House dust mite allergy
People spend a lot of time indoors and are exposed to various indoor allergens. House dust mite are tiny insects (only visible through a microscope) that live in bedding and soft furnishings in the home. They do not cause any harm, unless a person is allergic to them. Children with house dust mite allergy often look and feel like they have a cold that never goes away and have dark circles under their eyes (allergic shiners) due to mucous and congestion in the upper airways. They usually have symptoms all year round, but are worse the winter (when the house dust mite proliferate) or when in damp, older homes with older carpets and bedding. Their symptoms are usually better when in the mountains, as dust mite cannot survive at higher altitude.
Symptoms can include one or more of the following:
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy throat, mouth and nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- headaches and blocked sinuses
- throat clear, snorting and a sensation of mucous going down the back of the throat (postnasal drip)
- sneezing and coughing
- eczema can flare up
It is very hard to remove dust mites from the home, but we can provide you with the latest evidence on how to do this effectively, and prescribe simple but effective treatments for your child’s symptoms. House dust mite desensitisation has been a major development in the management of house dust mite related rhinitis, potentially curing this allergy by diverting the immune system’s allergic response towards tolerance. The main benefit of these treatments is that the patient’s symptoms improve – not just during the treatment but potentially for several years after the treatment has stopped. We offer a simple desensitisation treatment of drops or a tablet under the tongue (which contains the house dust mite proteins your child is allergic to) over three years, and which has very few side effects.