Dust mites are very tiny bugs that are found in all households. They are few microns in size and cannot be seen with the naked eye. They thrive in environments with a relative humidity of 70-80% and temperature of 20-25°C.
Although harmless bugs dust mites can lead to allergic reactions in few children and adults.
What allergic reactions can be caused by Dust mites?
The common dust mites allergies are atopic eczema or dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, eye allergies and asthma.
Where do Dust mites live in our homes?
Dust mites feed on shed human skin flakes and hence found mostly on bedding, upholstered furniture and carpets. They thrive in warm, humid environments and hence common in Indian homes.
What are the ways to reduce dust mites in our homes?
It is impossible to completely eliminate dust mites from your home but by taking steps to reduce the number of dust mites in your home, you may get control of dust mite allergy.
- Washing bedsheets, blankets, pillow covers and bed covers twice a week in hot water (around 55 to 60 °C) is effective in killing dust mites and removing the allergen.
- Vacuuming and dusting are helpful but may not be enough to remove dust mites, because these mites live deep inside your upholstery, mattresses, carpets, etc. Mattresses and pillows can be wrapped in dust-proof covers – the material of these covers has pores that are too small for dust mites to pass through.
- Replace carpets with tile, wood or vinyl flooring. If any carpets are there, clean carpeting weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home below 50%, making it a less suitable environment for dust mites.
- Clean hard surfaces with a wet mop to avoid stirring dry allergens up in the environment.
Does Immunotherapy work for Dust mite allergy?
Yes, Sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops) or subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots) are highly effective in children with mite allergy.