Dust mites are microscopic bugs that are capable of surviving in all climates but they usually thrive in warm environments. In reality, bedrooms have always been a haven for dust mites. The bedding, furniture cushions and carpeting trap and preserve moisture, thus allowing dust mites to flourish. Dust mite allergy occurs if an individual breathes in the leftover remnants of dust mites. As a result, the immune system responds by producing antibodies against the harmless substances. On the other hand, if the individual is exposed to dust mite allergens for an extended period, it can cause chronic inflammation linked with asthma.
What are the symptoms of dust mite allergy?
The symptoms of this allergy can range from mild to severe.
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy or runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sinus pressure
- Scratchy throat
- Swollen, bluish-tinged skin beneath the eyes
- Difficulty sleeping
Treatment for dust mite allergy
If an individual is allergic to dust mite allergen, it is important to minimize the exposure. In case this does not work, over-the-counter and prescription medications can help relieve the symptoms.
Antihistamines can help relieve runny nose, sneezing and itchiness while nasal corticosteroids will reduce the inflammation. Decongestants can also be given to shrink the tissues in the nasal passages, thus making it easier for the individual to breathe.
Other treatment options that can provide relief include immunotherapy, leukotriene modifiers and cromolyn sodium. You can also perform a daily nasal lavage which involves rinsing the nasal passages with warm salt water. This is considered as an effective way to clear up the allergens from the sinuses. If a family member or friend has allergies, it is best to register in a first aid course so that you are prepared in case an allergic reaction occurs.
What to do with the bedding at home?
Always remember that bedding serves as the breeding ground for dust mites. There are certain measures to take to when it comes to the bedding.
First, allergen-proof bed covers must be used on mattresses, pillows and box spring. Make sure that the zippered ones are chosen since the compactly woven fabric will prevent the dust mites from inhabiting the beds.
When washing the bedding, include the pillowcases, sheets, bed covers and blankets. They must be washed in hot water at least once in a week and dried in a hot dryer to eliminate the dust mists.
Preventing dust mite allergy
Dust mites can be controlled with the following measures:
- Carpeting must be removed if possible.
- Look for a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter for your home.
- Utilize a dehumidifier or air conditioner in order to keep the humidity levels down.
- When vacuuming, use a cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
- Regularly dust using a damp cloth or mop since it helps keep the dust down as well as prevent it from accumulating.
- Eliminate dust-accumulating clutter around the house as well as upholstered furniture.