What the Doctor Thinks
By Dr. Ian Nisbet

House dust Mite Allergy
Susceptible people Are allergic to the protein in the droppings of the tiny house mites which are present in all homes. They are invisible to the human eye and live by eating human skin scales. They live in warm, dark, humid and poorly ventilated places such as mattresses, pillows, duvets and carpets.  70% OF ALL THESE MITES LIVE IN THE MATRESSES..
The best ways to avoid exposure are as follows:
1. Cover the mattresses, pillows and duvets with covers which do not allow through the mite droppings. This can reduce the problem 100 - fold. The ideal covering is permeable to water vapour and can be obtained  from Allerayde (01366 613444), Alprotec (0500004851), Medivac, (01625 539401)
2. Wash your bed linen at 55 degrees C weekly. The usual warm wash will clean the mites but not kill them! Wash the mite-proof covers every 6 months.
3. Vacuum the house with a high-filtration cleaner. Those with HEPA (High-efficiency particle air) Filters will trap 99.9% of all particles including the house dust mite. The cleaner should

have a high power suction of 1500 watts and a sealable bag. Vacuuming carpets, soft furnishings and both sides of the mattress should be carried out once a week. Hoover Pure Power range U3150 or U3250, Sebo X1 or C2 vacuum cleaners, Numatic HVR 200P or AEG Vampyr 7500/5 are all suitable cleaners.
4. Damp dust weekly the top of wardrobes and any other surface which can collect dust.
5. Air the bedroom daily.
6. Wash soft toys at 60 deg C or put them in the deep freeze once a month and then vacuum them. Keep them in a box with a lid.
7. Avoid thick carpets and heavy curtains. Replacing the bedroom carpet with sealed flooring and washable rugs could be beneficial.
8. Dehumidifiers, Ionisers and chemical agents may help but there is no proof that they do.

I am grateful to the British Allergy Foundation (0181 303 9583) for supplying information.

Prickly Heat
Many folks are seriously troubled by this condition when they are exposed to heat, not necessarily the sun, especially when on holiday. It is An allergic reaction to the

heat. Histamine is released into the skin, causing an itchy, red rash, often with blistering. The condition causes misery and can ruin a holiday. If you are  prone to this condition, ask the GP for some non -sedating antihistamine, (Or buy them from a chemist) and start taking them a couple of days before exposure to heat.
If you would prefer alternative measures, try taking Vitamin C 2G daily. This speeds up the breakdown of Histamine, and try Welda's Urticaria Cream (6. 60 for 25G Tel - 0800 626107)

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. Pulling on the ropes made the mattress firmer - hence the expression, "Good night - Sleep tight".
In English pubs ale was ordered in pints and quarts. When a customer became unruly, the bartender would yell at the drinkers to mind their P's and Q's.
In Babylon 4,000 years ago, a Bride's father would supply his new son-in-Law with all the mead he could drink for a month after the wedding. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "Honey Month", known today as the "Honeymoon".


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