Allergy to Dust Mites
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, a small critter in your home could be causing serious difficulties. Even if you can’t see them, you could be allergic to them. They are dust mites, and they can be found in many households across the world.
Dust mites could be the most common cause of seasonal allergies and asthma. Except for Antarctica, they can be found on every continent. It may be impossible to completely eradicate these creatures from your home. However, there are strategies to reduce your allergic reactions to them.
What Exactly Is a Dust Mite?
A dust mite is only around a quarter to one-third of a millimeter long. They are too small to be seen with the naked eye. They appear to be white beetles under a microscope. They have eight legs, hence they are arthropods, like spiders, rather than insects.
Dust mites prefer temperatures ranging from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). They also prefer humidity levels ranging from 70 to 80 percent. There are at least 13 different types of mites. They are all well suited to the environment found within your home. They mostly feed on the microscopic flakes of human skin that people lose on a daily basis. These particles penetrate the interior layers of furniture, carpets, mattresses, and even stuffed animals. Mites thrive in these environments. A typical adult may shed up to 1.5 grams of skin every day. This is enough to feed 1,000,000 dust mites!
What Exactly Is a Dust Mite Allergy?
A chemical that induces an allergic reaction is known as an allergen. Many people are allergic to both dust mite body components and their excrement. Most dust mites die in low humidity or high temperatures. They do, however, leave their dead bodies and filth behind. These can induce allergy reactions in the future. Dust mites can live all year in a warm, humid environment.
What Are Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms?
The following are common dust mite allergy symptoms:
- Nose bleed
- Eyes that are itchy, red, or watery
- Nose congestion
- Itching in the nose, mouth, or throat
- Skin itch
- Postnasal dripping (a flow of mucus from behind your nose into your throat)
If your asthma is triggered by a dust mite allergy, you may also experience:
- Breathing difficulties
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- When exhaling, there is a whistling or wheezing sound.
- Sleeping difficulties caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
What Does a Doctor Look For When Diagnosing Dust Mite Allergy?
Your doctor may perform a physical check and discuss your symptoms to determine if you have a dust mite allergy. If your doctor suspects you have a dust mite allergy, he or she may recommend a skin or blood test. If you have symptoms all year, you may have a dust mite allergy.
Prick Test on the Skin (SPT)
A little drop of the potential allergen is applied on your skin during prick/scratch testing. The nurse or doctor will next delicately puncture or scratch the affected area with a needle through the drop. If you are allergic to the chemical, redness, swelling, and itching will appear at the test site within 20 minutes. A wheal is also possible. A wheal is an elevated, spherical region that resembles a beehive. The greater the wheal, the more likely it is that you are allergic to the allergen.
A positive SPT to a specific allergen does not always indicate an allergy. To see if the skin test findings match the time and location of your symptoms, health care experts must compare them.
Blood Test for Specific IgE
When persons have a skin disease or are taking medications that interfere with skin testing, blood tests can be useful. They can also be employed in youngsters who are sensitive to skin testing. Your doctor will draw a blood sample and send it to a laboratory for analysis. The allergen is mixed into your blood sample by the lab. The amount of antibodies your blood produces to attack the allergens is then measured. This is known as Specific IgE (sIgE) Blood Testing. (This was previously and widely known as RAST or ImmunoCAP testing.) A positive blood test to an allergen, like a positive skin test, does not always imply that the allergen caused your symptoms.