Dust mite allergy symptoms caused by inflammation of nasal passages include:
• Runny nose
• Itchy, red or watery eyes
• Nasal congestion
• Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
• Postnasal drip
• Facial pressure and pain
• Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
• In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose
If your dust mite allergy contributes to asthma, you may also experience:
• Difficulty breathing
• Chest tightness or pain
• An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
• Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
• Bouts of coughing or wheezing that are worsened by a respiratory virus such as a cold or the flu
A dust mite allergy can range from mild to severe. A mild case of dust mite allergy may cause an occasional runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. In severe cases, the condition may be ongoing (chronic), resulting in persistent sneezing, cough, congestion, facial pressure or severe asthma attack.
Some signs and symptoms of dust mite allergy, such as a runny nose or sneezing, are similar to those of the common cold. Sometimes it's difficult to know whether you have a cold or an allergy. If symptoms persist for longer than one week, you might have an allergy.
Dust allergy treatment
Once your allergy triggers have been identified, steps should be taken to avoid them. Research has confirmed that targeted avoidance (environmental control aimed at relevant triggers) can be as effective as medications in reducing symptoms. The usual case requires targeted avoidance, medications prescribed by your doctor, and in many cases, specific allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) to bring the problems under control.
Dust mites (sometimes called bed mites) are the most common cause of allergy from house dust. They belong to the family of eight-legged creatures called arachnids that also includes spiders, chiggers and ticks. Dust mites are hardy creatures that live and multiply easily in warm, humid places. They prefer temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 75 percent to 80 percent. They die when the humidity falls below 40 percent to 50 percent. They are not usually found in dry climates.
High levels of exposure to dust mite are an important factor in the development of asthma in children. People who are allergic to dust mites react to proteins within the bodies and feces of the mites. These particles are found mostly in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture. They float into the air when anyone vacuums, walks on a carpet or disturbs bedding, but settle out of the air soon after the disturbance is over.
Dust mite-allergic people who inhale these particles frequently experience allergy symptoms. There may be many as 19,000 dust mites in one gram of dust, but usually between 100 to 500 mites live in each gram. (A gram is about the weight of a paper clip.) Each mite produces about 10 to 20 waste particles per day and lives for 30 days. Egg-laying females can add 25 to 30 new mites to the population during their lifetime.
Mites eat particles of skin and dander, so they thrive in places where there are people and animals. Dust mites don't bite, cannot spread diseases and usually do not live on people. They are harmful only to people who become allergic to them. While usual household insecticides have no effect on dust mites, there are ways to reduce exposure to dust mites in the home.
Why does house dust cause allergic reactions?
House dust is a mixture of many substances. Its content may vary from home to home, but the most common allergy triggers are:
Any of these allergens can cause a response in the immune system which results in the production of a special antibody (Immunoglobulin E or IgE). IgE brings about an allergic inflammatory response. Exposure to only small amounts of the offending allergen can cause allergy symptoms.
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