Year round symptoms due to dust mites are experienced by millions of people. Dust mite allergens can be found throughout your house but most often live in warm, humid environments including beds, carpet, and upholstered furniture. These allergens can trigger a variety of symptoms including nasal, ocular, pulmonary, and skin inflammation. Because of this heterogeneity, diagnosis can be difficult. If dust mite or other indoor allergies are suspected, patients should consult a board certified allergist for further evaluation. This evaluation typically includes taking a detailed history including environmental exposure, physical exam and testing. Testing for dust mite allergies typically includes either a skin prick test or blood test (ImmunoCAP IgE) for the two main species of dust mites, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farina.
Treatment for dust mite allergies includes reducing exposure to the allergen, pharmacotherapy, and immunotherapy. Allergy Partners has teamed with
Allergy Guardian to provide dust mite fabric covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Removing carpet and regular vacuuming can help limit exposure to dust mites. Pharmacotherapy is guided by patient symptoms. This typically includes the use of oral or intranasal antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids for treatment of nasal symptoms. A step-wise approach for the treatment of asthma is recommended including the use of inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting 2 agonists, leukotriene modifiers and immunologic agents. Allergy immunotherapy by either subcutaneous injection or sublingual tablets is the most effective long term treatment for dust mite allergies available. Effective treatment with allergen specific immunotherapy has been shown to decrease the progression of respiratory allergic diseases and even prevent the development of asthma in children. For more information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of dust mite allergies, please call your local Allergy Partners office for an appointment.
Dr. Elizabeth Majeski
Allergy Partners of Charleston