House dust mite allergy is a surprisingly prevalent problem. Something like 27% of the U.S. population and 20% of the European population are what’s called skin-prick test positive for house dust mites, which is a test for sensitivity to allergens to find out if a person is likely to get that allergy.
The test involves putting the actual allergen itself on the skin and pricking the skin to see if there’s a reaction. A huge number of people are skin-prick test positive to house dust allergens. That doesn’t necessarily mean to say they’ve all got symptoms; approximately half have got clinical symptoms.
However, that’s a huge percentage of the population, and probably half to two thirds of those with clinical symptoms have got moderate-to-severe allergy. These are really bothersome symptoms that affect people’s ability to work and function.
These are the words that Steve Harris— CEO and co-founder of biopharmaceutical company Circassia— said in an interview for News-Medical.Net. In the interview, Harris adds that house mites are “a major healthcare problem” that can adversely affect people’s daily lives. House dust mite allergies are among the most prominent allergies in Phoenix, so it pays to know your enemy.
Where can dust mites be found?
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), dust mites are commonly found in warm, humid environments such as bedding, carpeting, and upholstered furniture. People who spend a lot of hours on these items end up inhaling large quantities of dust mite allergens.
How can dust mite allergy be prevented?
Since people spend so much time in the bedroom, it’s important to reduce mite levels in that part of the house. Cover mattresses, pillows, and other upholstered items in special allergen-proof encasements. Wash beddings weekly in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Keep humidity low by turning on your air conditioner or using a dehumidifier. Carpets and throw rugs should be regularly washed or dry cleaned.
Confirming dust mite allergy
Symptoms of dust mite allergy include asthma, eczema, hay fever, runny nose, sneezing, and watering and itchy eyes. Inform a doctor when, where, and how you get these symptoms. The doctor will then confirm dust mite allergy through various allergy tests such as a skin and/or blood test.
Phoenix allergy testing facilities such as Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, P. C. offer accurate allergy tests designed to identify the source of a problem and determine the right treatment for you.
(Article Information and Image from House dust mite allergy treatment: an interview with Steve Harris, CEO & Co-founder of Circassia, News-Medical.Net, Oct. 15, 2013)