Allergies Home > Dust Mite Allergy

Dust mite allergies occur when a person has an allergic reaction to dust mites, which are microscopic organisms that live in the dust found in all homes. This allergy affects up to 10 percent of the population. The waste products from dust mites actually provoke the allergic reaction. Dust mites are possibly the most common type of perennial allergic symptoms.

What Is a Dust Mite Allergy?

Dust mite allergy is an allergy to a microscopic organism that lives in the dust found in all dwellings and workplaces. Up to 10 percent of people have a dust mite allergy.
 

What Are Dust Mites?

Dust mites are relatives of the spider and live on mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets, and curtains. Dust mites thrive in summer and die in winter. In a warm, humid house, however, they continue to thrive even in the coldest months. The particles seen floating in a shaft of sunlight include dead dust mites and their waste products. These waste products, which are proteins, actually provoke the allergic reaction.
 
Dust mites feed on the flakes of skin that people and pets shed daily.
 
No matter how clean a home is, dust mites cannot be totally eliminated. However, the number of mites can be reduced by following the suggestions below.
 

Symptoms

Dust mites are perhaps the most common cause of perennial allergic symptoms. House dust mite allergy usually produces symptoms similar to pollen allergy and can also produce symptoms of asthma.
 
(Click Allergy Symptoms for more information about symptoms of dust mite allergy.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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