Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny bugs which are commonly found on house dust. For this reason it is also called as dust mites. It is so small in size that it cannot be seen by naked eye and only through microscope. Dust mites can cause sneezing, coughing, runny nose and hay fever. On severe cases it can cause allergic disorders like asthma and wheezing. They eat the dead skin cells shed by us and live on humid environments like furniture, bedding and carpets.

Symptoms :

Some of the allergies produced by dust mites are sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy nose, nasal congestion, runny nose and postnasal drip. It will also cause fever, cold, cough, with swollen face. It will not allow children to sleep well during night and there can be frequent awakening due to the irritation. The infected child will be rubbing the nose often due to itchiness.

In severe cases dust mites can cause serious allergic reactions like asthma, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and troubled sleep. For some people virus will also affect the nose causing wheezing and respiratory disease.

The allergy reaction caused by dust mites ranges from mild to severe. For mild cases no treatment is required and there will be runny nose and watery eyes. For severe case of infection, medications are to be given for controlling the symptoms like nasal congestion and facial pressure.

Causes :

Dust mites thrive on the dead skin cells of the people and lives on humid weather largely. There is every chance for the house dust to get trapped in bed linens and fibers and carpets. Since these materials are able to hold moisture dust mites live on them easily.

On inhaling the dust particles people are infected with dust allergy leading to cold and sneezing. Sometime, the dust also includes the decaying bodies of dust mites which is the actual cause for allergy.

The body’s immune system will automatically produce antibodies when it identifies some foreign particles inside. Antibodies fight with these substances and destroy them. In this process, sometimes the foreign particles grow and multiply in large numbers attacking the antibodies. This would result in allergic reactions like sneezing and cough.

Who are at risk ?

Keeping the house accumulated with dust will certainly increase your exposure to dust mites and allergic reactions. Some people have family history of allergies. People also get dust allergy when the immunity gets lowered for some reason.

Diagnoses :

Your doctor will look for the above symptoms and examine your nose for checking the lining of nose. If the soft lining looks swollen it can be due to allergy caused by dust mites. He may order for allergy skin test to find out the exact cause of allergy.

Treatment :

Treatment depends on the intensity of allergic reactions and symptoms. For mild form of infection caused by dust mites, no treatment is required. You need to avoid living in dust prone environment.

For severe case of infection, antihistamines are prescribed in the form of Allegra, Clarinex, Astelin and patanase. You can take it in the form of nasal spray to reduce runny nose and nasal congestion.

Corticosteroids are given either in the form of nasal spray to control the symptoms or in the form of tablets like Flonase, Nasonex and nasocort. It gives permanent relief from blocked nose without many side effects. You can try using over the counter decongestant syrup for getting relief from symptoms. Your doctor may also give montelukast which are leukotriene modifiers which are capable of blocking the production of immune system chemicals.

Home Remedies :

You can prevent dust mites allergy from keeping your house clean and dust-free. You can wash the bedding and blankets every week to ensure that it contains no dust mites. You can try using allergen proof covers for your pillows and bedspread.

Maintain the humidity level low in your house so that dust mites will not thrive in that temperature. You need to keep humidity level from 25-50 for protecting your home from dust mites.

Avoid giving stuffed toys for your children since it can carry lot of dust mites causing allergy. Use vacuum cleaner regularly for cleaning carpets and furniture dust thoroughly.

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