House Dust Mite Allergy - Symptoms And Diagnosis

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House Dust Mite Allergy - Symptoms And Diagnosis
House Dust Mite Allergy - Symptoms And Diagnosis
Video: House Dust Mite Allergy - Symptoms And Diagnosis
Video: Dust Mite Allergy: Symptoms and Treatments 2023, February
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House dust mite allergy: symptoms & diagnosis

House dust mite allergies have increased. Modern structural measures for thermal insulation are responsible for this: Sealed windows reduce the exchange of air and increase the room humidity. This creates the best living conditions for house dust mites. A particularly large number of allergens are inhaled during sleep. Symptoms that occur at night or in the morning are typical of house dust mite allergies.

In children, these often worsen after jumping in the bed, upholstered fights, playing with plush toys, etc., in adults especially when doing household chores such as covering the beds or vacuuming. House dust mites live in every household and cannot be completely removed with conventional cleaning methods. They are particularly common in hotel rooms, damp rooms or beds that are only rarely used (e.g. in holiday apartments).

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The main cause of the hypersensitivity are house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae), more rarely also storage mites. These include mildew mite (Tyrophagus putrescensciae), plum mite (Lepidoglyphus destructor) and flour mite (Acarus siro). These are tiny creatures from the arachnid family that are invisible to the naked eye.

One gram of dust can contain up to 2,000 house dust mites. Their main diet is dander. An adult sheds around 1.5 grams of this per day - enough to feed around 100,000 mites. In the course of their three to four months of life, they produce 300 to 400 times their body weight in excrement - one gram of house dust contains around 25,000 excrement balls. Initially, these usually adhere to textile fibers and over time break down into tiny particles. They are blown up with the house dust, float in the air and are inhaled unnoticed. This is how the allergens come into contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes and airways.

Note There are no reliable measures to prevent the development of a house dust mite allergy.

What are the symptoms?

Common complaints include:

  • obstructed nasal breathing,
  • Continuous or runny nose as well as sneezing fits
  • Conjunctivitis with watery, burning and red eyes and sticky eyelids,
  • Itching in the eyes and nose, ear canals or throat,
  • excessive mucus in the nose and bronchi,
  • dry, irritating cough,
  • Feeling of pressure in the chest,
  • wheezing or rattling breath noises, shortness of breath,
  • Itching of the skin, eczema, rarely also hives (urticaria).

The symptoms are noticeable as long as there is contact with the allergen!

The beginning of the heating season is particularly stressful for sensitized, i.e. hypersensitive people: Turning the heating up raises dust and there is less ventilation during the cold season. House dust mites feel particularly comfortable in a warm and humid environment (25 degrees and more than 50 percent humidity) - especially in bed (covers, sheets, mattresses, pillows), but also in curtains, upholstered furniture, carpets or plush toys.

Risk of confusion with a cold

The symptoms resemble a cold or a flu-like infection. Therefore, the allergic reaction is often dismissed as a harmless "cold". However, an untreated house dust mite allergy can have serious consequences: Over time, it can migrate into the lower respiratory tract and cause, for example, allergic asthma, the so-called "floor change". Children who are allergic to mites are five times more likely to develop asthma! A house dust mite allergy can also trigger or worsen relapses of neurodermatitis.

Tip If the symptoms persist for more than four weeks, you should urgently visit a specialist in pediatric, skin, lung or ENT diseases or an allergy outpatient clinic to get to the bottom of the cause.

How is the diagnosis made?

The earlier an allergic respiratory disease is detected, the sooner it can be treated. This can also prevent the symptoms from getting worse or chronic. Allergic symptoms are diverse and can easily be misinterpreted. Those affected should therefore pay close attention to when and where their symptoms occur.

The patient's medical history and the examination by an allergologist trained specialist (for pediatric, ENT, skin or lung diseases) and in an allergy outpatient clinic are the first important steps. In the anamnesis discussion, the symptoms are linked to possible allergy triggers. It is also determined whether there is a genetic predisposition. Then allergy tests, e.g. prick test or provocation test, are carried out. A blood test for IgE antibodies supports or corroborates the diagnosis. For more information, see Allergy Diagnostics.

Whom can I ask?

The diagnosis and therapy of a house dust mite allergy is carried out by a specialist doctor trained in allergology (for children, ENT, skin or lung diseases) and in special facilities such as an allergy ambulatory.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ
  • and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

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