HOUSE MITES – A CAUSE OF PERENNIAL ALLERGIC RHINITIS

Although they are just one of many forms of insects with whom we share our living quarters, mites are the most important from an allergy perspective. A subclass of arachnids, two species of these microscopic creatures account for the majority of “house mite” allergies: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae. One or both may be present in a home at any time. Cleanliness of the home or its occupants has nothing to do with their presence.
Mites need three things to survive: food, proper conditions of humidity, and safety. All three are found in homes. Their primary food source is shed skin cells from the human inhabitants and pets or feather-stuffed bedding and furniture. Skin shedding occurs in areas where humans spend the most time when at home, so there is good reason why the highest concentration of mites is found in stuffed furniture, carpeting, mattresses, and bedding. They also accumulate in clothing and stuffed toys.
The old saying “safe as a bug in a rug” should be the house mite motto. These microscopic creatures burrow deep into upholstered furniture, stuffed toys, bedding, and loose, long-pile carpet. Here, moisture conditions are optimal for survival and the mites are sufficiently protected so as to be impervious to vacuuming and other human efforts to eradicate them. Or, at least they were.
Modern living – central heating, better sealed homes, and wall-to-wall carpeting – has benefited both man and mite. Mites require very specific conditions of humidity in relation to temperature for survival. Ideal conditions encompass a relative humidity of 55 to 75 percent over a temperature range of 59 to 95 degrees F. What better place than a home at 70 degrees F and a relative humidity of greater than 60 percent? Still, because temperature and humidity conditions vary greatly throughout the United States, the concentration of mites is greater in some areas than in others.
Mites have no lungs. They take air and water into their bodies primarily by diffusion through their shells. Thus, the greater the relative humidity, the greater their ability to acquire water. Their humidity needs are generally satisfied indoors, particularly in the winter months when the central heating system is functioning. In general, a combination of relative humidity of 40 to 50 percent and a temperature of 82 to 83 degrees F (28 to 34 degrees C) prohibits mite survival. So, whereas mites are found in most homes in the states bordering the east and gulf coasts, they occur in only a minority of homes in the states along the Rocky Mountains.
People are allergic to the mite fecal pellet. A single mite will produce some 200 times its weight in these potent, highly allergenic fecal pellets during its short lifetime (about 4 weeks). Once expelled, the pellets break down, incorporate into the dust of the house and become airborne when the carpet, bedding, furniture, and so on are disturbed. Microscopic in size, these particles are easily inhaled into the nose and lungs, where they trigger allergy symptoms. The density of the live mite population in your home determines the degree of problem you will have with mite fecal particles. Although dead mites and their body parts do become airborne, they do not contribute significantly to mite allergy.
*17/322/5*

HOUSE MITES – A CAUSE OF PERENNIAL ALLERGIC RHINITISAlthough they are just one of many forms of insects with whom we share our living quarters, mites are the most important from an allergy perspective. A subclass of arachnids, two species of these microscopic creatures account for the majority of “house mite” allergies: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae. One or both may be present in a home at any time. Cleanliness of the home or its occupants has nothing to do with their presence.Mites need three things to survive: food, proper conditions of humidity, and safety. All three are found in homes. Their primary food source is shed skin cells from the human inhabitants and pets or feather-stuffed bedding and furniture. Skin shedding occurs in areas where humans spend the most time when at home, so there is good reason why the highest concentration of mites is found in stuffed furniture, carpeting, mattresses, and bedding. They also accumulate in clothing and stuffed toys.The old saying “safe as a bug in a rug” should be the house mite motto. These microscopic creatures burrow deep into upholstered furniture, stuffed toys, bedding, and loose, long-pile carpet. Here, moisture conditions are optimal for survival and the mites are sufficiently protected so as to be impervious to vacuuming and other human efforts to eradicate them. Or, at least they were.Modern living – central heating, better sealed homes, and wall-to-wall carpeting – has benefited both man and mite. Mites require very specific conditions of humidity in relation to temperature for survival. Ideal conditions encompass a relative humidity of 55 to 75 percent over a temperature range of 59 to 95 degrees F. What better place than a home at 70 degrees F and a relative humidity of greater than 60 percent? Still, because temperature and humidity conditions vary greatly throughout the United States, the concentration of mites is greater in some areas than in others.Mites have no lungs. They take air and water into their bodies primarily by diffusion through their shells. Thus, the greater the relative humidity, the greater their ability to acquire water. Their humidity needs are generally satisfied indoors, particularly in the winter months when the central heating system is functioning. In general, a combination of relative humidity of 40 to 50 percent and a temperature of 82 to 83 degrees F (28 to 34 degrees C) prohibits mite survival. So, whereas mites are found in most homes in the states bordering the east and gulf coasts, they occur in only a minority of homes in the states along the Rocky Mountains.People are allergic to the mite fecal pellet. A single mite will produce some 200 times its weight in these potent, highly allergenic fecal pellets during its short lifetime (about 4 weeks). Once expelled, the pellets break down, incorporate into the dust of the house and become airborne when the carpet, bedding, furniture, and so on are disturbed. Microscopic in size, these particles are easily inhaled into the nose and lungs, where they trigger allergy symptoms. The density of the live mite population in your home determines the degree of problem you will have with mite fecal particles. Although dead mites and their body parts do become airborne, they do not contribute significantly to mite allergy.*17/322/5*

