Many allergy sources become immediately apparent. For example, if you’re allergic to nuts, penicillin or dogs, you likely had a memorable reaction the first time you were ever exposed to the allergen.
However, some allergies are harder to identify, including dust mite allergies. In this blog, we list eight indicators that can help you determine if you could be one of the 20 million Americans with a dust mite allergy.
1. Cold-Like Symptoms
The majority of dust mite allergy symptoms are shared with the common cold. Your symptoms may include:
• Congestion, runny nose, and sneezing
• Cough and throat irritation
• Postnasal drip, or mucus that runs down the throat
If you have one or more of the other indicators on this list in addition to cold-like symptoms, it’s wise to submit to allergy testing.
2. Facial Tenderness or Pressure
Dust mite allergies can also resemble sinus infections because one of the most common symptoms is a feeling of pressure or discomfort in the face. This pressure will likely center around your nose, sinuses and eyes.
3. Family History of Dust Mite Allergies
While allergies are not strictly genetic, individuals with similar genetic makeups tend to develop sensitivities to the same substances. If you have members of your immediate family with diagnosed dust mite allergies, your risk for this allergy is higher.
You are also more likely to have a dust mite allergy if your family has a significant history of other allergies.
4. History of Exposure to Mites
If you were exposed to dust mites frequently, especially as a child, the repeated exposures could contribute to the development of an allergy. If you lived in a home that was often warm, humid and dusty, you were likely exposed to dust mites on multiple occasions.
5. Reaction to New Dust Mite Exposure
While the appearance of dust mite allergy symptoms can appear to have no correlating cause, if you experience a sudden onset of symptoms after likely being exposed to dust mites, you probably have an allergy.
You are most likely to be exposed to dust mites when:
• Cleaning a dusty space
• Sitting on rugs or carpets
• Sleeping on an infrequently used mattress
If you develop new or more intense symptoms after exposure, undergo allergy testing.
6. Seasonal or Climate-Specific Symptoms
Dust mites only live in certain environments. Generally, mites prefer humidity of 70 percent or more and temperatures of 70℉. Due to these environmental requirements, mites tend to inhabit warm, humid climates and become more active during the summer months.
7. Swollen or Discolored Area Under Eyes
In addition to the facial pressure that we discussed in section two, your reaction to dust mites may cause physical changes to the appearance of the area under your eyes. You may develop swelling in the region, often coupled with itchiness and a blueish color.
8. Symptoms Appear at a Young Age
A dust mite allergy is most likely to appear during childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. However, this early development does not mean that you could not have a dust mite allergy if you just noticed a correlation between your symptoms and exposure as an adult.
Many children and teenagers with mild dust mite allergies have symptoms so close to the common cold that they are never tested. If you have a history of seasonal sickness as well as some of the other indicators on this list, you may actually have a dust mite allergy rather than a penchant for colds.
If you experience any of the dust mite allergy signs listed above, schedule a consultation with an allergist. This medical professional will record your symptoms and perform allergy testing to determine whether you have a dust mite allergy.
This diagnosis can empower you to treat allergy symptoms and avoid potential respiratory complications. For allergy testing and treatment, trust the experienced team at Allergy & Asthma Centers SC.