Managing House Dust Mite Induced Allergic Rhinitis
The house dust mites (HDM) are common allergens present in almost every household. Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae are two species of HDM known for inducing AR in most patients. The common methods used for the management of HDM induced AR are avoidance of HDM, pharmacotherapy and AIT. We will study in detail about these therapeutic approaches for the management of allergic rhinitis in the following sections.
Tips for Management of AR
1) Avoidance of Allergens
Here are a few tips to reduce house mites in your house:
- Use covers for pillows and mattresses for checking the growth of house mites.
- Washing beddings once a week with hot water followed by drying in heated drier also helps in keeping the population of house mites low.
- Vacuum cleaning your house with HEPA filters.
- Take measures to keep your house drier and reduce humidity as high humidity is ideal for the growth of house mites. You can use dehumidifiers or air conditioners.
- Remove the old items like soft stuffed animals, toys, and carpets where dust mites generally grow.
The pharmacotherapy uses decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal corticosteroids for controlling symptoms of HDM induced Allergic rhinitis. Antihistamines help in relieving runny nose, itching or sneezing. Nasal corticosteroids reduce inflammation and have fewer side effects compared to their oral counterparts. Decongestants are used for shrinking tissues in the nasal passage for making breathing easier. Sometimes medications which are a combination of decongestants and antihistamines are also used for providing quick relief.
3) Allergic Immunotherapy (AIT)
Allergic immunotherapy or AIT is a preventive method that involves making your body tolerant of allergens by giving you increasing doses of the allergen. This gradual increase makes the immune system less sensitive to those allergens and thus reducing the symptoms of allergy. Allergy shots or subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) is the commonly used AIT where shots of allergens are given for a while to develop a tolerance for that allergen. Sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT, also known as allergy tablets are also used for treating allergies without the need of taking injections.
Benefits of AIT:
The Treatment Approach for Providing Lasting Relief
The main benefit that AIT has over other management processes of HDM induced AR is that AIT removes the root cause of allergy. Other method involve symptom-based treatment or keeping away from allergens which is not easy in the modern lifestyle. But AIT changes the response of your immune system to the allergens making it possible to prevent new allergies also. Earlier, taking shots was difficult for people as it required regular visits to the doctor for taking the shot but since the introduction of SLIT or allergy tablets, even that problem is solved.
So in this article, we understood various means of managing Allergic rhinitis due to house dust mite. Now you already know that keeping a dry and clean environment in the house coupled with immunotherapy can work well for your body. Consult your physician before going ahead with any of the treatment options given above for managing allergic rhinitis as they will be able to tell you which plan is easy to follow according to your medical history and your lifestyle.