Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr David McIntosh

Prac­ti­cal ideas to over­come dust mite al­lergy

Have you been told you have a dust al­lergy? Well the truth is that it is prob­a­bly not the dust it­self, but lit­tle in­sects called house dust mites. These lit­tle in­sects are ev­ery­where, but more so where there is hu­mid­ity. So that hu­mid­i­fier that you have run­ning in your house may not be so good, if you are al­ler­gic to dust mites.


When it comes to al­ler­gies, this is a process where some­thing that your im­mune sys­tem recog­nises as be­ing so for­eign in your body, causes the im­mune sys­tem to over-re­act and re­sults in an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion and in­flam­ma­tion. When it comes to house dust mites - you are al­ler­gic to their poo. And they eat your skin flakes that you shed each and ev­ery day. That’s right - they eat your flesh and then, pass the waste onto you caus­ing an al­lergy.


Noth­ing will com­pletely elim­i­nate dust mites, so what can we do? The prob­lem is that you can’t com­pletely get rid of them. Dust mites are ev­ery­where. De­spite the pro­mo­tional claims for a vac­uum cleaner, a spray or clean­ing agent, none will com­pletely elim­i­nate dust mites.


There are many al­ler­gic symp­toms caused by dust mites and some in­clude: • ir­ri­ta­tion of your skin caus­ing eczema • ir­ri­ta­tion of your lungs caus­ing asthma • ir­ri­ta­tion of your nose caus­ing hay

fever type prob­lems.


Be­fore giv­ing up on your quest to rid your home of these in­sects, the place to fo­cus most of all is the bed­room. If you want to take dust mite erad­i­ca­tion se­ri­ously, you will need to: 1. Wash the sheets and pil­low cases ev­ery week in hot wa­ter (>60ºC). You can add a com­mer­cial prod­uct con­tain­ing tea tree or eu­ca­lyp­tus oils, for­mu­lated to kill dust mites. 2. Cover the mat­tress, pil­lows and quilt with dust mite re­sis­tant cov­ers.

3. Cov­ers are read­ily avail­able from many stores and need to be washed ev­ery 2 months.

4. Get rid of those comfy sheep­skins and woollen un­der­lays too - they are dust mite mag­nets.

5. Re­move all the fluffy toys in the bed and bed­room. Change to plas­tic ones in­stead.

6. Get rid of the car­pet and change to wooden floor boards, lino or tiles.

7. If the car­pets can­not be re­moved, vac­uum them ev­ery week.

There are plenty of man­age­ment op­tions for peo­ple who are al­ler­gic to dust mites, from med­i­ca­tions, to nasal sprays, surgery or a treat­ment known as de­sen­si­ti­sa­tion. This is a treat­ment where an al­lergy spe­cial­ist pro­vides a se­ries of very small in­jec­tions, given over sev­eral months to de­sen­si­tise the body’s im­mune re­sponse to the dust mite. Both an al­lergy spe­cial­ist and ENT spe­cial­ist can of­fer to help with your symp­toms, es­pe­cially if a blocked nose is part of your prob­lem.

Dr David McIntosh is a Pae­di­atric ENT Spe­cial­ist with a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in air­way ob­struc­tion, fa­cial and den­tal de­vel­op­ment and its re­la­tion­ship to ENT air­way prob­lems and mid­dle ear dis­ease. He also spe­cialises in si­nus dis­ease and pro­vides opin­ions on the ben­e­fit of re­vi­sion of pre­vi­ous si­nus op­er­a­tions. Dr McIntosh can be con­tacted via this web­site.

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