Dust mites are considered to be the main cause of dust allergy. It is an important component of house dust and many people are found to be allergic to this microorganism. No wonder, exposure to dust can trigger an abnormal immune response and cause a wide range of symptoms in dust-allergic people. These microscopic organisms live in humid, warm environment, and eat dead skin cells which humans shed everyday. When seen under the microscope, they look like spiders.
Around 10% of the population in the United States have dust mite allergy. Symptoms may aggravate while cleaning the house. An allergic reaction from dust particles may cause the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Repeated sneezing
- Watery eyes
- Hay fever
- Persistent stuffy nose
- Asthma like symptoms such as labored breathing and airway inflammation
Avoiding or minimizing the contact of dust is the best treatment for dust allergy. This is the least expensive and the most effective treatment to follow. There are some simple methods that are helpful to manage the symptoms. By regularly cleaning the house, one can minimize inhaling the dust particles. Keeping the environment clean by vacuuming your house regularly, can go a long way in controlling the symptoms.
A weekly wash to all the bed covers, pillow cases, and blankets in hot water, is also necessary to minimize exposure to allergens. Covering pillows and mattress with dust proof material is also a good option. People who have air conditioners (dehumidifier), can use it to keep the humidity low (between 30 to 50 percent), as dust mites cannot live when the humidity goes below 40 percent. You can use a hygrometer to find out the humidity level in your house.
Decongestants and antihistamines, are the 2 main types of allergy medications available. Antihistamines provide considerable relief from inflammation, itchiness, redness, and watery eyes. Antihistamines are available in liquid as well as capsule form. On the other hand, decongestants help to reduce nasal congestion.
One can also use nasal sprays rather than oral decongestants. However, they have few side effects, hence, before using these nasal decongestants, it is essential to consult a well qualified doctor. Steroid medication can also help to decrease the inflammation. Long term use of steroids, however should be avoided, as it can cause some serious side effects.
Immunotherapy (Allergy shots)
People suffering from allergic asthma, are advised to use this therapy when medications fail to provide any relief. Immunotherapy does provide relief to these people and may even prevent occurrence of airway inflammation. Allergic shots are administered to decrease the reactions to allergens. Immunotherapy can work wonders for allergies to mold, pollen, and dust mites.
In this therapy, the doctor injects small doses of allergic substances under your skin. This helps the body to get "accustomed" to this allergen. As a result, the body gradually builds up immunity to these substances that trigger a strong allergic reaction. The resistance of the body against these allergens increases considerably. This means, the body will experience fewer symptoms, when these allergens come in contact in the future. The dosage of allergic substances is increased depending upon the patient's response to the treatment.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.