When you clean the house or take holiday decorations out of the attic, do you experience allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing? If so, you may have a dust mite allergy. Immunotherapy has been shown by a recent study to be an effective treatment option for this type of allergy. In this post, we review this study as well as provide additional tips for managing dust mite allergies.
What Is Immunotherapy?
A long-term solution for managing allergies, immunotherapy works by introducing small amounts of allergen extracts into the body so that the immune system can build up a tolerance to them. Immunotherapy may be administered in shot (subcutaneous immunotherapy) or drop (sublingual immunotherapy) form.
About the Study
The purpose of the study, which was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunotherapy: In Practice in 2022, was to investigate the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy in patients with atopic dermatitis who are triggered by house dust mites.
More commonly known as eczema, atopic dermatitis causes inflammation of the skin, itching, rashes and bumps. The knee and elbow bends are the areas that are usually most affected. Atopic dermatitis is also associated with asthma and rhinitis. The microscopic arachnids that live in house dust known as dust mites are one of many possible triggers for this condition.
For the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 91 participants ages three and up received either the allergy drops or placebo drops for a total of 18 months.
The researchers found statistically significant improvement in symptoms for the group that received the allergy drops in comparison to the placebo group. This indicates that sublingual immunotherapy may be an effective add-on treatment for people with atopic dermatitis who are reactive to dust mites.
Tips for Managing Dust Mite Allergies
In addition to discussing sublingual therapy with your allergist, some ways you can manage dust mite allergies include:
- Washing your bedding weekly in hot water at Spin City Laundromat.
- Investing in allergy-proof covers for mattresses, duvets and pillows.
- Using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Wiping down surfaces with a clean, damp cloth regularly rather than dry dusting.
- Cleaning upholstered cushions and curtains regularly.
- Fitting roller blinds that can easily be cleaned.
- Selecting wood or vinyl flooring rather than carpeting.
- Installing a portable HEPA filter.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery today.
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