Building Biology | House Dust Mite Allergy
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House Dust Mite Allergy

House Dust Mite Allergy

Contrary to popular belief, the mites themselves are not generally the problem; it’s a protein known as Der P1 in their faeces that people are allergic to.

House dust mites (HDM) are the most common cause of asthma and allergies worldwide with up to 20% of the population sensitive to them. Wherever there is dust and humans, there’ll be dust mites, so they are everywhere in our homes. They are microscopic creatures that thrive in warm moist places including our beds, furnishings and carpets, and feed off dead skin cells and mould. Contrary to popular belief, the mites themselves are not generally the problem; it’s a protein known as Der P1 in their faeces that some people are allergic to. An allergy to house dust mites may result in itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, dry persistent cough, wheezing and eczema. Symptoms are generally worse at night and upon waking and, unlike pollens which occur seasonally, they tend to occur all year round.

Testing

  • As house dust mite are everywhere, testing for them is generally not recommended.

Solutions

  • A key step is to reduce the dust load in the home
  • Wash soft toys and bedding in hot water and expose them to full sun on a regular basis
  • Vacuum the mattress and pillows monthly
  • Use space bags to store clothes and linen that wont be used for a season
  • Use dust mite resistant protectors made from natural fibres such as Protect-A-Bed and AllergEnd Plus.
  • Reduce humidity levels by getting a dehumidifier if you live in a humid climate, or installing an exhaust fan and opening windows when bathing

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