If you are one of the millions of Americans whose allergy symptoms are triggered by dust, you might be allergic to house dust mites.
Although several potential allergens can be found in household dust (animal hair/fur, tiny cockroach particles, mold, and pollen), dust mites are the most common cause of allergy from house dust.
Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed off house dust and the moisture in the air. They are one of the most common indoor allergens and in addition to allergic rhinitis, dust mite allergy can also trigger asthma and cause eczema to flare.
Too small to be seen by the human eye, they can live almost anywhere and are especially fond of warm, humid environments. Since they feed off of the tiny flakes of skin we shed every day, some of their favorite spots are bedding, mattresses, carpets, and upholstered furniture.
Some common dust mite allergy symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Irritated eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Shortness of breath
If you have allergic rhinitis triggered by house dust mites, you may feel like you have a cold that lasts all year!
Your Atlanta Allergy & Asthma allergist will conduct a thorough history and perform an allergy skin test to determine exactly what is causing your symptoms. After dust allergy is confirmed, your allergist will recommend one or more of the following:
- Household changes: Although it is nearly impossible to eliminate dust and dust mites from your home, there are some steps you can take to minimize your exposure.
- Medications (over-the-counter or prescription)
- Allergy Immunotherapy: Allergy immunotherapy naturally desensitizes your immune system over time to the allergens that cause your symptoms. There are three options: allergy shots, and allergy drops and tablets (oral immunotherapy.)
Both allergy shots and drops have been used effectively to treat dust mite allergic patients for many years. An oral immunotherapy tablet specific to dust mite was approved by the FDA more recently. Speak with your allergist to determine the best option for you.
Schedule your appointment today and start on the path to feeling better.