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Dust Mite Allergy

If you have allergies or asthma, a tiny creature living in your home could be making big problems for you. Although you can’t see them, you may be having an allergic reaction to them. They are dust mites and they live in many homes throughout the world.

Dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma. They are on every continent except Antarctica. It may not be possible to rid your home entirely of these creatures. But there are ways in which you can lessen your allergic reactions to them.

What Is a Dust Mite?

A dust mite measures only about one-quarter to one-third of a millimeter. They are too small to see with your eyes alone. Under a microscope, they look like white bugs. They have eight legs, so they are not insects, but arthropods, like spiders.

Dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). They also like humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent. There are at least 13 species of mites. They are all well adapted to the environment inside your home. They feed mainly on the tiny flakes of human skin that people shed each day. These flakes work their way deep into the inner layers of furniture, carpets, bedding and even stuffed toys. These are the places where mites thrive. An average adult person may shed up to 1.5 grams of skin in a day. This is enough to feed one million dust mites!

What Is a Dust Mite Allergy?

An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction. Both the body parts and the waste of dust mites are allergens for many people. Most dust mites die in low humidity levels or extreme temperatures. But they leave their dead bodies and waste behind. These can continue to cause allergic reactions. In a warm, humid house, dust mites can survive all year.

What Are the Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergy?

Common dust mite allergy symptoms include:  

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy nose, mouth or throat
  • Itchy skin
  • Postnasal drip (a flow of mucus from behind your nose into your throat)
  • Cough

If your dust mite allergy triggers your asthma, you may also experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing

How Does a Doctor Diagnose Dust Mite Allergy?

To diagnose a dust mite allergy, your doctor may give you a physical exam and discuss your symptoms. If your doctor thinks you have a dust mite allergy, they may suggest a skin or blood test. If you have symptoms year round, you could have a dust mite allergy.

Skin Prick Test (SPT)
In prick/scratch testing, a small drop of the possible allergen is placed on your skin. Then the nurse or doctor will lightly prick or scratch the spot with a needle through the drop. If you are allergic to the substance, you will develop redness, swelling and itching at the test site within 20 minutes. You may also see a wheal. A wheal is a raised, round area that looks like a hive. Usually, the larger the wheal, the more likely you are to be allergic to the allergen.

A positive SPT to a particular allergen does not necessarily mean you have an allergy. Health care providers must compare the skin test results with the time and place of your symptoms to see if they match.

Specific IgE Blood Test
Blood tests are helpful when people have a skin condition or are taking medicines that interfere with skin testing. They may also be used in children who may not tolerate skin testing. Your doctor will take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory. The lab adds the allergen to your blood sample. Then they measure the amount of antibodies your blood produces to attack the allergens. This test is called Specific IgE (sIgE) Blood Testing. (This was previously and commonly referred to as RAST or ImmunoCAP testing.) As with skin testing, a positive blood test to an allergen does not necessarily mean that an allergen caused your symptoms.

What Is the Treatment for Dust Mite Allergy?

The most important step is to avoid dust mites as much as possible. Limiting your exposure to dust mites will reduce your symptoms. However, it’s nearly impossible to completely get rid of dust mites in your environment. You may also need medicines to control symptoms.

Certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines may help reduce dust mite allergy symptoms.

  • Antihistamines are available as pills, liquids or nose sprays. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
  • Nasal corticosteroids are a type of nose spray. They reduce swelling in your nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers (other than histamine) involved in allergic reactions.
  • Cromolyn sodium is a nose spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
  • Decongestants are available as pills, liquids, nose sprays or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve stuffiness. Use decongestant nose drops and sprays only for a short time. Oral decongestants can cause side effects such as sleeplessness and increased blood pressure in some people. Consider checking with your doctor before using them.

Many people with a dust mite allergy do not get complete relief from medicines. This means they may consider immunotherapy (allergy shots). Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that can help prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions. It can reduce the course of allergic disease by changing your body’s immune response to allergens.

