What causes allergy to dust mites

It’s not fully understood why some people become oversensitive to allergens, although you’re more likely to develop an allergy if there’s a history of allergies in your family.

If this is the case, you’re said to be «atopic», or to own «atopy». People who are atopic have a genetic tendency to develop allergic conditions.

Their increased immune response to allergens results in increased production of IgE antibodies.

Environmental factors may also frolic a part. Studies own shown certain things may increase the chance of a kid developing allergies, such as growing up in a home where people smoke and being exposed to dust mites at a young age.

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Some people swear sunlight will rid your clothes, carpets and bedding of dust mites, but allergy researcher at the University of Sydney, Euan Tovey, says it's not a straightforward solution.

He says leaving your rugs or carpets in the sun to 'bake' for three hours will kill every the dust mites, but it won't get rid of the poo, secretions and body parts — the allergen.

"All it does is kill the mites which will, over a period of time, just re-establish themselves anyway," Dr Tovey says.

"So, you do need to get rid of the allergen."

Dust mites and allergens can be removed from rugs by washing them with soapy water, then leaving them out to dry.

"What I do is wash my Persian carpets once or twice a year," Dr Tovey says.

"I hose them below, scrub them with soap and water, put them on the trampoline and leave them in the sun for a day."

What are dust mites?

Dust mites are tiny creatures that frequently make their home in places love furniture, carpets, and bedding.

They are too little to be seen without a microscope or magnifying glass. They own eight legs and are not true insects, but relatives of spiders.

Dust mites feed on the flakes of skin shed by humans (and animals) every day. They prefer environments with 70 to 80% humidity, and temperatures of 68 to 77°F.

Who’s most at risk

It’s not fully understood why some people become oversensitive to allergens, although you’re more likely to develop an allergy if there’s a history of allergies in your family.

If this is the case, you’re said to be «atopic», or to own «atopy».

People who are atopic have a genetic tendency to develop allergic conditions.

Their increased immune response to allergens results in increased production of IgE antibodies.

Environmental factors may also frolic a part. Studies own shown certain things may increase the chance of a kid developing allergies, such as growing up in a home where people smoke and being exposed to dust mites at a young age.

What else gets into dust that might cause allergies?

The dust in your home may contain pet hair and dander, mold or pollen spores, and dust mite or cockroach body parts and droppings, every of which are common allergens.

These allergens can cause an allergic reaction when you inhale or come into contact with them.

What are the symptoms of dust mite allergy?

Some common dust mite allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, scratchy throat, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

These same symptoms can be caused by a variety of other allergens as well, so consult your allergist for testing.

How can I get rid of dust mites?

In most parts of the world, it’s impossible to completely eliminate dust mites from your home. However, you can take steps to minimize your exposure to dust mite allergens by keeping your home as dust-free as possible.

Vacuuming and dusting are not enough to remove dust mites, because these creatures can live deep inside your upholstery, mattresses, carpets, etc.

You can cover mattresses, pillows, and upholstered furniture with zippered dust-proof covers – the material of these covers is designed with pores that are too little for dust mites to pass through. Wash sheets, blankets and other bedding every week in boiling water (no more than 120°F) to kill dust mites. Replace carpeting with hard flooring and avoid plush rugs, fabric draperies, and anything else that cannot easily be washed regularly.

Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home under 50%, making it a less suitable environment for dust mites.

Clean hard surfaces with a wet mop or cloth to avoid stirring dry allergens up into the air.

Use HEPA filters to trap dust mites and other allergens.

Change the filters every three months to ensure they remain effective.

This sheet was reviewed and updated 2/2/2018.

Living with allergies is a nightmare for numerous people, and dust mites are one of the most common causes of allergic symptoms.

Experts consent that when it comes to allergies the best thing to do is avoid your allergen — the thing that causes your allergic reaction.

Dust mite allergens are proteins contained in dust mite poo, their secretions and their body parts.

If you don't desire to sneeze or wheeze then you need to get rid of not justthe dust mites but what they leave behind.

That's hard when dust mites live in our mattresses, pillows, bedding, furniture and clothing.

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Common allergens

Allergic rhinitis is triggered by breathing in tiny particles of allergens.

The most common airborne allergens that cause rhinitis are dust mites, pollen and spores, and animal skin, urine and saliva.

