Dust allergy: learn more about one of the most common allergies in the world

Tearing, itching in the nose and constant sneezing, are some of the symptoms of one of the most common allergies in the world, and this is the allergy to dust. This means that the body will overreact to the presence of dust mites. Here we discuss everything you need to know about the dust allergy.

What is a dust allergy about?

An allergy to dust mites is an allergic reaction to tiny insects that are generally found in the dust accumulated in the home. Some of the signs of the allergy to dust mites, are similar to those of allergic rhinitis. There are even people who experience asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or difficulties in breathing.

These tiny dust mites are fairly close relatives of spiders and ticks as well. Although they are so small that it is impossible to observe them with a microscope. These insects get their food from dead skin cells shed by people, and thrive in warm, humid environments.

In almost every home, items such as carpets, some clothes or upholstered furniture, are the perfect environment for these mites. By taking some steps to remove dust at home, you can control your allergy to dust mites. Certain medications are often required for symptom relief and asthma control.

Symptoms of dust allergy

Among the most common symptoms of a dust mite allergy are:

– Frequent sneezing.

– Runny nose.

– Cough

– Itchy, watery or red eyes.

– Post nasal drip.

– Swelling under the eyes and bluish skin.

– Nasal congestion.

– Pressure and facial pain.

– Itching in the throat, nose or also on the palate.

In the event that the allergy that occurs develops signs of asthma, these could be the following:

– Trouble breathing.

– Whistle that can be heard when exhaling.

– Oppression or presence of pain in the chest.

– Inconveniences to sleep caused by breathing difficulties, wheezing or coughing.

– Some of the symptoms are worsened by the presence of respiratory viruses, influenza or a cold.

Having an allergy to dust is something that can be quite mild or very severe. Mild cases of this type of allergy can lead to occasional runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. If the cases of allergy to dust are very intense, the problem becomes continuous. In such a way that it produces constant sneezing, facial pressure, coughing or even intense asthma attacks.

When should you see a doctor?

Certain symptoms of allergy to dust mites are very similar to those that occur in a cold. There are times when it is difficult to know if you have an allergy or a cold. When symptoms persist for more than seven days, it is most likely allergies.

However, if the allergy symptoms are too intense, as in the case of wheezing or breathing difficulties, it will be necessary to contact a doctor. Seeking urgent medical attention is the first thing to do when breathing problems get worse.

Causes of dust allergies?

Allergies arise the moment the immune system acts against foreign substances, which may well be pet hair, pollen or dust mites. Because of this, the immune system will produce antibodies, which will protect the body from invasive agents. Thus preventing infections from appearing.

When having allergies, the immune system will make the antibodies take care of identifying the allergens as something harmful, even though they do not cause any damage. Once contact is made with an allergen, the immune system will produce inflammatory responses in both the lungs and the nasal passages. Regular or prolonged exposure to allergens causes chronic inflammations that are associated with asthma.

Organic matter is food for dust mites, as in the case of dead skin cells, and instead of consuming water, they absorb any moisture from the environment. Inside the dust are present excrement and also the decomposed bodies of dust mites. Being the proteins found in these wastes, which cause allergies to dust.

[You may also like: Food allergy: what is it and what is the best treatment to treat it]

Risk factor's

Here are some of the risk factors that increase the chances of allergies:

Family background: You are probably more sensitive to dust mites if some of your family members have this condition.

Exposing yourself to dust mites: Being constantly exposed to these insects, especially in the daily routine, increases the risk of allergies.

Being a child or young adult: For these cases it is much more likely to suffer from this problem.

Treatment for dust allergy

One of the first allergy treatments And the most efficient is to avoid dust mites, as long as this is possible. If exposure to these insects is reduced, allergic reactions may be less frequent or less severe. However, it is impossible to completely eliminate dust mites within any environment. And medication is probably required to control symptoms.


The specialist will instruct the patient to take medications to improve the symptoms of this condition, and these may be the following:

Antihistamines: They are responsible for reducing the production of certain chemical substances in the immune system, which are active in allergic reactions. They are medicines that help control some of the symptoms, as in the case of sneezing. These antihistamines are usually prescribed as a nasal spray. However, there are also over-the-counter tablet forms, such as fexofenadine and loratadine.

Corticosteroids: Generally administered as a nasal spray, which reduces inflammation and maintains control of symptoms. Examples of these medications are fluticasone, triamcinoline, among others. The side effects generated by nasal corticosteroids are minor, compared to those that are administered orally.

Decongestants: They can be of great help to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages, and make breathing easier. There are some over-the-counter tablets that are a combination of antihistamines and decongestants. It should be borne in mind that oral decongestants may increase blood pressure. Therefore, they should not be administered if the person is hypertensive.

Leukotriene modifications: They block the actions of some chemicals in the immune system. Often specialists prescribe this type of medication, which is in tablet form. However, there are some side effects such as fever, infection in the respiratory tract and headaches. There are also other side effects that are less common, such as mood swings or depression.

Other treatments

Nasal irrigation: A squeeze bottle spice called rhinocorn is used, which is designed to expel all the mucus that irritates the sinuses. Acting through a saline solution, which works as a kind of rinse for the nasal passages. In case of preparing this solution at home, it is recommended to use water that does not contain contaminants. And make sure to disinfect the irrigation bottle once it is used, and letting it air dry.

Immunotherapy: There is the possibility of training the immune system to decrease sensitivity to allergens. A measure like this is done through a series of allergy shots, called immunotherapy. The person will be exposed to the dust through two vaccinations per week. Gradually the dose will increase, and the treatment is carried out for six months. Maintenance vaccinations will be required every month for about five years.

There are other measures to reduce exposure to dust, which can be applied on a day-to-day basis. These measures include cleaning clothes weekly, using allergy-free bedspreads, keeping humidity levels low, and vacuuming regularly. Other measures may include avoiding the use of carpets, installing efficient filters in air conditioners and avoiding clutter in the home.


Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic

The vanguard