How To Prevent Dust Mites
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that do not bite but can cause allergic reactions in humans making for an uncomfortable living environment. You can experience allergic reactions to dust mites that manifest as skin rashes, sneezing and postnasal drip, and even asthma. Hence, if you are experiencing a continuous allergy over a long period of time, you might want to get medical advice from a doctor who can determine if you are possibility suffering from dust mite allergies or allergic rhinitis.
In the interim the following information will help you learn the causes, symptoms, possible treatment, and the prevention of dust mites.
Causes of Dust Mite Allergies
An allergic reaction in your body can be a reaction to an unknown substance that is not necessarily harmful. The substances that can cause an allergic reaction may include pollen, food, and dust mites. Allergic reaction to dust mites occurs as a result of the body's response to breathing in waste particles of dust mites like their decaying bodies or feces.
Dust mites thrive in specific environments, and in your house this can be things like beddings, furniture cushions, and carpets. These tiny bugs flourish where moisture can be held and trapped. Dust mites do not drink water but adsorb moisture from the air. Therefore, to reduce the chances of getting a dust mites allergy, you need to dust and clean your house often, keep it dry, and focus on the problematic areas.
Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms
Dust mite allergic reactions range from mild to severe during different times of the year. The symptoms are more intense during the hot and humid months of the year. The most common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, itchy throat and eyes, and stuffy or runny nose. When the allergic reactions become more severe, they can trigger asthma.
Diagnosis of Dust Mite Allergies
If you experience any allergic reaction, especially when you go to bed or from cleaning, you might want to visit an allergist to determine if dust mites are the cause. Your medical professional can conduct a diagnosis by administering an allergen on part of your skin. If your skin reacts negatively by swelling, itching, or becoming red to the allergen, you might have a dust mite allergen sensitivity.
Another common test is the blood test where a blood sample is taken and mixed with an allergen in order to measure the number of antibodies created. Although these test results may not be totally accurate, an allergist can use both tests together with an examination to make a diagnosis.
How to Treat Dust Mite Allergies
Limiting your exposure to dust mites is the best treatment option. However, in some cases you may need to use medications if other preventive measures do not work. The most common treatment includes antihistamine which works by blocking the histamine released every time there is an allergen encountered by the immune system. The antihistamine will help to relieve runny nose, sneezing, and itching.
A doctor may also prescribe decongestants if you have a stuffy nose, sinus headache, and postnasal drip. Decongestants help to break up the mucus and shrink tissues in the nasal passage so that you can breathe freely without any blockage.
Finally, you can also choose allergy shots to boost your immune system. Administering allergy shots is done by injecting allergens into your body which build immunity over time. Before starting allergy shots, you should undergo allergy testing to know the number of doses you will need. The treatment mainly focuses on treating and preventing the symptoms given there is no cure for an allergic reaction.
Prevention of Dust Mite Allergy
Dust mites breed in the beddings which provide the ideal humidity and temperature for them. They get their food supply by feeding on human dead skin cells. Dust mites, unlike outside allergens like pollen, can be mostly prevented, which reduces the risk of allergy. You can consider proactive measures such as regular washing of beddings with hot water and regular dusting of the furniture crevices and blinds and places where dust mites live. Dusting minimizes the amount of dust and reduces the accumulation of dust mites.
Another preventive measure is replacing carpet with wood or tile making it easier to wipe the surfaces to mitigate a humid environment. Since dust mites cannot survive in areas with low humidity you can think about how to make your environment more “desert like.”
While it may be difficult to completely eliminate dust mites just remember the following short list of practical actions you can take:
- Reduce Humidity Levels (consider de-humidifiers and opening windows on dry days)
- Avoid Carpets
- Replace Fabric Upholstered Furniture with Leather or Furniture with Smooth Surfaces
- Avoid Drapes and Curtains
- Use Protective Covers for Mattresses and Pillow Cases
- Use an Air Purifier
Air Purifiers for Dust Mites
In the outset we said the dust mites are tiny creatures, but how can we grasp the microscopic world? For a quick review see our blog on microns. Basically, dust mites, although microscopic, are over 100 microns in size. In the world of air purifiers using HEPA filters, 100-micron sized particles are huge considering that HEPA can filter out sub-micron (less than a micron) sized particles with an efficiency of over 99 percent. Hence, capturing dust mites with HEPA filters is easy! Moreover, HEPA filter can also trap dust mite waste and dust mite eggs. In a nutshell you can say air purifiers kill dust mites and are very effective in reducing dust mite proliferation.
We offer a variety of air purifiers to help with dust mites and many other indoor air quality concerns.
To learn more about air purifiers and related topics, we invite you to check out our Blog.