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A hypersensitive reaction to immune system against any particular substance (allergen) is called as allergy. Dust mite allergy refers to hypersensitive reaction caused by exposure to tiny bugs (too small to see with naked eyes) in the dust in our house and premises. These dust mites survive in warm and humid conditions (as in bedding items and furniture in the home) and eat dead skin cells of humans and animals.
Usually, individual mite has ability to produce more than 20 of waste droppings (specific protein) every day that spreads in the environments and settles down with the dust while their ability to cause allergic symptoms remain constant even after they die. The ideal environment for dust mites is when there is a temperature about ≥ 70 F and humidity ranging between 75 to 80 percent.
Along with the live mites, dust also contains faeces, excretions and decayed bodies of dust mites. A specific protein in the mites is responsible for allergic reaction causing nasal inflammation, which triggers further symptoms.
The immune system produces specific antibodies as a defense against foreign substances (allergens) to protect the body from harmful allergens. In case of allergic reactions, as usual, the body produces antibodies against allergens (even if they are not harmful) and leads to an inflammatory response.
Most allergies have some common signs and symptoms. Allergy to dust mites harms nasal passage making it inflamed, causing several clinical manifestations. Common symptoms of dust mite allergy may include:
- Rhinorrhea (persistent discharge of mucus from nose)
- Itching sensation in the eyes, nose and throat
- Reddening of eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
- Accumulation of excess mucus in the throat (postnasal drip)
- Cough and congestion
- Facial pain and pressure
- Rubbing nose (especially in children)
In chronic cases, one may experience a severe asthma attack that causes:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Tightness in the chest
- Abnormal sound while breathing
- Severe coughing and wheezing
- Lack of sleep
Diagnosis of dust mite allergy may begin with discussing with your doctor about the typical symptoms, severity, onset of symptoms and its duration, pets at home, etc. This will help the doctor to further advice other tests, such as allergy tests (to identify the specific allergen) and some blood examinations, examining the body for allergy and assessment of family history..
Immunotherapy (allergy shots or allergy drops under the tongue/ Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT): When other treatment approaches fail to deliver the results, immunotherapy may be considered. It involves a series of allergen shots with gradually increasing doses (about two shots a week for about 3 months) and then a single shot for every four weeks, for about five years. This helps to build up immunity against specific allergens.
Benefits of SLIT:
- Effective in children in terms of treating the symptoms of rhinitis, asthma, and further worsening of symptoms.
- Effective in preventing future asthma
- Safe and easy to administer
- Can be administered at home
- No need of syringes and needle
I am suffering from shrt breathless, snoring and many time gasping for breath. No proper sleep. please guide me.
Over time, we have caused tremendous harm to our immune system. Day in and day out, we have potentially risked our lives by being so casual with our health choices. But still, is it possible to leverage some of this burden and thus make our immune system stronger? What if we incorporate some healthy habits into our daily regime? What if we improvise on our diet? Take certain additional vitamin supplements perhaps? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of achieving a near-perfect immune system?
What exactly is the Immune System?
The immune system in layman language can be considered as a protective cover of the human health system. We are surrounded by millions of pathogens (disease causing germs) that have the ability to enter into the body and cause damage to it. Here comes in the importance of the immune system, the body’s natural shield against these pathogens.
How can you boost your Immunity?
You definitely cannot evade all the pathogens and get a top-notch, impeccable immune system, but you can at least try and listen to what your body has to say, and take steps accordingly.
The first and foremost protective measure can be to follow certain general good-health guidelines.
Do not smoke. There can be no compromise on this issue. Smoking or consuming tobacco in any form brings about a host of health complications; the most pronounced of them all is probably cancer. Smoking, in more ways than one, can spell real trouble for your immune system. So better cut down on your puffs or gear up to face the various medical banes of smoking.
Eat a diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in saturated fat. Some examples may include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables such as spinach or lettuce, yoghurt, almonds, lean meat. Sipping on green tea thrice a day is a wise choice in this regard. These measures not only strengthen the immune system but also enhance the Immune System.
Drink plenty of water. Water keeps the body hydrated, the ultimate prerequisite for a strong immune system. It helps to flush out all the toxins and ensures that the cells get the optimum levels of oxygen. Drinking a glass of lukewarm water mixed with honey and lemon on an empty stomach after getting up in the morning can prove to be one of the best health choices that you can make for your body.
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption causes dehydration and it can deprive your body of the valuable immunity boosting nutrients. It also impairs the body’s ability to fight off germs and infections.
Get adequate sleep. One reason behind stressing on the need to get adequate sleep is because it’s so closely linked to the immune system. While you sleep, the body secretes certain hormones and substances which help better fight infections and diseases. This makes these hormones so vital and indispensable at the same time. So now you know what wonders can those 8 hours of sleep do to you.
Exercise regularly. If you're looking for a safe and smart way to boost your immunity, regular exercise is the answer to it. But we are not talking about being an ardent, hard-core gym-junkie; rather exercising in moderate amounts would suffice. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking or swimming, performed 30-45 minutes a day, can prove to be very beneficial.
Including good hygiene habits in your daily routine, such as washing your hands properly, bathing and brushing your teeth daily, etc. can be useful as well. Good sanitary habits can be the most basic way to ward off infections at the germination stage. Keep a hand sanitizer with you all the time. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.
Allergic rhinitis is characterized by symptoms of a runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes and sneezing. This disorder is usually caused by allergens such as pollen and dust. Commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis may exhibit the following symptoms:
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are:
1. You may experience a runny nose and congestion in the nose
2. You may have allergic conjunctivitis where your eyes turn itchy and watery
3. Persistent coughing
4. Symptoms of sneezing
5. Swelling may develop underneath the eyes
6. You may have an itchy nose
7. Constant signs of fatigue
Allergic rhinitis or hay fever causes the immune system to recognize certain airborne substances as harmful. The immune system in the body starts to form antibodies to combat these irritants. The antibodies cause the body to release “histamine”, a chemical that triggers the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
The treatment for this disorder is to avoid exposure to the triggers. Mild symptoms of this disorder may be treated with over-the-counter medications whereas severe symptoms may require prescription medications.
The various medications for allergic rhinitis are:
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines may be administered as pills or nasal sprays; these medications can help with itching and sneezing. Antihistamines help in limiting the effects of histamine in the body.
- Nasal corticosteroids: These prescription medications can help treat itching and inflammation in the nose. They are usually the first medications that are administered.
- Decongestants: Decongestants are over-the-counter medications that can be used to treat congestion in the nose. You should be careful not to overuse these medicines as they can increase blood pressure.
- Allergy shots: If medications do not relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis, the doctor may prescribe allergy shots to treat the disorder. The injections contain allergens in small amounts which are injected over a period of time; this causes the body to get used to these allergens, resulting in a reduction of the symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.