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House Dust Mite Allergy

House Dust Mite Allergy


What are dust mites?


  • House Dust mites are microscopic creatures which cannot be visualized by the naked eye.
  • They live in all our homes and feed on dead skin cells.
  • They are most commonly found n warm, damp areas where dusts containing dead skin cells gather e.g. pillows, mattresses, soft toys, carpets and soft furnishings.
  • The mites are harmless to most people however they can cause allergic symptoms in some.


Signs/Symptoms :


  • Symptoms are caused by breathing in substances known as allergens which are found in the mites droppings.
  • Droppings are tiny therefore become airborne and can be breathed in.
  • when these allergens touch the skin or are breathed in, the immune system reacts abnormally by causing the body to release a chemical called histamine.
  • This can lead to rhinitis which involves swelling and irritation in nose, eyes, throat and lungs.
  • People with house dust mite allergy are likely to have some or all of the following symptoms;


    • Loss of sense of smell
    • Sneezing
    • Coughing
    • Itching(eyes, nose and throat)
    • Wheezing


Management of house dust mite in the home:


It is not possible to eradicate house dust mite from your home but you can make them very unwelcome therefore reducing symptoms through implementation of the following guidelines;


  • Replace feather and down pillows with synthetic pillows.
  • Buy hypoallergenic duvets, pillows and mattresses or hypoallergenic covers for these.
  • Wash fabrics i.e. bed linen at a minimum of 60 degrees centigrade as kills house dust mites.
  • Dust rooms thoroughly with a damp cloth as dry cloths let dust back into the air.
  • Reduce number of items on which dust can build up e.g. ornaments, books, toys.
  • Open windows regularly throughout the home in particular in kitchen and bathrooms during and after cooking, washing or bathing to reduce dampness.
  • Where possible replace carpets with hard flooring.
  • Keep soft toys to a minimum- wash regularly or freeze for 12 hours to kill dust mites.
  • Use a high efficiency filtered vacuum cleaner without bags to vacuum soft furnishing and mattresses regularly.




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