Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms
Dust mites belong to the class of scorpions and spiders. They are hardly 0.3 mm in size, and hence are difficult to see with the naked eye. Mainly they are found in mattresses, soft toys, upholstered furniture, carpets, pillows, bed sheets and so on. Surprisingly, a double bed may contain about two million dust mites. They survive excellently in places with temperature ranging between 65 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit and in high humidity places.
These dust mites can feed themselves on the dead skin of the humans. They can absorb water from atmosphere. Generally, human body sheds nearly an ounce of dead skin scales per month, that get trapped in fibers of bed linens, carpets, cushions, etc. These places become an ideal house for these dust mites. These dust mites can trigger allergic reactions in some people. So, read onto know more about dust mite allergy.
Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms:
Symptoms of dust mite allergy triggered by nasal passage inflammation are as follows:
- Frequent awakening
- Runny nose
- Facial pressure and pain
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy nose, mouth roof, and throat
- Nasal congestion
- Red, watery or itchy eyes
- Blue-colored, swollen skin below the eyes
- In children, frequent rubbing of nose in upward direction
If the dust mite allergy results in asthma, one may experience the following symptoms:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Difficulty in breathing
- Wheezing or bouts of coughing which worsen by the respiratory virus like the flu or the cold
- An audible whistle sound or wheezing sound while exhaling
- Shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing while sleeping
An allergic reaction to dust mite may range from mild to severe. In severe cases, the condition may become chronic leading to persistent facial pressure, congestion, cough, and sneezing or asthma attack. While, in a mild case of allergic reaction to dust mite, one may experience occasional watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing.
Dust Mite Allergy – Causes
The major causes for dust mite allergy are the proteins present in the feces and the debris of dust mites. There are even a few risk factors that usually lead to dust mite allergy. These familial factors include:
- Age – People in their childhood and early adulthood are most likely to develop dust mite allergy.
- Exposure – Exposure to dust mites in early life also develops this allergy.
Dust mite allergy can even result in certain complications like asthmatic attacks and chronic inflammation of nasal passages.
When to Consult the Physician?
Certain dust mite allergy symptoms, like sneezing or runny nose are like the symptoms of common cold. At times it is difficult to know whether it is due to an allergy or a cold. If this symptom lasts for more than a week, then you might have an allergic reaction.
If the symptoms are severe, like severe nasal congestion, wheezing or difficulty in sleeping, consult the medical practitioner. If shortness of breath or wheezing worsens, seek immediate medical attention.
Dust Mite Allergy – Treatment!
The foremost treatment to control dust mite allergy is to avoid dust mites as much as possible. When you avoid them, there is less possibility of suffering from allergic symptoms. But it is difficult to eliminate the dust mites completely from the environment. Medications can help in controlling the symptoms. Your physician may prescribe any of these following medications to improve the nasal allergy symptoms.
- Antihistamines – They help in reducing the production of histamines that play an active role in an allergic reaction. These medications help to relieve runny nose, sneezing and itching.
- Corticosteroids -They help in reducing the inflammation and even control the hay fever symptoms.
- Decongestants – They help in shrinking the swollen tissues of nasal passages, thereby making it easier to breathe through nose.
Other treatment therapies include immunotherapy, which is the use of allergy shots to desensitize the immune system to dust mite allergen and nasal lavage, which is the use of saline solution for rinsing nasal passages.
Dust Mite Allergy – Prevention!
Since dust mites are parasites and the best way to eliminate them is to clean your surroundings thoroughly: They include:
- Vacuum and dust your home weekly. Invest in a powerful vacuum cleaner that can flush out dead dust mites from crevices.
- Install a dehumidifier in your air conditioner and special filters to absorb allergens. Clean the filters and dehumidifiers regularly to prevent accumulation of dust.
- Wash all bedding weekly and dry the mattresses under the sun if possible.
- Avoid using carpets and go for hard wood or linoleum flooring.
- If your home is carpeted, clean it with super heated steam to kill the dust mites.
- Enclose all bedding and pillows in dust proof covers. This will starve the dust mites.
- Decorate your home with materials that are easy to maintain and which do not collect dust. Avoid dust traps like stuffed toys and dried flowers.
- Create a separate sleeping space for pets and clean the area thoroughly to remove animal dander. Keep the pets bedding also in dust proof covers.
- You must wash clothes in hot water to kill dust mites.
- You can use chemicals to kill dust mites. But since they are highly toxic, use them with care.
- If you can use plastic curtains that can be dusted daily.
- Don’t smoke or allow anybody to smoke in your house.
- Wear a mask while cleaning your house.
- You can even place your pillows and duvets in plastic bags and freeze them for 24 hours. This can be done once in a month.
- Do not spray the house as it can worsen your dust mite allergy symptoms.
- Avoid touching dusty objects like old clothes and books.
- It is always better to have very little furniture.
- Use rugs that can be easily washed.
This was all about dust mite allergy. It is a common problem in every house. So, I hope that you would follow the above tips for a dust mite free and healthy home!