House dust mite allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to proteins in the excrement of dust mites. These proteins can trigger an allergic reaction in the respiratory tract, thus causing the symptoms of asthma and hay fever.
Dust mites are microscopic organisms that thrive in humid and warm houses that have abundant food – animal and human skin and mold spores. The mites prefer to live in beds which has a lot of moisture along with the skin cells shed by the body.
Am I allergic to dust mites?
The excretion of dust mites contains a large amount of proteins. Once these get in touch with the skin or inhaled, the body releases IgE antibodies. On the next exposure, these antibodies start the release of histamine that causes swelling and irritation of the upper respiratory passages. Remember that the tendency for the allergy is usually hereditary.
Since dust mites are around throughout the year, they cause constant allergy or perennial allergy. The wastes by the mites dries out and spread into the air when sitting down a chair, walking over a rug or moving mattresses. These can trigger symptoms of dust mite allergy among allergic individuals.
Indications of house dust mite allergy
- Symptoms similar to hay fever such as runny nose, sneezing and itching
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Coughing, asthma and difficulty breathing
- Eczema becomes worse
Individuals who have dust mite allergy should observe the necessary measures. Even though these can be time consuming and costly, they can help minimize the occurrence of the symptoms such as the following:
- Have only a few upholstered furniture where dust mites typically thrive.
- Clean woodwork, walls and floor using a damp cloth.
- If rugs are used, they should be washed once a week.
- Utilize duvet covers, cotton sheets and pillow cases that can be washed at 60 degrees C.
- Any plush or stuffed toys that gather dust particles should be washed regularly.
- Duvets, bedding and pillows should be exposed to sunlight for at least an hour daily to promote drying of the bed.
- Cover pillow cases, duvet and the mattress with specialized barrier covers that prevents the excrement of dust mites from escaping or allowing it to enter.
- When cleaning, it is recommended to use a microfiber cloth and a vacuum cleaner.