A dust allergy is a type of allergy that occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live in house dust. They are found in bedding, mattresses, pillows, carpets, and furniture.
Dust mite allergies are very common, affecting up to 20% of the population. They are more common in children and people with asthma.
Dust mite allergy symptoms can include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy throat
- Difficulty breathing
In severe cases, dust mite allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the throat. If you think you are having an anaphylactic reaction, call 911 immediately.
There is no cure for dust mite allergies, but there are ways to manage the symptoms. The most important thing is to reduce your exposure to dust mites. You can do this by:
- Washing your bedding in hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) every week
- Encasing your mattress and pillows in dust mite-proof covers
- Vacuuming your carpets and furniture regularly
- Using an air purifier in your home
- Avoiding humid environments
You can also take over-the-counter or prescription medications to relieve your symptoms.
If you have dust mite allergies, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and learn about your treatment options.
Here are some additional tips for managing dust mite allergies:
- Take a shower or bath before bed to remove dust mites from your skin and hair.
- Wear a mask when dusting or vacuuming.
- Keep your bedroom clean and free of clutter.
- Avoid bringing pets into your bedroom.
If you have any questions or concerns about dust mite allergies, be sure to talk to your doctor.