A dust allergy occurs when the immune system produces chemicals that cause an allergic reaction after being exposed to dust.
Dust can also contain pet dander, pieces of dead cockroaches, dust mites and mold spores. Dust can accumulate on pillows, mattresses, carpeting and furniture. High levels of exposure to dust mites can become a factor in the development of childhood asthma.
Symptoms of a Dust Allergy
The following are common symptoms associated with a dust or dust mite allergy.
- red, itchy or watery eyes
- runny, itchy or stuffy nose
Diagnosis and Treatment for Dust Allergies
An allergist or immunologist can diagnose a dust allergy by performing an allergy skin testand provide the best form of treatment.
Treatment includes limiting your exposure to dust. The following are ways to limit exposure for a dust allergy.
- Dust or vaccum 1-2 times per week
- Switch out carpet to bare flooring
- Keep pets out of the bedroom
- Wear a mask when cleaning
- Use mite-proof covers and polyester pillows
- Wash bedding in hot water once a week
- Clean bare floors often
- Remove dust collecting items
- Use air conditioner/dehumidifer
- Use a HEPA filter
For more severe cases or long-term treatment of dust allergies, immunotherapy shots may be suggested. Allergy shots help the body build a natural immunity to an allergen.