Dust Allergy


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For most people, dusting is not at the top of the list of favourite household chores. In fact, it usually sits right at the bottom, next to cleaning out the rubbish bin or emptying out the hoover. But dust can pose a very serious health risk to those individuals who are sensitive to house dust. In itself, dust, when breathed in, causes more of a irritation to the lungs and the respiratory system than to the immune system. It is the microorganism that inhabits warm dusty places that leads to the onset of allergic reactions. In any given average home approximately 40 pounds of dust will be produced over the course of a year. Dust mites, of which 40,000, can live happily in just a single ounce of dust. They prefer to feed off of the shed dead skin cells that ore often found in sofas and chairs, bedding and carpets. It is a particular protein they emit that causes the resulting allergic response to those suffering from a sensitivity to this protein.

Reaction to a Dust Allergy

Symptoms of a dust allergy can range from mild to more severe and can include runny nose, sneezing, restricted breathing and wheezing. Many sufferers are prone to increased susceptibility to asthma. If you do have asthma, dust mites can make the symptoms of an asthma attack even more severe. In addition to the common symptoms listed above, you might also experience pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest. Difficulty in breathing might lead to interrupted sleep resulting in feelings of fatigue and general tiredness. And bouts of coughing and sneezing can increase with severity.

It can be a little difficult to minimise the effects of a dust mite allergy. The house dust must be kept to a minimum. Carpets will need constant hoovering and sofas and chairs will need to have their upholstery regularly cleaned. Bedding needs to be changed at least once a week. Furniture will need to remain as dust free as possible.

As allergic reactions to dust and dust mites often mimic the symptoms of the common cold it is important to obtain a proper diagnosis from your GP to establish whether or not a true allergy is present. Steps can then be taken to minimise symptoms and provide allergic relief.


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