Dust mites the home invader.
One of the main component of indoor dust is shed skin flakes, which is the dust mite preferred food source. Areas around the home that are heavily used, such as beds and upholstered furniture, will have much higher mite populations than the rest of the house.
This dust mite has been associated with dermatological and respiratory allergies in humans, such as eczema and asthma.
However, there is no single, definitive sign that house dust mites trigger a person’s allergy symptoms. Asthma, for example, can be triggered by a range of other indoor allergens such as fungi (moulds) or animal dander (dander is fluff from hair, fur or feathers).
Symptoms of allergic reaction to house dust mites.
House dust mites can trigger respiratory or dermatological conditions including asthma and eczema.
Symptoms can include:
• Tight feeling in chest
• Runny nose
• Itchy nose
• Itchy eyes
• Itchy skin
• Skin rashes
The allergic reaction Unlike other common household bugs (fleas, for example), dust mites don’t bite. Their bodies, secretions and faeces contain particular proteins that can trigger allergic symptoms in susceptible people.
The diet of the house dust mite includes shed skin flakes, pollen and fungal spores. It prefers warm, humid and dark environments. Common hiding spots around the home include:
• Mattresses and bed linen.
• Upholstery furniture
• Soft Toys
Diagnosis and treatment for dust mite allergies
Allergy testing can find out whether house dust mites trigger your respiratory or dermatological symptoms. See your doctor for further information and advice.
If tests show that you are allergic to house dust mites, there are ways to reduce your immune system response. For example, you could undergo immunotherapy, which involves deliberately exposing you to dust mite extracts to ‘train’ your immune system not to overreact. Measures designed to reduce your household’s dust mite population may also be helpful.