GLOSSARY: RETINOL AND ACID

Retinol
Years after retinoids (in the form of Retin-A] hit the market, the mad scientists at many beauty companies started tinkering with a version for ‘over-the-counter’ usage. The result was retinol, a close relation to tretinoin that must first be converted to retinaldehyde and then to all-trans retinoic acid in the skin. Like its distant relatives, retinol is said to simulate collagen, unclog pores, promote a rosy glow and help with acne and rosacea. Even more so than with tretinoin, retinol
can sometimes be highly irritating to the skin.
Acid
The word “acid- might alarm some people, but be assured that these naturally occurring acids are unbeatable at accelerating the cell renewal process. Meet the family:
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) – glycolic (sugarcane); malic (apples); tartaric (grapes); lactic (sour milk); citric (citrus fruits). Ideal tor removing surface dead skin cells.
Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) – salicylic acid, the lone BHA. is found naturally in willow bark, sweet birch bark and wintergreen leaves. It is a fat-soluble acid, allowing it to penetrate into the pores. Poly Hydroxy Acid (PHA) – a newer, less irritating acid, that is easily tolerated by most complexions.
*41\82\8*

GLOSSARY: RETINOL AND ACIDRetinolYears after retinoids (in the form of Retin-A] hit the market, the mad scientists at many beauty companies started tinkering with a version for ‘over-the-counter’ usage. The result was retinol, a close relation to tretinoin that must first be converted to retinaldehyde and then to all-trans retinoic acid in the skin. Like its distant relatives, retinol is said to simulate collagen, unclog pores, promote a rosy glow and help with acne and rosacea. Even more so than with tretinoin, retinolcan sometimes be highly irritating to the skin.AcidThe word “acid- might alarm some people, but be assured that these naturally occurring acids are unbeatable at accelerating the cell renewal process. Meet the family:Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) – glycolic (sugarcane); malic (apples); tartaric (grapes); lactic (sour milk); citric (citrus fruits). Ideal tor removing surface dead skin cells.Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) – salicylic acid, the lone BHA. is found naturally in willow bark, sweet birch bark and wintergreen leaves. It is a fat-soluble acid, allowing it to penetrate into the pores. Poly Hydroxy Acid (PHA) – a newer, less irritating acid, that is easily tolerated by most complexions.*41\82\8*

THE SELF-POISONER: PATTERNS OF SELF-INDUCED TOXICITY – GRIEVANCE COLLECTORS

Many people seem to have lives in which nourishing experiences are totally missing. Their emotional lives are largely limited to habitual complaints about their misfortunes. During the infrequent periods when they are not focusing on their grievances, they go into trancelike depressions. For them, aliveness is associated with toxic emotional attitudes. It is as if this poisonous behavior had some sweetness—for without it they are lifeless.
An example is the person who reacts with rage when he encounters injustice. As his anger rises, his aliveness returns. The more he feels justified in his anger, the more he glows in self-righteousness. If he is an employer, he may dump his grievances on the mistakes of his employees, but rarely on a customer t)r someone who has power over him. In other instances, his rage is directed against abstractions such as society, politics, or world problems. He distorts these activities into a pattern of scapegoating and impotent anger so he can feel alive.
The grievance collector feeds on the unpleasant in numerous ways. It becomes his way of life. These are people who become uncomfortable and awkward in joyful, happy situations. They are embarrassed and flustered when confronted with pleasantness.
The pay-off for those who collect grievances is that in so doing they avoid the risk of initiating any spontaneous behavior of their own.
*64\350\8*

THE SELF-POISONER: PATTERNS OF SELF-INDUCED TOXICITY – GRIEVANCE COLLECTORSMany people seem to have lives in which nourishing experiences are totally missing. Their emotional lives are largely limited to habitual complaints about their misfortunes. During the infrequent periods when they are not focusing on their grievances, they go into trancelike depressions. For them, aliveness is associated with toxic emotional attitudes. It is as if this poisonous behavior had some sweetness—for without it they are lifeless.An example is the person who reacts with rage when he encounters injustice. As his anger rises, his aliveness returns. The more he feels justified in his anger, the more he glows in self-righteousness. If he is an employer, he may dump his grievances on the mistakes of his employees, but rarely on a customer t)r someone who has power over him. In other instances, his rage is directed against abstractions such as society, politics, or world problems. He distorts these activities into a pattern of scapegoating and impotent anger so he can feel alive.The grievance collector feeds on the unpleasant in numerous ways. It becomes his way of life. These are people who become uncomfortable and awkward in joyful, happy situations. They are embarrassed and flustered when confronted with pleasantness.The pay-off for those who collect grievances is that in so doing they avoid the risk of initiating any spontaneous behavior of their own.*64\350\8*