What causes allergy to dust mites


Many people are allergic to animals, such as cats and dogs. The allergic reaction is not caused by animal fur, but flakes of dead animal skin and their urine and saliva.

Dogs and cats are the most common animals to cause allergies, although some people are affected by horses, cattle, rabbits and rodents, such as guinea pigs and hamsters.

But being around dogs from an early age can assist protect against allergies, and there’s some evidence to propose that this might also be the case with cats.

House dust mites

House dust mites are tiny insects that feed on the dead flakes of human skin.

They can be found in mattresses, carpets, soft furniture, pillows and beds.

Rhinitis is not caused by the dust mites themselves, but by a chemical found in their excrement.

Dust mites are present every year circular, although their numbers tend to peak during the winter.

Pollen and spores

Tiny particles of pollen produced by trees and grasses can sometimes cause allergic rhinitis.

Most trees pollinate from early to mid-spring, whereas grasses pollinate at the finish of spring and beginning of summer.

Rhinitis can also be caused by spores produced by mould and fungi.

Work-related allergens

Some people are affected by allergens found in their work environment, such as wood dust, flour dust or latex.

Does washing kill dust mite allergens?

Dr Tovey says dust-mite allergen is highly soluble and washing in warm water with normal laundry detergent removes shut to 97 per cent of the allergens.

How Can I Prevent Allergic Reactions to Dust Mites?

Remember, having dust mites doesn’t mean your home isn’t clean.

In most areas of the world, these creatures live in every home, no matter how clean. But, you can reduce their effects. There are numerous changes you can make to your home to reduce the numbers of these unwanted “guests.”

Studies show that more dust mites live in your bedroom than anywhere else in your home. So this is the best put to start.

  1. Cover mattresses and pillows in zippered dust-proof covers. These covers are made of a material with pores too little to let dust mites and their waste product through.

    They are also called allergen-impermeable. Plastic or vinyl covers are the least expensive, but some people discover them uncomfortable. You can purchase other fabric allergen-impermeable covers from numerous regular bedding stores.

  1. Wash your sheets and blankets weekly in boiling water. You own to wash them in water that’s at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit or more to kill dust mites.
  1. Get rid of every types of fabric that mites love and that you cannot easilywash regularly in boiling water. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, curtains, blinds, upholstered furniture and down-filled covers and pillows in the bedroom.

    Put roll-type shades on your windows instead of curtains.

  1. Have someone without a dust mite allergy clean your bedroom. If this is not possible, wear a filtering mask when dusting or vacuuming. Numerous drug stores carry these items. Dusting and vacuuming stir up dust. So attempt to do these chores when you can stay out of the bedroom for a while afterward.
  1. Special CERTIFIED filter vacuum cleaners can assist to hold mites and mite waste from getting back into the air. CERTIFIED vacuums are scientifically tested and verified as more suitable for making your home healthier.
  1. Vacuuming is not enough to remove every dust mites and their waste. A large quantity of the dust mite population may remain because they live deep inside the stuffing of sofas, chairs, mattresses, pillows and carpeting.

Treat other rooms in your home love your bedroom.

Here are more tips:

  1. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, if possible. If you do use carpeting, mites don’t love the type with a short, tight pile as much. Use washable throw rugs over regularly damp-mopped wood, linoleum or tiled floors.
  1. Wash rugs in boiling water whenever possible. Freezing water isn’t as effective. Dry cleaning kills every dust mites and is also excellent for removing dust mites from living in fabrics.
  1. Keep the humidity in your home less than 50 percent. Use a dehumidifier and/or air conditioner to do this.
  1. Use a CERTIFIED filterwith your central furnace and air conditioning unit.This can assist trap dust mites from your entire home.

    Freestanding air cleaners only filter air in a limited area. Avoid devices that treat air with heat, electrostatic ions or ozone.

Glance for this mark to discover products proven more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.
Discover CERTIFIEDasthma & allergy friendly® products on ourcertification program websiteor download our app on theApp Storeor Play.

Medical ReviewOctober 2015.

What are Dust Mites?

Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged creatures, but they are not parasitic and do not bite. Dust mites are part of the arachnid family (relatives of spiders and ticks).

They don't burrow under the skin, love scabies mites or live in skin follicles, love skin follicle mites. Dust mites are so little they are virtually invisible to the naked eye. They are closely associated with people and animals because they feed of dead skin.