Allergy Shots – Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) is an effective treatment that has been around for more than 100 years. SCIT is a series of shots that have progressively larger amounts of allergen. An injection of the allergen goes into the fat under your skin about once a week during the initial phase of treatment. Many patients get complete relief of their allergies after being on SCIP for one to three years. Many physicians will continue SCIT for a period of five or more years. SCIT can provide long-lasting symptom relief. Many people experience benefits for at least several years after the shots stop.

Sublingual (under-the-tongue) immunotherapy (SLIT) is a way to treat dust mite allergies without injections. Patients put small doses of an allergen under the tongue. This exposure improves tolerance to the dust mites and reduces symptoms. SLIT tablets that treat dust mite allergy were approved by the FDA in 2017. Talk with your allergist if you want to learn more about SLIT.

How Can I Prevent Allergic Reactions to Dust Mites?

Remember, having dust mites doesn’t mean your house isn’t clean. In most areas of the world, these creatures live in every home, no matter how clean. But, you can reduce their effects. There are many changes you can make to your home to reduce the numbers of these unwanted “guests.”

Studies show that more dust mites live in your bedroom than anywhere else in your home. So this is the best place to start.

  • Cover mattresses and pillows in zippered dust-proof covers. These covers are made of a material with pores too small to let dust mites and their waste product through. They are also called allergen-impermeable. Plastic or vinyl covers are the least expensive, but some people find them uncomfortable. You can buy other fabric allergen-impermeable covers from many regular bedding stores.
  • Wash your sheets and blankets weekly in hot water. You have to wash them in water that’s at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit or more to kill dust mites.
  • Get rid of all types of fabric that mites love and that you cannot easilywash regularly in hot water. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, curtains, blinds, upholstered furniture and down-filled covers and pillows in the bedroom. Put roll-type shades on your windows instead of curtains.
  • Have someone without a dust mite allergy clean your bedroom. If this is not possible, wear a filtering mask when dusting or vacuuming. Many drug stores carry these items. Dusting and vacuuming stir up dust. So try to do these chores when you can stay out of the bedroom for a while afterward.
  • Special CERTIFIED filter vacuum cleaners can help to keep mites and mite waste from getting back into the air. CERTIFIED vacuums are scientifically tested and verified as more suitable for making your home healthier.
  • Vacuuming is not enough to remove all dust mites and their waste. A large amount of the dust mite population may remain because they live deep inside the stuffing of sofas, chairs, mattresses, pillows and carpeting.

Treat other rooms in your house like your bedroom. Here are more tips:

  • Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, if possible. If you do use carpeting, mites don’t like the type with a short, tight pile as much. Use washable throw rugs over regularly damp-mopped wood, linoleum or tiled floors.
  • Wash rugs in hot water whenever possible. Cold water isn’t as effective. Dry cleaning kills all dust mites and is also good for removing dust mites from living in fabrics.
  • Keep the humidity in your home less than 50 percent. Use a dehumidifier and/or air conditioner to do this.
  • Use a CERTIFIED filterwith your central furnace and air conditioning unit. This can help trap dust mites from your entire home. Freestanding air cleaners only filter air in a limited area. Avoid devices that treat air with heat, electrostatic ions or ozone.

certified products
Look for this mark to find products proven more suitable for people with asthma and allergies. 
Find CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products on our certification program website.


Medical Review October 2015.


Stop wasting your time with hot compresses

Using warm compress to relieve dry eye has been a long term method in the artillery of fighting both dry eye signs and symptoms.

When the fat glands become compromised, whether due poor blinking, rosacea, or trauma we need to find a way to get them working again. Firstly targeting the underlying cause is the priority. But how do we keep the glands flowing?

Using a heat source over the top of closed eyes has been handed down from generation to generation to relieve dry eye symptoms and signs. But are all warm compresses equally efficient?  

Research has shown that the most effective way to maintain heat in a basic warm compress is to use the ‘bundle method’. This is where a patient heats five microfiber towels, wrapped around each other, for one minute and fifty seconds in a microwave. The patient then uses the outer towel initially and replaces with the next outer layer after two minutes of heat application. While this is the most effective way to maintain heat with a typical cloth-based approach, as you can imagine, it is time consuming.

