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Dust mite allergy is one of the commonly seen allergies among patients. Often they come to the hospital seeking medications for cold and during the check-up, it is found that they are suffering from dust allergy.

Pets, cockroaches, mould spores are major cause of dust allergy

Dust mite allergy is one of the commonly seen allergies among patients. Often they come to the hospital seeking medications for cold and during the check-up, it is found that they are suffering from dust allergy.

The allergy is caused due to allergic reactions a person acquires to tiny bugs that dwell in the dust in the house. We know the person is a victim to dust mite allergy when he sneezes continuously and has a running nose. Many people with dust mite allergy might also experience symptoms of asthma, like wheezing and difficulty in breathing.

Symptoms
Dust mite allergies result in inflammation of the nose and its regular symptoms drastically affect the respiratory process of the body. A few of the other detailed symptoms can be itchy and red puffy watery eyes, acute coughs and sneezes along with the runny nose.
These allergies can be mild and proliferate to the chronic stage when it hits the way of asthma.

Precautions
The person must distance themselves from the allergy-causing objects and should get checked if the symptom continues for more than a week. They must further seek for an emergency care when they start panting with minimal activities or may be the worse.

Causes
House dust gets easily absorbed in the bed sheets, furniture, cushions or carpets, as these materials hold moisture, they may well turn out to be the hub for the dust mites to settle down. The allergy is caused when the proteins produced by dust mites enter a person’s body. Close contact with the pet animals might also lead to the allergy concerned. These mites accumulate in the fur of the pets and spread to the humans.

Cockroaches and mould spores or unused containers act as an agent in creating such allergies as well. Tiny particles from them are a common component of household dust and may be the true cause of allergy.

The immune system of the person gets affected with few allergens produced by these mites that may be creating the condition of allergy in the patient.

Diagnosis
If the doctor is suspicious of allergy, in accordance to the symptoms mentioned, treatment could be started. If the patient is not responding well to the treatment, a few tests could be considered. This would be followed by required medications.

Allergy Skin Test
This test is majorly done to examine the exact foreign particle the body is allergic to. In these kinds of tests, a small amount of foreign particle including the dust mites is brought into contact with a certain part of the body. The signs for the allergenic skin are further observed for a required period of time. If the person experiences irritation or redness, they are prone to the particle involved. Although such allergies go within 30 minutes, this is one of the tests involved to determine the cause.

Blood Test
During the test, the blood in the body is scanned for specific allergy-causing antibodies to the cells and for eosinophils.

Treatment
The key treatment for dust allergy is preventing close contacts with dust. As complete avoidance might not be possible, medicines include antihistamine oral and inhaled: and for more severe cases, nasal sprays are recommended.

Other lifestyle hacks
The best way to avoid such allergies will be to be more hygienic. Bed sheets should be cleaned frequently or allergy-proof bed sheets can be used. Vacuuming the house regularly is a must. All the carpets, pillow covers, bed covers, sofa covers, etc, must be changed and washed frequently. Pets should be bathed daily to avoid mites settling in their body.

Room humidity should be in check. The unutilised or closed items also give birth to such mites from the dust accumulated. Thus, unused books, boxes, drawers, etc, must be dusted twice a week. The mattresses and blankets, which are non-washable, should be put under the sun to absorb all the dust that is gathered within.

Awareness and precautions will help the patient to overcome and manage the allergy and ensure a healthy lifestyle.

By: Dr Vivek Anand Padegal
The writer is Director, Pulmonology Fortis Hospital.

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