Some people are allergic to them. Symptoms associated with dust mite allergies include sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, stuffy ears, respiratory problems, eczema and (in severe cases) asthma. Numerous people notice these symptoms when they stir dust during cleaning activities. But, dust also contains other allergens, including cat and dog dander, cigarette ash, cockroach droppings, mold spores and pollen.

How can you discover out if you're allergic to dust mites? A medical doctor should be consulted for proper diagnosis.

To thrive, dust mites need warm temperatures (23-27 degrees celsius) and high humidity levels (70-80 % relative humidity). One study showed when humidity is 60 % or lower, the mite population stops growing and dies out.

What Is a Dust Mite?

A dust mite measures only about one-quarter to one-third of a millimeter. They are too little to see with your eyes alone. Under a microscope, they glance love white bugs.

They own eight legs, so they are not insects, but arthropods, love spiders.

Dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). They also love humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent. There are at least 13 species of mites. They are every well adapted to the environment inside your home. They feed mainly on the tiny flakes of human skin that people shed each day. These flakes work their way deep into the inner layers of furniture, carpets, bedding and even stuffed toys.

What causes allergy to dust mites

These are the places where mites thrive. An average adult person may shed up to 1.5 grams of skin in a day. This is enough to feed one million dust mites!

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Dust Mite Allergy

If you own allergies or asthma, a tiny creature living in your home could be making large problems for you. Although you can’t see them, you may be having an allergic reaction to them. They are dust mites and they live in numerous homes throughout the world.

Dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma.

They are on every continent except Antarctica. It may not be possible to rid your home entirely of these creatures. But there are ways in which you can lessen your allergic reactions to them.

What Is a Dust Mite Allergy?

An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction. Both the body parts and the waste of dust mites are allergens for numerous people. Most dust mites die in low humidity levels or extreme temperatures.

But they leave their dead bodies and waste behind. These can continue to cause allergic reactions. In a warm, humid home, dust mites can survive every year.

How Does a Doctor Diagnose Dust Mite Allergy?

To diagnose a dust mite allergy, your doctor may give you a physical exam and discuss your symptoms. If your doctor thinks you own a dust mite allergy, they may propose a skin or blood test. If you own symptoms year circular, you could own a dust mite allergy.

Skin Prick Test (SPT)
In prick/scratch testing, a little drop of the possible allergen is placed on your skin.

Then the nurse or doctor will lightly prick or scratch the spot with a needle through the drop. If you are allergic to the substance, you will develop redness, swelling and itching at the test site within 20 minutes. You may also see a wheal. A wheal is a raised, circular area that looks love a hive. Generally, the larger the wheal, the more likely you are to be allergic to the allergen.

A positive SPT to a specific allergen does not necessarily mean you own an allergy. Health care providers must compare the skin test results with the time and put of your symptoms to see if they match.

Specific IgE Blood Test
Blood tests are helpful when people own a skin condition or are taking medicines that interfere with skin testing.

They may also be used in children who may not tolerate skin testing. Your doctor will take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory. The lab adds the allergen to your blood sample. Then they measure the quantity of antibodies your blood produces to attack the allergens. This test is called Specific IgE (sIgE) Blood Testing. (This was previously and commonly referred to as RAST or ImmunoCAP testing.) As with skin testing, a positive blood test to an allergen does not necessarily mean that an allergen caused yoursymptoms.

What Is the Treatment for Dust Mite Allergy?

The most significant step is to avoid dust mites as much as possible.

Limiting your exposure to dust mites will reduce your symptoms. However, it’s almost impossible to completely get rid of dust mites in your environment. You may also need medicines to control symptoms.

Certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines may assist reduce dust mite allergy symptoms.

  1. Cromolyn sodium is a nose spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
  2. Antihistamines are available as pills, liquids or nose sprays.

    They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.

  3. Nasal corticosteroids are a type of nose spray. They reduce swelling in your nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce every symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids own few side effects.
  4. Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of significant chemical messengers (other than histamine) involved in allergic reactions.
  5. Decongestants are available as pills, liquids, nose sprays or drops.

