Dust Mite Allergy
Not all environmental allergies are due to little grains of pollen floating in the air. Some are due to microscopic, creepy, crawling, 8-legged creatures — dust mites. These little bugs live in higher humidity areas in the home, most likely the places that are most lived in, like the bedroom or living room. They don’t bite, but when their disintegrated bodies and waste float through the air and are breathed in, many people experience allergic reactions.
While dust mites thrive year round, allergy symptoms are strongest in the fall months once homes are closed for the colder months.
Common dust mite allergy symptoms are:
- Runny nose
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Post nasal drip
The good news is that there are many ways to control dust mites in your home:
- Pillows, mattress and box spring should be encased in plastic covers
- Wash all pillows, bed sheets, blankets, and bed spreads every two weeks
- Freeze bedding for several hours in order to kill the mites
- Replace carpeted areas with linoleum, hard wood, or tile flooring
- Vacuum furniture and carpeting regularly
- Keep your household humidity between 30-50%
While controlling the amount of dust mites can help symptoms temporarily, there is no way to rid your home of dust mites completely. Instead, those allergic to dust mites can treat the cause of the allergy with sublingual immunotherapy, which helps to build tolerance to the allergen.