Hello Everyone! A member on the forum recently made a great post about how his cholinergic urticaria has so far disappeared. He is cured, and despite exercising/running he has not had an a reaction and has even sweat normally. So what did he do? He removed a couch that he suspected was haboring dust mites. It is a great thread, and thanks again for the great info antihives! As you may or may not know, dust mites do actually account for a large number of allergic cases.
All of this talk about dust mites made me feel as if it would be worth my time to do a little research and provide everyone with some information on these little beasts, and also some tips on how we can reduce dust mites in our own homes. My sources are wikipedia.org, mayoclinic.com, and a few online journals. So here it goes:
What Is the House Dust Mite? Do They Cause Allergies?
A House Dust Mite is a tiny mite found in many people’s homes. These little 8 legged creatures feed on tiny flakes of dead skin and tissue (dust). The dust mite is very small in size, and usually cannot be seen with the naked eye. They don’t bite, and are mostly harmless to humans–that is, unless you develop an allergy to them.
They live best in an environment that is humid and warm, and tend to accumulate in fabric type material (such as carpeting, furniture, bedding, etc.). Dust mites usually cannot survive in temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) for a period of one hour, freezing, or exposure to temperatures below 20ºC. They also need a nice and humid place to thrive, and humidity levels below 50% can kill them as well. Here is what the ugly little pest looks like:
Dust mites are known to cause several allergic responses. The fecal matter (waste), enzymes, and materials that they leave behind can induce allergic responses in individuals.
Common Signs and Symptoms of House Dust Mite Allergy:
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Eczema or rash
- Asthma or Breathing difficulty
- Light black or bluish color under the eyes (similar to a black eye)
If you suspect a dust mite allergy, you can always make an appointment with your doctor to discuss an allergy test. One thing I found interesting is that previously a member of the forum reported an unusually high response to the house dust might during an allergy test.
Can Dust Mite Allergy Be Associated with Hives or Cholinergic Urticaria?
I could not find a direct article online that links cholinergic urticaria to dust mites. However, that doesn’t meant that dust mights don’t play a role (or even cause) cholinergic urticaria. Two members on the forum have not confirmed that either they had an unusually high dust mite allergic response, or have seen their CU symptoms disappear after removing dust mite infected furniture.
I too can attest to many of the symptoms above, since I am constantly having stuffy (congested) sinuses, I do sneeze several times per day, and I also have a blackish bluish color just below my eyes (a common sign of allergies). On top of that, I do get post nasal drip a lot (a mild sore throat caused from dripping from your sinuses).
Another thing I found interesting is that house dust mites do not do well in direct sunlight. Not only that, but it seems that simply being outdoors and away from inhaling all of the dust mite particles in your house may be very beneficial. So this could possibly go along with more outdoor or sun exposure which is something I have been talking about for a while now. Perhaps the two fit hand and hand together.
How to Reduce or Eliminate House Dust Mites:
Okay, so there is a chance that some of us may have an issue with dust mites. So what can we do about it? Here are a few tips I have gathered that can help you reduce the amount of dust mites in your home:
Simple and less expensive solutions:
- Consider getting protective dust mite-proof bed and pillow coverings. These are usually plastic anti-allergy coverings that prevent dust mites from creating a huge mess.
- Wash clothing and bedsheets in very hot water, and wash them often. This way you will eliminate the majority of dust mites and the waste they can leave behind. Also, drying your clothes in a dryer also is shown to kill dust mites.
- Spend more time outdoors. Like I stated above, sitting indoors all day breathing dust mite particles isn’t the most healthy thing to do. It may not be easy, but to me it makes sense that if we are outdoors and away from them, the less they will bother us. Not to mention that moderate sun exposure seems to kill them out.
- Try to get your spouse/friend/relatives to do most of the cleaning/vacuuming. Cleaning stirs up dust, and I have noticed when I help my wife clean I sneeze a lot more. So avoid cleaning as much as possible, but at the same time try to prevent dust build-up by preventative cleaning.
- Consider getting a hepa filter to filter out these particles. Dust mites and dust can be stirred around, and it could help getting a good hepa filter.
- Consider lowering the humidity. Apparently dust mites thrive in humid environments. So you can get a dehumidifier if you have a humid climate where you live.
- You could also try a dust mite or anti allergy spray solution. There are lots of “disinfectants” that are labeled to kill mites, etc. This could be a way to cut down on dust mites.
- Have a dog or pet? Get rid of it! Okay, well maybe not get rid of it but avoid it and bathe it more frequently. Dust mites can get on the animal and the animal’s fur and get all over everything in your home.
- Replace your air filter in your Central Heat and air vent.
- Steam Clean your carpet often with a solution that advertises dust mite reduction. This will reduce the dust mites in your carpet.
More Drastic and Expensive Ways to Reduce Dust Mites:
- Get all new furniture- Replace fabric types of furniture with solid leather or vinyl. This will prevent dust mites from building up, and the leather acts like an anti-dust mite cover.
- Get rid of excessive carpet or rugs, and replace it with hardwood flooring, tile, or linoleum. Of course, this could cost thousands. But if you plan on redecorating anytime soon, you can consider replacing carpet with another option.
I am definitely going to be more conscious about dust mites in the future and try many of the tactics to reduce dust mites. I look forward to seeing if this helps anyone else suffering from hives.
UPDATE: I now have my cholinergic urticaria 100% under control. I was able to achieve this via extensive allergy elimination diet experiments, regular exercise, and hypo-allergenic products. One thing I did do was buy dust covers for my bed. I also have leather furniture and all tile and laminate flooring. Although I do not think dust mite allergy was a significant cause of my symptoms (I think it was mostly diet), I do recommend people do this just in case.
Not only is dust-mite proof bedding covers inexpensive, but they can also protect against pet dander and all sorts of things.