Dust mites are tiny bugs that thrive in warm, humid environments. They feed on dead skin cells shed by people and pets. Exposure to dust mites can cause allergic reactions in people.
What are the signs of an allergy to dust mites? Symptoms are similar to allergic reactions to other airborne allergens. You may be sniffling, sneezing, or coughing. Your eyes may itch or tear up, and your skin might itch. Dust mites can even be one of the culprits in asthma.
If your allergic symptoms flare up while you are vacuuming or dusting, or while you are in bed, you may have a problem with dust mites or other dust-related allergens. Our allergist can help you diagnose and treat the problem.
When you come to see our allergist, Dr. Hadjiev, he will take a medical history, do a medical exam, and ask questions about your home environment to pinpoint where and when your symptoms are occurring. An allergy test can help determine if you are allergic to dust mites.
Treatment for dust mite allergies may include medication to relieve immediate symptoms, as well as immunotherapy to alleviate symptoms in the long run. Dr. Hadjiev will also help you make a plan to modify your home environment, so it will be less hospitable to dust mites.
Dust is everywhere. No matter where you live and how clean you keep your home, you’re going to find dust somewhere. It builds up so quickly. Where there is dust, there are dust mites.
While the reality of dust might seem discouraging, there is plenty you can do to minimize your exposure. Following are some simple but effective steps you can take.
Be mindful of your home environment. Where does dust collect and settle? Those are often the places that get skipped in cleaning. Books, knick knacks, lamp shades. Those comfy blankets and pillows you curl up with on the couch. All of those items attract dust mites. It’s important to keep them clean on a regular basis. Wash your blankets and consider using washable decorative covers on the pillows you sit with on your couch.
Beds and sofas are likely places for dust mites to settle. Anywhere you sleep or sit for long periods of time is a place where you shed your old dead skin. That is food for dust mites. That’s why it is a good idea to vacuum the top and sides of your sofa and bed, and wash your bed linens regularly. Read More.
Keep your pets’ beds and favorite areas clean as well. Dust mites feed off the skin shed by animals as they go through their day. Consider covering your pets’ favorite napping places with towels or other washable coverings.
Take the time to clean under your sofa, tables and chairs where you spend time sitting. Be sure especially to clean under your bed. You don’t want to interact with dust mites all night long. You might also consider putting encasements on your mattress, box spring, and pillows.
Be sure to dust and vacuum your home regularly. If you are allergic, can someone else in your home do that chore? Or you might consider wearing a mask while you clean.
Vacuum first and then dust, as vacuuming often stirs dust into the air. Be sure your vacuum cleaner is working well and has a good filter. Even with the best filter, wear a mask while vacuuming. When you dust, use a duster that grabs the dust instead of just sending it airborne.
Dust mites thrive in humid environments. So you might find it helpful to reduce your indoor humidity. However, an environment that is too dry can also affect your health. You need to find the right balance. Our allergist can help you make decisions that are right for your health.
If you think your allergic symptoms may be caused by dust mites, or if you are suffering with allergies of any kind, make an appointment to see Dr. Hadjiev, New York City’s own allergist. He can diagnose your allergies to dust mites or other allergens and design a treatment plan to help you feel better.
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