Dust Mite Allergies

Also known as: dust allergies.

What are dust mite allergies?

Dust mites are microscopic insects that eat shed human skin cells. When people experience an allergic reaction to exposure to these tiny bugs, it is known as a dust mite allergy.

What causes dust mite allergies?

The dust mites themselves are the cause of the symptoms of dust mite allergies. They are normally harmless, but some people’s immune systems overreact when exposed to them and they experience allergy symptoms.

What are the symptoms of dust mite allergies?

Symptoms of dust mite allergies are like other environmental allergies, except people with this allergy have symptoms year round. They include:

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing

What are dust mite allergies care options?

It is impossible to completely get rid of dust mites. There are some ways to reduce your exposure.

  • Encasing your pillows, mattress, and box springs in dust mite encasements may help.
  • Make sure to wash your bed sheets and blankets/comforters in hot water and dry on high heat at least once per week as this can kill the dust mites.
  • Do not vacuum too much, as this stirs up the dust mites and can make symptoms worse. Limit vacuuming to once or twice weekly.
  • Allergy medications or allergy shots can also help to manage the symptoms for many with dust mite allergies. 

Reviewed by: Amy S Feldman, MD

This page was last updated on: May 05, 2021 04:51 PM

Pediatric Allergy & Immunology

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What are environmental allergies?

Dr. Amy Feldman, pediatric allergist and immunologist, explains the triggers and symptoms of environmental allergies in children.

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Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies are when the immune system overreacts to things normally considered harmless in the environment like pollens, dust mite, animals, and molds. Learn more