House dust mites are microscopically small spider-like organisms that lurk inside your home. They can cause considerable nuisance and are one of the most common triggers for allergies and asthma. In this article, we take you through everything you need to know about house dust mites, how a house dust mite allergy arises and how you can best combat these annoying little creatures!
What are house dust mites?
House dust mites are super small organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Even with a microscope, they only look like tiny white spider-like creatures. These arachnids feed off human dead skin cells, so tend to accumulate in places where there is a big build-up of dead skin cells. Mattresses, pillows, blankets, upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpets are all places where mites like to hang out. In addition, damp rooms are excellent places for house dust mites to live.
How does a house dust mite allergy develop?
Although not everyone experiences an allergic reaction as a result of contact with house dust mites, a house dust mite allergy is one of the most common hypersensitivity reactions. The reaction occurs when the body’s immune system is mistakenly stimulated. The immune system will go into action if the arachnids’ faeces are wrongly assessed as allergens (harmful foreign bodies). In that case, antibodies will be released in the body. This manifests itself in symptoms attributable to an allergic reaction, the best known of which are a runny nose, red, watery, and itchy eyes, frequent sneezing, and/or tightness of the chest.
How is a house dust mite allergy diagnosed?
Allergic reactions to the house dust mite can occur quite suddenly and be very persistent. Of course, this is not a seasonal allergy as is the case with hay fever. The development of an allergy to house dust mites is also not age-related, this hypersensitivity reaction can occur later in life. The best way to diagnose an allergy to house dust mites is through a simple blood test.
Is it possible to combat house dust mites?
Unfortunately, no room can be made completely free of house dust mites. However, there are a number of steps that can be taken to limit your reaction to them. A choice can be made between symptom control and source control.
With regard to the first option, you could choose to use intolerance medications such as antihistamines that are designed to limit the symptoms of an allergic reaction. These medicines come in the form of pills, tablets, and sprays. Just speak to your doctor and they will be able to assist with the best treatment choice for your individual needs.
It is also certainly a good idea to consider source control too. Air cleaners are often used to combat house dust mites. These devices suck in polluted air and filter it. This is very effective in combating house dust mites because these arachnids are so small and lightweight that they float through the air like dust particles. For many people with hypersensitivity to house dust mites, this method offers noticeable relief.
Another good way to reduce dust mites is to regularly vacuum and deep clean your carpets and rugs as this is where these little bites love to congregate. Also dust regularly, paying extra attention to blinds and furniture crevices!