Dust allergy is an allergic reaction to the tiny bugs that live in the dust. These are less than a quarter of a milimetre long and live off partially digested human skin scales. Although cleaning your house regularly helps, it is never possible to completely remove these creatures from our homes.
When someone is allergic to dust, we actually mean that they are allergic to the tiny droppings created by these dust mites.
Common symptoms of a dust mite allergy include:
- Runny or blocked nose
- Itchy or watery red eyes
- Hives, wheals or urticaria, including generalised skin itchiness.
- Shortness of breath or more of difficulty breathing in more severe cases or if it causes exacerbation of underlying asthma or other respiratory problems.
Understand House Dust Mites
As mentioned above, when sensitised, our immune system actually reacts to the droppings created by the house dust mites. These allergens are lightweight and easily become airborne, inhaled, or settle on household surfaces. These can unfortunately persist even when the house dust mite dies.
They thrive in warm, humid environments making our homes, especially bedrooms and living areas, their ideal habitat. This is especially the case in the winter or if a house is not aired regularly. They feed primarily on the dead skin cells humans, cats, dogs or other pets regularly shed.
Managing Dust Allergy
Once you have had your allergy testing, we can provide you with personalised plans on how to best alleviate your dust mite allergy symptoms. These plans may include:
- Reducing Dust Mite Exposure: No matter how clean you keep your place, you can never fully get rid of house dust mites. The best we can hope for is to decrease the amount of dust in our environment. Strategies like using allergen-proof bed covers, regularly washing bedding in hot water (60 degrees will kill dust mites), and maintaining low indoor humidity (40-60% indoor humidity is the healthiest range).
- Control the Environment: Tips on reducing dust accumulation, using HEPA filters in vacuum cleaners, indoor air purifiers, and choosing appropriate furnishings and floorings. Opting for hardwood floors that can be easily wiped, over carpets for example, can reduce dust mite habitats.
- Medication and Treatment: Recommendations for over-the-counter or prescription medications to alleviate symptoms.
Environmental Control Strategies
Here are some various environmental control strategies that you can use in your home to try and reduce house dust mites.
|Environmental Control Strategy
|Use of HEPA Filters
|Installing HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters in vacuum cleaners and air purifiers.
|Traps fine particles including dust mite allergens to prevent their release back into the environment when cleaning the room.
|Vacuuming carpets, rugs, and upholstery at least twice a week.
|This can help reduce the dust mite population and the overall waste which can cause allergens. Remember to use a HEPA filter to prevent the house dust mites from spreading back into the air.
|Washing Bedding Regularly
|Washing sheets, pillowcases, and blankets in hot water (at least 60°C) weekly.
|This temperature kills dust mites and removes their waste
|Maintaining indoor humidity below 60% using dehumidifiers or air conditioners.
|Creates an unsuitable environment for dust mites. They thrive in high humidity environments.
|Minimising objects that gather dust, like soft toys, cushions, and heavy drapes.
|Decreases surfaces where dust mites can accumulate and allows you to clean the surfaces better.
|Choosing Hard Surfaces
|Opting for hardwood, linoleum, or tile floors over carpets; use washable rugs if needed and wash them regularly too
|Reduces dust mite habitats and allows for easier cleaning.
|Allergen-Proof Bed Covers
|Using dust mite-proof covers on mattresses, pillows, and duvets.
|Forms a barrier against dust mites, which prevents them from entering the mattress and stops those in the mattress from getting back out.
|Regular Washing of Curtains
|Washing or vacuuming curtains and window treatments regularly.
|Removes dust and potential mite allergens. Prior to washing the windows and curtains, ensure that you are not allergic to any of the detergents or chemicals used.
|Ensuring good air flow in the home to reduce humidity and prevent mold, a dust mite-friendly habitat.
|Reduces overall allergen levels and improves air quality.
To get your allergy testing done, get in touch with us for more info either via email, telephone or chat function.