Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Dust Mite Allergies

Updated
Updated

Dust mite allergies are a very common indoor allergy. If your home or place of work has dust, then you likely have dust mites. This makes it an allergen that is sometimes difficult to avoid.

Unlike seasonal allergies, dust mite allergies can happen year-round. Those with dust mite allergies may have symptoms that won’t go away unless they keep their home very clean and/or use allergy medications.

If you have indoor allergies, there are ways to manage or treat your symptoms. Wyndly can help. Set up an allergy consultation with Wyndly today to start your road to allergy relief, and read on to learn more about dust mite allergies.

What Is a Dust Mite Allergy?

Dust mites are tiny, microscopic bugs that — true to their name — live in dust. These tiny insects eat skin cells shed by humans and animals and are especially fond of warm and humid environments. Dust mites can be found anywhere with dust, but furniture, carpet, and bedding are where they thrive.

The dust mites themselves don’t technically cause the allergic reaction, though. The dead bodies and droppings of dust mites contain a protein that can cause your body to react with symptoms.

Common Symptoms

Dust mite allergies share many symptoms with other common indoor allergies. If you have a dust mite allergy, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Congestion
  • Facial pressure
  • Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma

Dust mite allergy symptoms can range in severity. Typically, your dust mite symptoms will worsen if dust mites are allowed to thrive in your home and bedroom.

Where Are Dust Mites Found?

Dust mites can be found in nearly every home. You can usually find them in bedding, carpeting, furniture, curtains, drapes, mattresses, and various other places in your house. Unfortunately for people with dust mite allergies, they can be fairly difficult to avoid altogether. Even if you keep your home exceptionally clean, there’s a chance you can be exposed if you visit your office, a business, the home of a friend or family member, a hotel room, or other indoor facilities you may visit.

Health Complications

Dust mite allergies can lead to several health complications if you’re constantly exposed. These are some complications you’ll want to be aware of.

  • Asthma complications: When you’re already dealing with asthma, allergies can make your condition worse. Frequent exposure to dust mites can lead to asthma attacks that may require medication or emergency medical attention.
  • Sinus infections: Continuous inflammation of your sinuses can lead to a sinus infection. Sinus infections may require over-the-counter (OTC) medications to manage symptoms, while chronic sinus infections may require antibiotics.

Testing and Diagnosis

Dust mites are far from the only indoor allergen. There are a variety of common indoor allergens, such as pet dander, cockroaches, and mold. This can make it difficult to determine if dust mites are the true cause of your symptoms. Fortunately, an allergy test can clear up any uncertainty while also revealing allergens you may not have been aware of. The best way to get an allergy test is with an at-home test from Wyndly. It’s delivered right to your door and just requires a quick finger prick. Get your at-home test from Wyndly to determine the source of your allergies.

Here’s how different allergy testing options work:

Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office

Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to find out your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.

Modern and Efficient At-Home Method

  1. Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
  2. Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
  3. Receive your personal allergy profile. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through a treatment plan.

Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.

Treatment and Remedies

Once you’ve identified dust mites as the cause of your allergies, you can take steps to manage and treat your allergy symptoms. These are a few methods to help get your allergies under control.

Limiting Exposure

If you want to start managing your dust mite allergy symptoms, it’s a good idea to reduce the number of dust mites in your home. This will limit your exposure to their debris, helping you curb allergy symptoms.

Here are some good ways to limit your dust mite exposure:

  • Use a dehumidifier: Remember, dust mites thrive in humid environments. It’s a good idea to get a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels down. You can also get a sensor to help you see when the level is getting too high. The ideal humidity level is below 50%.
  • Use dust-proof bed and pillow covers: If you have dust mite allergies, the last thing you want is to be exposed while you’re sleeping. Dust-proof or allergen-proof covers can keep dust mites from easily settling into your sleeping environment.
  • Wash bedding often: Wash your bedding in hot water once a week to ensure that it is always as clean and free of dust mites as possible.
  • Dust your home: A home free of dust will be freer from dust mites. Using a wet dusting method, like a damp rag, will prevent dust from kicking up as you clean.
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture: Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter on your furniture and your carpets to get rid of dust mites. A regular vacuum will have a harder time getting dust mites out.
  • Remove carpet if possible: Carpeting is where dust mites love to live. If you can remove carpet and replace it with hardwood or another flooring, you can get rid of one of their favorite habitats in your home. If you have rugs, make sure they’re washable so you can throw them in hot water once a week.
  • Buy washable stuffed animals: Stuffed animals should be washable so they can be thrown in the washer in hot water. Doing this once per week can prevent dust mites from accumulating.

It’s always a good idea to limit your exposure to dust mites and keep your home clean, but these measures may not be enough for everyone. You might need to try other remedies if limiting dust mite exposure isn’t working for you.

Medications

When limiting exposure isn’t bringing you the relief you need, allergy medications can be a good next step. There are several options, and most allergy medications are easily obtained from your local pharmacy.

  • Over-the-counter medications: OTC allergy medications are the easiest to find, and they help most allergy sufferers manage their symptoms. Here are some of the most common OTC allergy meds available.
    • Antihistamines: Antihistamines block histamine production. Histamine is a primary cause of your allergy symptoms, so blocking this reaction can provide you with temporary relief.
    • Eye drops: It’s easy for allergens to get into your eyes, causing them to water and itch. Eye drops can help clear allergens out of your eyes and bring you some relief.
    • Nasal sprays: When allergens get into your nasal passages, they can cause inflammation. Nasal sprays can help relieve that inflammation and reduce swelling by clearing the allergens out of your nasal passage.
  • Prescription medications: When OTC meds can’t manage your symptoms, you may want to consult your doctor about prescription options.

Allergy medications can provide you with short-term relief from your symptoms, but they don’t treat the root cause of dust mite allergies. If you want long-term relief, immunotherapy should be your next step.

Sublingual Immunotherapy Allergy Drops

Allergy drops are a form of immunotherapy that you can self-administer at home, under your tongue. Also known as sublingual immunotherapy, this treatment introduces small amounts of your allergen to your immune system in gradually increasing doses. This re-trains your immune system to ignore allergy triggers instead of responding with an allergic reaction. Allergy drops can provide you with long-term relief from allergy symptoms.

Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

Wyndly can help you find long-term relief from your allergy symptoms. Our doctors will create a personalized treatment plan to treat your dust mite allergies at the source.

Schedule an allergy consultation today to start your journey to lifelong relief.

Dust Mite Allergy FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about dust mite allergies.

Are my allergies from inhaling dust mites?

Technically, you’re inhaling dust mite debris, which consists of the bodies of dust mites and their droppings. The proteins in this debris cause your symptoms.

When is dust mite allergy season?

Since dust mites are indoor allergens, they can be present throughout the year. You may notice symptoms worsen if your home is particularly humid or if you’re indoors more than normal, like during the winter.

Where are the most common places to find dust mites?

Dust mites are most often found in furniture, carpeting, and bedding.

What other indoor allergens could be causing my symptoms?

If your indoor allergies aren’t from dust mites, other common indoor allergens include cockroaches, mold, and pet dander.

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