Dust. It’s everywhere we go, but it is extremely annoying. It’s discomforting and irritating when it gets in our eyes, and just plain unpleasant to see around the house. It’s even possible to have a dust allergy, giving you uncontrollable coughing and sneezing. This article will teach you more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for dust allergies. So keep reading to make your life easier!
What is a Dust Allergy?
A dust allergy is an abnormal reaction of the body when it contacts the various substances found in house dust. These allergens are quite diverse; pollen, molds, fungi, fibers, hairs and mites are all found in dust, so sometimes the allergy is simply called a dust mite allergy. Mites are a sort of microscopic spider, invisible to the naked eye, which feeds on plant and animal debris and can multiply by the thousands around your house.
There is a higher risk of suffering from a dust allergy in the summer, as the increase in humidity levels creates an ideal climate for mites. These means those areas with year-round warm and humid weather may trigger dust allergies non-stop.
Not only does a dust allergy irritate the eyes, it can make it difficult to breathe, even triggering asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. Dust may also cause some people to feel itchy.
Those who have dust allergies often suffer inside their own homes or other people’s homes. Strangely enough, the symptoms of the condition often get worse immediately after vacuuming, dusting or sweeping. The process of cleaning may stir up dust particles, thus making them easier to inhale.
What Causes Dust Allergy?
The main culprits behind a dust allergy are the dust mites, but here are some more of the most common causes:
- Animal hair, feathers and fur
- Pollen from various plants
The condition is most often accompanied by a non-stop sneezing and cold-like symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Dust Allergy
Some of the most common symptoms of dust allergies include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing and wheezing
- Red, itchy eyes
- Sniffing and sneezing
- A runny nose
- Swelling of the skin under the eye
- Postnasal drip
- A cough
If the dust allergy affects an asthma patient, the symptoms may include:
- Bouts of wheezing or coughing, which gets worse
- Trouble sleeping, which causes wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath
- Chest pain and tightness
- Difficulty breathing
Although it is hard to tackle dust allergens in one snap, there are some home treatments which can ease your suffering.
Smart Tips for Dust Allergy
Here are some tips that you can do to reduce your exposure to allergens:
- Dehumidify: keep the humidity of the home below 50 percent. You may need to use a dedicated dehumidifier.
- Regular checkups: have a regular inspection of your air-conditioning units.
- Take it out: remove any wall to wall carpets.
- Cover up: use anti-allergen covers on mattresses, pillows and box springs.
- Check the label: choose hypoallergenic pillows, furniture and mattresses.
- New routine: wear a dust mask and gloves to prevent exposure.
Treatments for Dust Allergy
If you think that you have a dust allergy, go see an allergist. Your doctor will ask a series of detailed questions about your work and environment to determine the cause of your systems. You may also be asked about your family’s medical history, the severity of your symptoms and their frequency. These questions help identify the cause by finding patterns in increased symptoms.
After identifying the dust allergy, the allergist will most likely recommend one or more of the following treatments for dust allergy:
- Changes in household routines
- Allergy shots or immunotherapy
- Anti-allergy drugs
- Nasal steroids
With proper medication, attention and care, the condition will vanish and your health will return to normal.