 A study performed in 2015 by Murakami et al revealed that the Bundle method, although the most labor intensive, increased lid temperatures above therapeutic levels. With regards to warm compresses, research has shown a temperature of 40–45 degrees Celsius to be safe and most effective when used for periods of four to six minutes.

I suggest that patients with mild dry eye purchase a Bruder or DERM mask and use it for five to 10 minutes, 1-2 times  day as part of their routine. Caution with eyelid massages and vigorous lid massage is advised – especially when combined with heat – this is because of the potential for corneal deformity and subsequent visual dysfunction. The tranquileye option is a more advanced, controlled option and is great for two reasons; it maintains heat for 20-25 minutes and also has the option of not requiring a microwave. Thermal instant snap to heat bags can be used in place of a microwave and reset in boiling water, hence perfect for individuals that travel.

Selecting the right warm compress for your level of dry eye can be advised by a specialist and is a regime that can be easily added to your day.

1) All Warm Compresses Are Not Equally Efficacious. Murakami DK1, Blackie CA, Korb DR.Optom Vis Sci. 2015 Sep;92(9):e327-33

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SINGAPORE - Meet this week's hot bods, entrepreneur Kimberly Thea Kwek, 33, and accounts executive Sean Nicholas Sutiono, 25.

Kimberly Thea Kwek, 33


Height: 1.57m

Weight: 44kg

Exercise regimen: I practise muay thai and Bounce - an aerobic exercise that involves jumping on a mini-trampoline - twice a week.

I also like to scuba dive and wakeboard. I am learning to wakesurf, which is a water sport in which the rider surfs in a boat's wake without being pulled by the boat with a rope.

Diet: I eat five meals a day, but in small portions. My only restriction is limiting myself to one cup of bubble tea a month.

Sean Nicholas Sutiono, 25

Accounts associate

Height: 1.82m

Weight: 75kg

Exercise regimen: I do bodybuilding and strength training six times a week before or after work, and I hike on my rest days. I used to play tennis competitively, representing the Chinese Swimming Club, and hold a black belt in taekwondo.

Diet: My workday breakfasts consist of egg whites, yogurt, orange juice and a protein shake blended with oats and a variety of fruit.

Lunch and dinner are a good amount of protein such as beef, chicken or fish, with rice or pasta for carbs, and nuts and leafy greens for fat and vitamins. I don't avoid any food in particular - I eat them all and love to try everything.

What NSFW Thing Happened At Your Sleepover? (AskReddit)

Symptoms - Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis can cause skin to become inflamed (irritated), blistered, dry, thickened and cracked.

Lighter skin can become red, and darker skin can become dark brown, purple or grey.

These symptoms can develop on any area of the body, although the hands and face are most often affected.

Symptoms caused by an irritant usually appear within 48 hours, or even immediately. Milder irritants (such as soap and detergents) may not cause problems immediately – you may need frequent exposure to these before they cause problems.

Symptoms caused by an allergen, such as make-up or metal jewellery, often take several days to develop.

If you can avoid being re-exposed to the substance responsible for the reaction, your skin will usually clear up within a few days or weeks.

However, some people experience severe and long-lasting symptoms, which may affect their quality of life.

Additional symptoms

Depending on the substance that caused the reaction, you may also experience some additional symptoms.

For example, allergens may cause affected areas of the skin to itch and irritants may cause a burning or stinging sensation.

Occasionally, areas of skin affected by contact dermatitis can become infected. Signs of an infection can include:

  • your existing symptoms getting rapidly worse
  • discharge from your skin
  • increasing pain
  • feeling generally unwell
  • feeling hot or shivery

Seek immediate medical advice if you think your skin may have become infected, as you may need to take antibiotics.

Page last reviewed: 12 November 2019
Next review due: 12 November 2022


Reddit hot

Welcome to parenting—a place where everyone has an opinion on, well, just about anything. It starts early, too, with much of that unsolicited advice centered on how you choose to feed your baby. Though breastfeeding is often hailed as the best option (formula is great, too!), the process of feeding your baby with your body can do a number on you.

Clogged ducts and mastitis, a painful breast infection that may include side effects like body aches and a fever, are two common problems lactating people experience.

