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Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that can live in the bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets or curtains in the home. Dust mites create an allergen that comes from their fecal pellets and body fragments when breathed in by humans. Common allergy symptoms include postnasal drip, congestion, and sinus pressure. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA), dust mite allergy affects about 20 million people in the U.S. 

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a dust mite allergy may include:

  • Runny or itchy nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Congestion
  • Sinus pressure
  • Itchy, watery, or red eyes
  • Trouble sleeping

 

If the dust mite allergy triggers a person’s asthma, they may also experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out

Causes

An allergy is the immune system’s response to an unknown substance that typically isn’t harmful to the human body. The allergen dust mites create comes from their fecal pellets and body fragments. When a person breathes in these waste products of dust mites, their immune system produces antibodies against the substance. This immune response causes the symptoms associated with a dust mite allergy, such as sneezing and a runny nose.

Treatment

The best treatment option is to limit exposure to dust mites by using allergen-proof bed covers on the mattress or washing all bedding in hot water once a week. Besides air purifiers and regular cleaning, vacuuming also can help symptoms. The following interventions may also be used to treat the symptoms of an allergic reaction to dust mites:

  • Nasal corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Immunotherapy 

 Many allergy related symptoms can be managed with over the counter medicines, prescription medications, and environmental avoidance strategies if the allergies are known. With allergy skin testing and/or blood testing, we can discover hidden triggers, confirm suspected triggers, and provide additional treatments, including immunotherapy if appropriate. 

Contact Northeast Allergy, Asthma & Immunology today to schedule your appointment.

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