Dust Mite Allergies

Dust Mite Allergies
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When you breathe in dust mite waste, your immune system goes into overdrive, generating antibodies against normally harmless substances. 


Dust Mite Allergies

Dust mites are spider-like insects that are incredibly tiny. They dwell in household dust and feed on the dead skin cells that individuals shed on a regular basis. Dust mites can live in all temperatures and at all altitudes. They flourish in warm conditions, especially temperatures of 70°F (21°C) and relative humidity of 70%.

When you breathe in dust mite waste, your immune system goes into overdrive, generating antibodies against normally harmless substances. The symptoms of a dust mite allergy, such as sneezing and a runny nose, are caused by an overactive immunological reaction.

This form of allergy affects around 20 million individuals in the United States, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Long-term exposure to dust mite allergens can cause sinus infections and asthma, in addition to allergy symptoms.

Causes of dust mite allergies

An allergy is your immune system’s response to a foreign substance that isn’t normally detrimental to your body. These substances are referred to as allergies. Certain foods, pollens, and dust mites may be among them. People who are sensitive to dust mites have negative responses to the bugs’ carcasses. These relics include faeces piles and decomposing remains.

Even if you have a very clean home, it doesn’t take much to establish an atmosphere conducive to dust mites. In fact, the typical bedroom is often the ideal area for them. Bedding, carpets, and furniture cushions all collect and retain moisture, enabling these microscopic creatures to thrive. As you continue to breathe in the waste particles of dust mites, your allergy symptoms might worsen.

It’s crucial to emphasise that although dust can cause sneezing in anybody, only some individuals have the immunological reactions that constitute a dust mite allergy.

Symptoms of a dust mite allergy

Dust mite allergies may cause mild to severe symptoms. They may consist of the following:

  • runny or itchy nose
  • postnasal drip
  • itchy skin
  • congestion
  • sinus pressure (may cause facial pain)
  • itchy, watery, or red eyes
  • scratchy throat
  • cough
  • swollen, bluish-coloured skin beneath the eyes
  • trouble sleeping

If you have asthma and are allergic to dust mites, you may encounter extra symptoms. Among these signs are:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • difficulty breathing
  • wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath
  • difficulty talking
  • severe asthma attack

Identifying dust mite allergies

If your symptoms worsen at home, especially when cleaning or going to bed, you should consult an allergist. An allergist is a doctor who specialises in allergy diagnosis and treatment.

Your allergist will use diagnostic tests to determine whether you are allergic to dust mites. A skin-prick test is the most frequent sort of test. During this test, the allergist will prick a tiny area of your skin with a small allergen extract. After that, your allergist will wait around 15 minutes to observe whether your skin has any severe responses. If you have an allergic reaction, you will most likely develop a huge lump around the pricked region of your skin. The affected area may also turn red and itchy.

A blood test may be used instead of a skin test in certain cases. Because a blood test can only detect antibodies, the results may be less accurate.

How to treat a dust mite allergy

The most effective therapy is to reduce exposure to dust mites. If that doesn’t work, there are a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help alleviate the symptoms of a dust mite allergy.

  • Sneezing, runny nose, and itching may be relieved with antihistamines such as Allegra or Claritin.
  • Decongestants, such as Sudafed or Afrin, can shrink tissues in nasal passages, making it easier to breathe. Nasal corticosteroids, such as Flonase or Nasonex, can reduce inflammation while having fewer side effects than their oral counterparts.
  • Actifed and Claritin-D are examples of medications that combine an antihistamine and a decongestant.

Other treatments that may be helpful include:

  • cromolyn sodium
  • immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots
  • leukotriene modifiers such as Accolate, Zyflo, or Singulair

Singulair raises the risk of serious mental health side effects such as suicidal thoughts and actions. Because of this,  it should only be used when no other allergy medications are available.

Preventing dust mite allergies

Dust mites find bedding to be a perfect nesting habitat. It’s generally the ideal temperature and humidity for them, and the humans huddled up at night give an endless supply of food.

Fortunately, people who are allergic to dust mites do not have to fight a hopeless struggle. You may help keep dust mites at bay by taking the following precautions:

  • On the mattress, box spring, and pillows, use allergen-proof bed sheets. Zippered coverings are preferable. Dust mites are kept out of mattresses thanks to their closely woven fabric.
  • At least once a week, wash all bedding in hot water. Sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and bedsheets are all included. During the summer, dry in a hot dryer or in direct sunshine.

There are several methods for dealing with dust mites. Unlike outside allergens like pollen, dust mites can be kept under control with a few basic steps:

  • Keep the humidity level in your home between 30 and 50 percent by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
  • Buy a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.
  • Purchase only washable plush animals, wash them often and keep away from beds.
  • Dust using a damp or oiled cloth or mop on a regular basis. This reduces the quantity of dust and keeps it from collecting.
  • Vacuum on a regular basis with a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner. A person with a severe dust mite allergy should delegate this task to someone else.
  • Remove any debris that has accumulated in areas where dust may accumulate.
  • Curtains and upholstered furniture should be cleaned on a regular basis.
  • If possible, replace carpeting with wood, tile, linoleum, or vinyl flooring.

Outlook

If you are sensitive to dust mites, continual exposure to dust mites can be extremely unpleasant. Aside from allergic reactions, frequent exposure to indoor allergens can increase the risk of asthma development. This is particularly true when it comes to children.

While dust mite allergies need some effort to manage, the good news is that they are manageable. Work with your allergist to determine the best practices and treatment options for managing your symptoms.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/dust-mites

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