It can be exasperating when you’re suffering from dust mites allergy. Sometimes, you wonder if you’re the only few affected by these microscopic pests or if dust mites issue is encountered by most families. So, how common is dust mite allergy?
Like you, I thought that dust mite allergy is a rare health issue when my son started developing sensitive red eyes, irritated throat, and eventually nasal inflammation. I was suspecting that it was a case of dust mite allergy.
It took less than a few minutes for the doctor to confirm my son’s symptom. That was when I realized that dust mite allergy may be a common problem faced by many individuals after all. According to EverydayHealth, as many as 10 percents of individuals in the US suffer from dust mites allergies. In certain places, dust mites are the major causes of up to 90% of asthma cases.
So, How Common Are Dust Mites?
The dust mite is a general term that refers to a group of species that belongs to the same family. Two of the most common types of dust mites in the US are Dermatophagoides farinae and D. pteronyssinus. According to the American Lung Association, dust mites are present in four out of five homes. That’s 80% of households in the US.
But dust mites aren’t a problem that only affects Americans. If you’re traveling to tropical countries, you’ll have to deal with Blomia tropicalis, which thrives in such countries. In Europe and the southern United States, families have to deal with Euroglyphus maynei which triggers allergy symptoms when present in high numbers.
The fact that dust mites are present in almost every places around the world shows that allergies due to these tiny critters are common recurring symptoms. If you are highly sensitive to the presence of dust mites, it doesn’t take a highly-infested home for you to show signs of allergy.
Is Getting Medical Treatment Good Enough?
Naturally, when you’re having nasal inflammation or red, teary eyes, you ought to consult a doctor. Dust mites allergies shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially if you have a history of asthma or if a toddler is suffering from it.
Doctors would diagnose the symptoms and if they are found to be caused by dust mites, the appropriate medicines will be prescribed. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America dust mites allergy are usually treated with the following medicines.
- Antihistamine – reduce runny nose, sneezing, and itchiness.
- Nasal corticosteroids – for reducing nasal inflammation and other symptoms.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists – block other chemicals from triggering allergy reaction.
- Cromolyn sodium – nose spray to block histamine that triggers the allergy symptoms.
- Decongestants – reduce nasal inflammation.
IMPORTANT: Some of these medicines may cause side effects when applied or taken orally. Be sure that you have consulted your doctor before taking any of these.
However, treating the symptoms is not an ideal way in the long run. Often the doctor will advise in you in keeping your home environment unconducive for the growth of dust mites.
Reducing And Preventing Dust Mites Growth
While you’re treating dust mites allergy, you need to start taking control of your home’s environment. For all you know, there could be millions of dust mites growing uncontrolled in various places in the house.
Dust mites enjoy the warm and humid environment. They grow quickly when the surrounding temperature falls between 68°F (20°C) to 77°F (25°C) and the humidity between 70% to 80%. These little bugs fed on dead skin cells that you shed off every day.
To stop dust mites growth you need to disrupt its habitat, and to kill those that are triggering allergy symptoms in your home. Here are a few things that you can do right away.
- Reduce Humidity – Open the windows in your home to allow natural air to flow through. It helps to reduce humidity in your home. You can also install a dehumidifier if your house has a serious problem with humidity.
- Wash Beddings Regularly – Your bedroom often has the greatest number of dust mites, because you spend the most hours sleeping on the bed. Clean the bedsheets, pillowcases, linens, and blankets at least once a week with hot water. Dust mites are destroyed above 55°C.
- Use a dust mite spray – Spraying natural anti-dust mites solution is a quick way to kill off some of the miniature pests in your home. Make it part of your cleaning routine.
- Use dust mite covers – Dust mite covers are made with materials with very small pore sizes that dust mites couldn’t pass through. You can get dust mite covers for the pillows and mattress to prevent dust mites from entering the beddings and breed again.
- Keep Your Home Dust-Free – It’s important to keep your home dust-free as signs of dust usually means trappings of dead skin cells and dust mites. A HEPA vacuum cleaner helps to remove dust mites from carpet, rugs, and mattress and trap them safely in the dust canister.
Here is a complete list of tips to try out if dust mites are a serious problem in your home.
While it’s comforting to know that you’re not the only one suffering from dust mites allergy, the fact that the symptoms can cause inconvenience in your lifestyle demands proactive action. I’ve enforced strict discipline in keeping my home clean and it was only that my son’s allergy symptom eventually subsided.