    They assist shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve stuffiness. Use decongestant nose drops and sprays only for a short time. Oral decongestants can cause side effects such as sleeplessness and increased blood pressure in some people. Consider checking with your doctor before using them.

Many people with a dust mite allergy do not get finish relief from medicines. This means they may consider immunotherapy (allergy shots).

What causes allergy to dust mites

Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that can assist prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions. It can reduce the course of allergic disease by changing your body’s immune response to allergens.

Allergy Shots – Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) is an effective treatment that has been around for more than 100 years. SCIT is a series of shots that own progressively larger amounts of allergen. An injection of the allergen goes into the fat under your skin about once a week during the initial phase of treatment. Numerous patients get finish relief of their allergies after being on SCIP for one to three years.

Numerous physicians will continue SCIT for a period of five or more years. SCIT can provide long-lasting symptom relief. Numerous people experience benefits for at least several years after the shots stop.

Sublingual (under-the-tongue) immunotherapy (SLIT) is a way to treat dust mite allergies without injections.

What causes allergy to dust mites

Patients put little doses of an allergen under the tongue. This exposure improves tolerance to the dust mites and reduces symptoms. SLIT tablets that treat dust mite allergy were approved by the FDA in 2017. Talk with your allergist if you desire to study more about SLIT.

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"Most websites advocate boiling washing bedding at 60 degrees [Celsius] — that's extremely boiling water," he says.

"Most systems don't own water that boiling and I don't ponder it's worth the trouble — you're better to wash it more frequently."

As for mattresses, Dr Tovey says it's best to use a washable mattress protector and wash it regularly with every your other bedding.

Choose a bed covering that can be washed, or use feather bedding.

Feathers are excellent because the weave of the cover is so fine mites can't get in, or the allergen out.

Also, wash clothing regularly. Research has shown allergen exposure from clothes during the day is often greater than from bedding at night.

Stored clothes and scarves can contain huge amounts of allergens. So before you wear them be certain to wash them, otherwise you'll soon be coughing, sneezing and wheezing.

This is general information only. For detailed personal advice, you should see a qualified medical practitioner who knows your medical history.

This tale, which was originally written by Claudine Ryan and published by ABC Health and Wellbeing, was updated in 2019.

What Are the Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergy?

Common dust mite allergy symptoms include:

  1. Postnasal drip (a flow of mucus from behind your nose into your throat)
  2. Runny nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Stuffy nose
  5. Itchy skin
  6. Itchy nose, mouth or throat
  7. Itchy, red or watery eyes
  8. Cough

If your dust mite allergy triggers your asthma, you may also experience:

  1. A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Chest tightness or pain
  4. Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing

​What are the symptoms of dust mite allergy?

Dust mite allergies are often characterised by every year-round hayfever or allergic rhinitis: frequent sneezing, a runny, stuffy, itchy nose and irritated eyes.

Asthma and eczema can also be triggered by a dust mite allergy. Symptoms often worsen when the individual comes in shut proximity to disturbed dust, for example cleaning out closets or shelves, lying on the carpet, or getting into bed at night.

In New Zealand, mite numbers appear to peak in March and April, and allergens persist at high levels through to July. But numbers can be high every year circular when humidity levels are high within the home hold. The lowest allergen levels are in September and October, when weather is cooler and humidity drops. But freezing weather doesn't necessarily mean the finish of allergy. That's because the mite faecal particles remain in the home, mixed in with dead and disintegrating mite bodies.

Symptoms may also lessen in the summer because more time is spent outdoors and heaters are turned off.

How do you know you own a dust mite allergy?

The only way to be really certain is to own a skin prick test '(Skin allergy testing) or a Rast test' (Radioallergosorbent blood Test). Your family doctor can arrange this and discuss your symptoms. These test are commonly used to test for home dust mite allergy. the skin prick test involves a extremely little quantity of the dust mite allergen being gently pricked into the skin on your arm. When an allergy is present then a raised, red and often itchy whelt or wheal is present. Often the bigger the wheal the more sensitive a person is to the allergen.

Sometimes the pure allergen is injected just under the skins surface, this generally for testing allergies to drugs such as penicillin.

Why do we recommend freezing soft toys?

Home dust mites cannot drink, but they still need water to survice, they get some from their food but mostly it comes from hydrophilic (water-loving) crystals in their armpits. These finely structured crystals can obtain enough water for the mite when the relative humidity in the air is above 60%. Freezing soft toys breaks below the hydrophilic crystals in the dust mite's armpits, releasing the water causing dehydration.

