Could be dust mites.

The quickest way to get a feel for what is going on is to sleep outside in the open air for a night or two. Don’t worry about outside pollution, as the dust mite is probably the greater of the evils and may worsen any other air problem. Try it and see what happens. You may notice a lessening in symptoms and the ability to breathe easier through your nose. That is your clue.

When and Where Found

Mites are found at sites in homes that provide food and shelter with adequate humidity, such as carpets, tatamis, bed mattresses, upholstery, and other textiles. The fibrous and cellular structure of these environments allows mites to cluster and reduce water loss. Their distribution and abundance are variable. They vary with habitats, seasons and geography. Similarly, there is variability of mite numbers in different rooms in the same homes, distance from the ground level, age of homes, etc.

1. Habitats/types of rooms and floorings

In general, more mites are found in bedrooms than any other rooms in homes, beds, furnishings, bedroom floors, and den floors. Also, carpeted floors harbors significantly more mites than tile or wood floors. 

There is variability also between types of carpets. Thus, short, tight-piled carpets, such as those of the indoor-outdoor type, also harbor significantly fewer mites than long, loose-pile carpets but the former does not support significantly more mites than wood and tile floors. 

Loose pile carpets apparently provide a microhabitat for the accumulation of food and moisture favorable for mite survival and breeding and offer protection from mite removal by vacuuming.

For allergies from Pets:

Allerpet has an excellent brochure describing ways to help reduce these problem-causing allergens in the house

Click here for Resources for veterinary professionals and people with an interest in animal welfare:

2. Seasons

More abundant in summer and autumn than in winter and spring. Fecundity appeared to be favored by high temperatures and high relative humidity.

3. Type of building structure

In Japan, a larger number of mites were present in dust samples from concrete than wooden houses. This is attributed to the airtight construction of the former and the high relative humidity created by the tatami on the concrete floors in Russia. However, mites are highest in old wooden and adobe structures with high humidity.

4. Altitude/floor levels

There are large numbers of basement and ground-floor apartments. Generally, houses in low-lying areas seem bad for asthmatics, whereas houses built on sandy soil and high mountains are healthier.

5. Mite Nutrition. What they eat is often the parts of YOU.

Mite diet consists of the following:

  • Human skin scales

  • Fungi growing on the skin

  • Molds

  • Insect bodies or fragments (e.g. carpet beetles, silverfish, clothes moths and cockroaches)

  • Pollen grains

  • Bacteria

  • Plant material

  • Household dust containing the above

Control - Physical Methods

1. Encasings

Most of the dust mites in your house live in your mattress. Put an airtight plastic or polyurethane cover over your mattress. Wash your sheets and blankets in very hot water every two weeks. Wash your pillow every week or put a plastic cover on it. (The pillowcase goes over the plastic cover.)

2. Flooring

It is advisable to have hardwood, tile, or linoleum flooring in your bedroom. Keeping these surfaces clean is easier compared to carpets. If you must have carpet, try not to place the carpet on concrete. The warm space between a rug and concrete is a good place for mites to live. Watch out for rubber carpet liners that collect moisture. Use horse hair instead.

Exchange carpeting for wood or tile floors with area rugs that can be taken outside, aired, and beaten to release eggs and mites and let the sun kill them. Repeated, non-professional washing of carpeting can result in elevated levels of mold and mites.

Since mite allergens are so stable, they can last in a carpet or bed and cause symptoms for years. Air conditioning has been shown to be an effective way to reduce mite populations in air space. The most likely mechanism is the reduction of relative humidity.

3. Washing

Hot water washingWashing at 60 degrees C or higher is effective. Hot water (130℃) has been shown to kill all mites.

Cold water washing - Cold water washing removes about 90% of the mites. So, if you are cold water washing, you are more susceptible to mites.

4. Sprays containing benzoates

Sprays containing benzoates kill mites and are effective, non-toxic treatments for reducing mite populations in carpeting but will not necessarily reduce allergen concentrations. Tannic acid solution (3%) spray may reduce mite (and cat) allergen concentration up to 80% but the effect lasts on the order of weeks and must therefore be repeated. 

Most likely, the only allergen “denatured” is that near the surface of the carpeting. Dust trapped further in the carpet is probably not affected, and as the carpeting is disturbed, active allergens re-surface and become airborne.

5. Dry cleaning

Dry cleaning kills all mites. It is also very effective at physically removing dust from items such as bedding.

6. Vacuuming

Vacuuming your carpets and upholstery every week can help. Vacuums with high-efficiency HEPA or WATER OR BOTH filters pick up more dust mites, but even standard vacuums work well. The use of special furniture that has a polyurethane cover over the matting is another good step. 

Plastic or wooden furniture that doesn't have much padding can also help keep down the number of dust mites in your home (but they increase toxic outgassing). Dust mites love warm, humid places, so running your air conditioner and keeping the humidity low make a difference. I have read that you should not bother with special air filters--they won't help children with asthma or allergies.

7. Spraying

You can spray the rug with 3% tannic acid solution every two months to kill the dust mites. Ask your doctor if this solution will be helpful for you. Your doctor can make recommendations about the use of this solution. He/she can tell you how to apply the solution and obtain it. However, a better approach may be to completely remove your carpet.

8. Heating

Heat may be applied in different ways:

  • As superheated steam to treat carpets
  • Tumble-drying washing
  • Direct sunlight exposure
  • Autoclaving
  • Dry heating with electric blankets

9. Air cleaning

Ion generators can clean the air of airborne particles near where you sleep to make breathing easier.

None of the above works?

Don’t discount food allergies and toxic environments such as what you would discover in Debra Lynn Dadd’s books Toxic Free, Home Safe Home, Nontoxic, Natural & Earthwise

Sleeping on your side will cause nasal stuffiness. You can train yourself to sleep on your back using techniques in the Secrets of Optimal Natural Breathing Development.

If you are not waking up rested, there is SOMETHING WRONG with you or your environment.
Does your energy increase in the wintertime? It could be because dust mites don't reproduce well when it is cold.

Breathing in a dusty environment will shrink your breathability. Even with the BEST breathing environment, you need to offset gravity and stress with breathing exercises that will maintain or enhance your breathing strength and volume.

See also nose-breathing for key insights on the importance of nose breathing.

Begin the day with our Optimal Breathing Techniques and end with our Breathing Exercise #1 and/or Breathing Exercise #2. You will feel the difference immediately.

Start NOW to enhance or maintain your breathing volume, well-being and lifespan. To be really alive at a hundred and five you had better learn to breathe better NOW.

Learn to Breathe Better with The Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit.

Meet Mike White

Meet Michael Grant White, the Optimal Breathing Coach and get actionable insights on your breathing development, health and longevity

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