Dust mite allergy is one of the most common causes of year round allergies and asthma. It is estimated that 55% of children with asthma are allergic to dust mites. Dust mites are also associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema). There is evidence that exposure to high levels of dust mites in the first 2-3 months of life is a risk factor for the development of asthma.
What are dust mites?
Dust mites are very small 8 legged organisms which fall into the spider category (along with chiggers and ticks). They are so small (⅓ of a millimeter, or about 1/100th of an inch) that they can’t be seen without the use of a microscope. They feed on dead skin and absorb moisture from the air through their skin. They are mostly found in bedding, stuffed animals, carpets, upholstered furniture, and clothes. It is estimated that a mattress may contain 100,000 to 10 million dust mites. Their average life span is between 20-30 days, although some can live
up to 80 days. Dust mites thrive in a dark, warm humid environment.
Individuals allergic to dust mites are sensitive to their digestive enzymes which are found in high levels in mite fecal pellets.
How to minimize dust mite allergens in the home
There are several measures that have been demonstrated to be useful in order to minimize dust mite allergy:
Diagnosis of dust mite allergy
Dust mite allergy can be identified with a skin prick test or blood test.
Treatment of dust mite allergy
Along with dust mite avoidance, medications such as antihistamines and
steroid nose sprays can help improve the symptoms of dust mite allergies.
Allergy shots and allergy drops have been demonstrated to be effective for the long term treatment of dust mite allergies
Schedule an appointment now to discuss the various ways to treat dust mite allergies