Recognize the signs

YOU’RE NOT SLEEPING ALONE

House dust mites are tiny spider-like creatures that can be found all around the world. The mites, which are only visible under a microscope, live in mattresses, pillows, blankets, upholstered furniture, and everywhere else where dust can gather – no matter how clean the home is. Dust mites feed on flakes of skin shed by people and pets. They thrive in warm and humid environments. Beds offer the best living conditions for mites. Therefore, over 90% of mites are found in mattresses, pillows, and duvets. The older the mattresses and bedding, the higher the number of mites.

HOUSE DUST MITES CAUSE ILLNESS

House dust mites are, after pollen, the second most common trigger of allergic respiratory diseases – including asthma – and can aggravate eczema. About one in every ten Americans suffers from dust mite allergy. Many more are sensitive to dust mites. Mites themselves are not the allergens. It is the proteins in their droppings, eggs and remains of decayed mites that cause the allergic reactions. During its short life of 6 weeks, a dust mite produces approximately 300 eggs and 200 times its body weight in droppings. If the droppings or other mite proteins enter the respiratory tract or come in contact with the skin, they can trigger an allergic or sensitivity reaction. The extremely lightweight mite allergens stick to larger dust particles – hence the term “dust mite allergy”.

WHEN DO SYMPTOMS APPEAR? A HOUSE DUST MITE ALLERGY IS NOT A TRIVIAL DISEASE AND CAN LEAD TO ASTHMA

A house dust mite allergy often goes unnoticed for years and is in many cases confused with a harmless cold. An untreated mite allergy can lead to chronic diseases, and can also develop into asthma if the inflammation of the upper airway reaches the lower airway. Asthma is not curable, but allergic asthma is preventable with early treatment.

To prevent asthma, first check your symptoms to see, whether you could be suffering from a dust mite allergy.

WHEN DO SYMPTOMS APPEAR?

People with a house dust mite allergy suffer from symptoms all year round. These symptoms are worse at night and in the morning after getting up because beds contain a large number of mite feces and mite eggs. The symptoms are also worse when making the bed or vacuuming because the mite allergens are swirled up and inhaled.

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SUSPECTED HOUSE DUST MITE ALLERGY: ARE YOU AFFECTED TOO?

If you suspect that you have a house dust mite allergy, you can take immediate measures to reduce your exposure to allergens. It is also possible to have a special allergy test carried out by the doctor or in a medical laboratory. Several testing procedures are available, e.g. prick tests or blood tests.

Allergy diagnostics

Testing methods