If the soft toys are then left in the sun for six hours or put in the dryer for half an hour, the mites water supply is removed and the mite can be killed more easily.

Dust Mite Management

To eliminate dust mite allergens, first take actions to reduce dust mite populations and second, reduce exposure to dust. Allerzero is proven to assist to reduce and eliminate the dust mite population. Regularly use in laundry and apply to mattresses and other soft furnishings. A little allerzero goes a endless way!

What causes allergy to dust mites

There are numerous other actions you can take to lower and eliminate the dust mite populations in and around your home. Specific attention in the bedroom and living rooms where soft furnishings are found and where people spend fairly a lot of their time can own significant improvements for allergy sufferers.

Reduce humidity levels (moisture in the air) to less than 50 percent inside your home, especially in the bedroom. This isn't hard to do in the winter, but can be a challenge during summer months, especially in homes without air conditioning. Studies own shown air-conditioned homes own ten times fewer dust mite allergens than non-air-conditioned homes.

Using an electric blanket for eight hours each day may assist reduce dust mites by helping to hold the mattress dry.

What causes allergy to dust mites

Turning the electric blanket up to high for a few hours a week can assist to kill dust mites.

Pets with fur or feathers contribute to the dander in the dust and increase food source for mites. If you are a pet lover, locate their sleeping quarters as far from yours as possible and furnish their sleeping area so it can be cleaned easily. Hardwood or vinyl floors with washable area rugs are ideal.

Airing out the home with open windows allows entry of pollen, which is another allergen as well as food for dust mites.

In some climates, incoming air may be humid, which promotes dust mites.

Wash every bedding weekly. Research has shown washing with any detergent in boiling water (600C) helps to remove dust mite and cat allergen from bedding.

What causes allergy to dust mites

If you cannot launder blankets, dry clean them once a year. Shampoo, steam clean or beat non-washable carpets once a year.

What causes allergy to dust mites

Allerzero can be used in the laundry wash cycle. Add a capful to the fabric softener section.

Avoid overstuffed furniture because it collects dust. Also avoid wool fabrics/rugs because wool sheds particles and is eaten by other insects. Use washable curtains and rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. If you cannot replace carpeting, own it steam cleaned at least once a year, springtime is best. This will prevent a build up of dust mites feeding on skin cells in the carpet during the summertime. Enclose mattresses and pillows in plastic to decrease mite populations in the bed.

Replace feather pillows with synthetic ones.

The most significant tool for managing home dust and dust mites is the vacuum cleaner. Regular, thorough vacuuming of carpets, furniture, textiles and other home furnishings such as draperies will assist hold dust mite populations low. Vacuums with a water filter are preferable to those with a disposable paper bag because a water vacuum removes a greater range of particle sizes than paper-bag types. There are vacuums with highly efficient filters (HEPA) designed for use by people with allergies to dust. It is better to vacuum thoroughly once a week rather than lightly on a daily basis.

Vacuum mattresses and padded furniture thoroughly; 20 minutes for each mattress is not too long.

Dust furniture before you vacuum so the dust has time to settle on the floor, where it can be picked up by the vacuum. Do not scatter dust. Instead, dust with a damp cloth rather than dry dusting. Spraying furniture polish/dusting liquid directly on surface reduces airborne particles by 93 percent compared with dry dusting.

Sourced from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Oversensitive immune system

If you own allergic rhinitis, your natural defence against infection and illness (your immune system) will react to an allergen as if it were harmful.

If your immune system is oversensitive, it’ll react to allergens by producing antibodies to fight them off.

Antibodies are special proteins in the blood that are generally produced to fight viruses and infections.

Allergic reactions do not happen the first time you come into contact with an allergen.

The immune system has to recognise and «memorise» it before producing antibodies to fight it. This process is known as sensitisation.

After you develop sensitivity to an allergen, it’ll be detected by antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) whenever it comes into contact with the inside of your nose and throat.

These antibodies cause cells to release a number of chemicals, including histamine, which can cause the inside layer of your nose (the mucous membrane) to become inflamed and produce too much mucus.

This is what causes the typical symptoms of sneezing and a blocked or runny nose.