Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 5, 2008

Your favourite pillow or teddy could be making you tear

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:40 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: What do dust mites and frequent contact with pets have to do with eye allergies?
A great deal, according to Pantai Medical Centre consultant allergist Dr M. Yadav, who said a survey recently found that 70 per cent of allergies, including ones affecting the eyes, were caused by dust mites.
“They can multiply by 50 times due to the tropical weather and can be all over the house, even if it is clean.”
He said the dust mite problem was critical in Malaysia but most people were unaware of the harm they caused.
They feed on flakes of shed human skin and are the most common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide.
Dr Yadav said children tended to touch things like carpets and toys, which had a large number of dust mites, and rubbed their eyes afterwards.
“This is how they contract eye allergies. In some conditions, they would start to wheeze and eventually suffer from asthma,” he said, adding that dust mites could also cause eczema.
While children were targets of allergies caused by dust mites in pillows and mattresses and stuffed toys, hair from cats and dogs taken to bed could also cause allergies.
He said parents were as generally unaware of this as they were of the fact that eggs and milk could also cause allergies.
Dr Yadav said parents should take prevention of dust mites seriously by using special fabric pillow cases available in the market.
He added that an anti-dust mite spray could be used for the sofa and carpet while air cleaners or filters could keep the air clean.
Dust mites are killed by micro-predators and exposure to the sun.

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