Dust mite allergy is considered as an allergic reaction to microscopic-sized bugs that commonly reside in house dust. Indications of dust mite allergy include runny nose and sneezing. Majority of individuals who are allergic to dust mites experience signs of asthma such as difficulty breathing and wheezing.
Dust mites are closely related to spiders and ticks. They are too small and can only be seen by using a microscope. Dust mites basically eat the skin cells that people shed and they usually thrive in humid and warm environments. In majority of homes, they inhabit upholstered furniture, bedding and carpeting.
Symptoms of dust mite allergy
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Swollen and blue-colored skin under the eyes
- Pain and pressure on the face
- Frequent upward rubbing of the nose among children
A dust mite allergy can be mild or severe. In mild cases, it can cause an occasional runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes but they can be treated with simple first aid measures. For severe cases, it can be chronic leading to persistent cough, sneezing, facial pressure, congestion or even a severe asthma attack.
Causes of dust mite allergy
Dust mites basically consume skin cells that people shed. Instead of drinking water, they absorb water from the humidity present in the atmosphere. They thrive best in temperatures that range from 18.5 – 29 C.
Since house dust is easily embedded in the fibers of carpeting, bed linens and furniture cushions as well as holding moisture. This is the reason why bedrooms are the best habitats for dust mites.
Even dust that contains the decaying bodies of dust mites and their feces can also trigger the allergy.
Treating dust mite allergies
The initial treatment for controlling dust mite allergy is to avoid them as much as possible. Once the exposure to dust mites is minimized, expect fewer reactions that are no longer severe. Nevertheless, it is impossible to completely get rid of dust mites.
Allergy medication can be prescribed by your doctor in order to improve the nasal symptoms. It includes antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, cromolyn sodium, and leukotriene modifiers. Other therapies that can be used include immunotherapy and nasal irrigation.
Home remedies for dust mite allergy
The best strategy is to avoid dust mite exposure in order to control the allergy. Even though dust mites cannot be completely eliminated, there are ways to control their numbers.
- Use bed covers that are allergen-proof. These covers are usually made out of tightly woven fabric that prevents mites from inhabiting them.
- Beddings should be washed every week. Sheets, pillowcases, blankets and bedcovers should be washed in hot water to eliminate dust mites.
- Humidity level must be low by setting the dehumidifier or air conditioner at low humidity.
- Select beddings carefully by avoiding those that trap dust and difficult to clean.
- Utilize an efficient filter in your air conditioning unit or furnace. Just make sure that it should be changed every three months.