Are you experiencing a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing around your home, especially when you go on a quest to clean the house and get rid of any dust? Did you know that these symptoms point out to a present dust mite allergy? Is this the first time hearing about an allergy of that sort? Let’s change that then!
What is a dust mite allergy?
In order for us to understand what this allergy is, we first need to understand what dust mites really are. You see, dust mites are these harmless, extremely tiny bugs that normally live in house dust that is found all around us, no matter how much we try to keep our houses clean. The small bugs can survive all climates, feeding on the dead skin cells that we shred each day.
Well, when we breathe in these dust mites along with the dust around us, our immune system recognize these, otherwise harmless bugs, as intruders. In order to protect us, the immune system produces antibodies, which lead to an allergic reaction to these dust mites; thus, a dust mite allergy occurs.
It has been suggested that dust mite allergies account for around 70% of all respiratory allergies. This means that they are not uncommon at all, seeing how many people they affect on an international level with that number being 1-2% of the world’s population.
The common symptoms of a dust mite allergy
The list of common allergy symptoms include:
- Runny nose;
- Stuffy nose;
- Watery, red eyes;
- Itching around the eyes, nose, mouth, and/or throat;
- Postnasal drip;
- Sinus pressure;
- Swelling under the eyes, etc.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and question you about your medical history. Later, he/she can refer you to see an allergist. The allergist will perform a skin-prick test during which a skin area will be pricked using a needle to which a small amount of a certain allergen, in this case, a dust mite, will be applied. If the test is positive, and it fits the present symptoms, a clear diagnosis of a dust mite allergy will be confirmed.
Sometimes, a blood test, or a specific IgE blood test, can be done as well instead of the skin-prick test, especially among children. Or it can also be done to confirm the results of the skin-prick test additionally.
How is dust mite allergy treated?
The doctor can recommend over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, and decongestants, among others, to try and relieve the present symptoms. These medications work well at relieving any symptoms, although they cannot entirely eliminate the allergy altogether.
Dust mite allergy may be responsible for your sneezing, runny nose, and sinus pressure, although you have been feeling perfectly fine and free of any colds. This allergy can be tricky since we cannot avoid all the dust, as much as we try, around us. However, giving that long list of over-the-counter medications is worth a try.