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How to Overcome Your Dust or Dust Mite Allergy

The start of spring isn’t just about warmer days and flowers in bloom. It’s also time for spring cleaning, which kicks up dust and other debris that cause allergic reactions for many. 

It’s easy to blame your springtime sneezing and coughing on pollen or other outdoor allergens. But could the problem be inside your home? A recent survey shows that 84% of people with allergies acknowledge suffering symptoms at home, but don’t realize the major cause is dust mites

Thankfully, many allergies and allergic reactions can be treated at your local vybe urgent care. Keep reading to learn if you could be allergic to dust or dust mites, what triggers it, how to mitigate it, and your best options for dust or dust mite allergy treatment. 

What is a dust allergy?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance – in this case, dust. Common dust allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Red, itchy, or watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath

Dust mites, mold, and animal dander are some of the most frequent dust allergy triggers.

What’s the difference between dust and dust mites?

The flecks of dust floating around in your home contain all sorts of things – human debris (including skin cells and hair), dirt, mold, pollen, animal dander (especially if you have pets), and probably dust mites.

Dust mites are found in dust in homes around the world. These microscopic eight-legged creatures feed off the skin cells in dust and thrive in warm, humid locations like your bed – in fact, studies show that dust mites live in your bedroom more than anywhere else in your home.

Dust mites do not live long on hard surfaces. Mattresses, pillows, blankets, and other types of bedding are all preferred locations for dust mites, as well as fabric furniture, curtains, and carpet. 

What causes dust or dust mite allergy?

You’re more likely to develop a dust or dust mite allergy if you have asthma, eczema, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), or a family history of allergies.

If you’re allergic to dust, you can be triggered by any of the particles within typical household dust. Construction dust or wood dust can also cause allergic reactions, especially if the wood particles are airborne or come in direct contact with your skin.

A dust mite allergy is another story. Dust mite allergies are not caused by dust mites themselves, but by a combination of their waste particles and dead body fragments. Dust mites are so small that they can leave more than 100,000 waste particles in a single gram of dust, making them a leading cause of allergy symptoms. 

How do you prevent allergic reactions to dust or dust mites?

You can’t stop being allergic to dust or dust mites. These allergies typically develop in childhood or puberty and never go away. So, limiting your exposure to allergens is key. Of course, you can never eliminate dust or dust mites from your home completely, but you can take steps to reduce them.

  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water (130 degrees Fahrenheit or more) to kill dust mites.
  • Put zippered allergen-proof covers over your mattress and pillows. 
  • Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, upholstered furniture, and other fabrics that you cannot wash regularly.
  • Use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity in your home (ideally 50% or less).
  • Wear a face mask while dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming – a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is best. It can take more than two hours for dust to settle after a thorough cleaning.
  • Remove extra clutter in your home that gathers dust.
  • Buy washable stuffed toys and never store them on the bed.

What can you take for dust or dust mite allergies?

Your healthcare provider may suggest one of the following prescriptions or over-the-counter medications for dust or dust mite allergy treatment:

  • Antihistamines to relieve sneezing, itching, and other symptoms
  • Corticosteroid sprays to reduce inflammation
  • Decongestants to shrink swollen tissues in your nasal passages
  • Leukotriene modifiers to block certain chemicals in your immune system

Other forms of dust or dust mite allergy treatment may include nasal irrigation (to flush irritants from your nasal passages), immunotherapy, allergy shots, and more.

Can urgent care help with your dust or dust mite allergy?

Yes, many seasonal allergy symptoms can be treated at urgent care. A vybe clinician can evaluate your symptoms and develop a proactive treatment plan to minimize the impact of your allergy symptoms. We may also order a simple blood allergy test to help identify respiratory allergy triggers.

If you’re experiencing severe allergic reaction symptoms, visit an ER immediately.

Spring into better health with vybe

Ready to leave your allergy symptoms in the dust? Come to your nearest vybe location for fast, convenient allergy testing and treatment. 

All vybe centers have licensed medical professionals with a wide range of healthcare knowledge, and we accept walk-ins and appointments for all urgent care services. vybe is open seven days a week with extended weekday evening hours.

Stop sneezing and start feeling better – visit a vybe today!