It is true that dust mites can be a nuisance, but unlike rodent mites, itch mites, and chiggers, they rarely cause skin irritation. These tiny pests feed on dead human skin cells and thrive in warm, humid environments. Although they can “hitchhike” on clothes, dust mites don't live on people. People who are allergic to dust or dust mites react by inhaling dust proteins that come from feces, urine, or the decaying bodies of dust mites.
This can cause swelling (inflammation) of the nasal passages and is considered a dust allergy. Household mite species found in indoor environments and in warm or tropical regions are well known to cause allergic disorders. But what about human acariasis, in which mites invade and parasitize the human body in various tissues, from the gastrointestinal tract to the lung? Little is known about this condition, yet it has been reported in the pulmonary, intestinal, oral (anaphylaxis), urinary, otic, and vaginal systems. The clinical symptoms of acariasis often overlap with other symptoms of the disease, leading to frequent misdiagnosis. It is believed that when domestic mites invade the human body, it is a non-specific invasion that differs from the parasitization of an animal.
This occurs only occasionally and lacks specific symptoms and is not caused by specific mite species; instead, specific invasions are caused by specific parasite species that are found in specific hosts and produce specific symptoms. To date, few reports on human acariasis have been published in English medical journals. However, it is important to note that these mites are also responsible for other non-allergic symptoms in humans. In what is probably a mechanism similar to that of urinary acariasis, mites can parasitize the vagina. Interestingly, the authors thought that the mites came from the contamination of the test vessel because the mite species detected were present in dust samples from the same hospital and wards. After treating the patients with arsenic, the number of mites in the sputum samples increased, which showed that the mites in the lungs were expelled before the number of mites decreased and the patients' symptoms disappeared.
People with dust mite allergies or with asthma caused by dust mite allergy should reduce dust mites in their home. Dead skin and other dust mite residues are a major cause of allergies and worsen asthma symptoms. Given existing reports, it seems likely that most cases of acariasis occur in more tropical climates and in people with occupational exposures to mites. Dust mites can live on bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, rugs, or curtains in your home. Undoubtedly, mites detected in the urine under a microscope would contribute to the diagnosis of this disease.
There are no specific clinical manifestations that point to pulmonary acariasis other than the detection of mites in the sputum. These mites have been extensively studied because their feces, eggs, and extracts from their bodies are potent allergens. As mentioned earlier, dust mites can contribute to indoor allergy symptoms and aggravate existing allergies. It is important to pay more attention to these infections so as not to miss any cases due to misdiagnosis. In conclusion, it is important to understand that dust mites do not infest your body but can cause allergic reactions when inhaled. Dust mite allergies can be managed by reducing exposure to these pests through regular cleaning and vacuuming of your home.
If you suspect you may have a dust mite allergy or if you experience any unusual symptoms such as itching or swelling after exposure to dust or dust mites, consult your doctor for further evaluation.