House dust mite allergy is associated with eczema and asthma and affects nearly a million people in the UK. Dust mites live off human skin flakes and pet dander and they love high temperatures, so they’re at their peak in summer. In fact, it’s not the dust mites themselves, but their droppings that actually cause allergies, and they can continue to do so even when the dust mites themselves have died.
Symptoms of a dust allergy
If your dust mite allergy inflames your nasal passages, you may experience sneezing, runny noses, red and watery eyes, coughing, facial pressure and pain, nasal congestion and an itchy nose.
According to MedicineNet, if you have a dust mite allergy that exacerbates your asthma, you may experience tightness in your chest, wheezing, trouble sleeping because of coughing, shortness of breath and bouts of coughing that are worsened by colds and flu.
Dust mite allergies can be relatively mild, with just a runny nose and sneezing or quite severe, with constant sneezing, facial pressure or even severe asthma attacks. Because early symptoms can resemble a cold, it can be difficult to tell whether you have a dust allergy, but if symptoms persist for longer than a week, you should see your doctor particularly if you have severe shortness of breath or wheezing.
Potential risk factors
If you have a family history of allergies, or you’re a child or young adult, then you’re more likely to develop a sensitivity to dust mites. The higher your exposure to dust mites, especially at a young age, the greater your risk of developing allergies.
The more you can eliminate your exposure to dust mites, the more easily you can control your allergic reactions.
Keep it clean
You can minimise dust in the home in a number of ways, by cleaning and vacuuming regularly. In commercial or industrial premises, check ductwork and ensure all parts, such as your ductwork blast gate damper, are clean and functioning. If not, then ensure you source replacements, for example from http://www.dustspares.co.uk/Blast-Gate-Damper.html.
In the home, if your bedroom is in a basement, move upstairs as basements create the conditions that dust mites love. Keep throws, rugs and bedding well laundered and use a HEPA filter.
You can also use over the counter antihistamines and decongestants, but you may need your doctor to prescribe steroids.