Clogs can lead to mastitis and also hurt, so clearing them ASAP is crucial. One Redditor enlists her husband's help in unclogging her ducts, and she's wondering why it's such a taboo topic. She went on the breastfeeding subreddit to vent.

"What is with all the negativity for having your husband clear milk ducts?" wrote u/sinontherocks, noting that she has her husband suck her clogged milk out. "It saves you from mastitis, a hospital bill, going to the doctor, and a round of antibiotics."

An image of a mother breastfeeding her baby.

Getty Images.

The original poster (OP) went on to compare it to sexual activities other people engage in, wondering, "What's the difference?"

"I just don't understand what the shame is about," she continued. "When I get a clogged duct, I scream for my husband. I'm not fooling with hours and hours of boob torture and devices if I have help. Though it will help to loosen it up a bit. And you can even make it sexy and get it on after. /end rant."

The post has gotten more than 100 comments in less than a day, and other Redditors are also very over the shaming.

"I don't get it either… Just do what works for you. My husband would do it if I asked, but I've never asked because if the boobie monster can't unstick that clog, I doubt the non-professional will get it out," a top commenter wrote.

And another said having her husband help her was game-changing for her breastfeeding journey. But she did have a particularly uncomfortable moment once—and not from the clog, or from her husband's assistance.

"If it weren't for my husband helping me with my clogged ducts, I don't know how many times I would have had mastitis," she said. "One time though, when he was helping me, my mother-in-law walked in—hard to explain."

Yeah, that's just a tad awkward.

Others didn't come to judge, but they also weren't personally fans of having their husbands assist them. They offered some other methods for getting out clogs.

"I had a clogged duct, and I saw how much a 'breast massager' cost. Quickly dawned on the idea of my vibrator. 10/10," wrote one commenter.

"I find the best way to clear my ducts is either in a shower or using hot compresses and intense targeting squeezing at the base of the impacted duct," shared another.

Hey, whatever works. Clogs are rough. Here are a few expert-backed ways to treat (and prevent) them, as well as mastitis:

What Is The Hottest Thing Anyone Has Ever Said/Done To You? (Reddit - r/AskReddit)

Too Hot To Handle: 10 Unpopular Opinions About The Show, According To Reddit

It's not rare for reality television shows to be beloved for their messiness, yet Too Hot To Handle still exists in its own lane. Fans of this unscripted Netflix series tend to fall into two camps: trash connoisseurs (aka reality television aficionados) or unsuspecting bystanders (who get sucked in and can't escape). Either way, both camps show up for the drama, stay for the utter madness, and take to Reddit threads to share their juiciest opinions.

RELATED: 10 Reality Shows To Watch After Finishing Netflix's Too Hot To Handle

Between arguments over which contestants deserved the prize fund and running commentary on whether or not the premise holds up, the Too Hot To Handle Reddit threads are where it's at for the steamiest discourse.

10 Too Hot To Handle Was Actually Good

Even fans of the show aren't decided about whether the show is actually good or not. Some viewers have argued they have to suspend their disbelief when it comes to the premise and the "unscripted" conversations among the cast.

hellknower's, however, argued, "Too Hot To Handle on Netflix was good," citing the drama as a compelling reason to check out the series. That said, it's that very same drama that's one element of the show many viewers are skeptical of.

9 Chloe Isn't Everyone's Favorite

Fan-favorite Chloe from season 1 got her start on Too Hot To Handle, then quickly attracted more fans as she made the jump to The Circle. Though the masses tend to really appreciate Chloe, her personality, and the growth she's exhibited on and off the show, some Reddit users still have some hangups about her.

SM_2601 wrote, "I wasn’t much of a fan of Chloe if I’m being honest. IMO she was definitely playing dumb and I didn’t find it cute or endearing. I also didn’t appreciate the way she handled the Fran situation. Sure Fran should/could have spoken to her before going on the date with Kori but she definitely didn’t need to speak to Fran in that way and not even give her a chance to share her side."

8 The Narrator Is Kind Of Mean

On shows like Too Hot To Handle, the narrator usually says what everyone's thinking. While most viewers are just as flabbergasted as the narrator by the cast's gall, hypocrisy, and tomfoolery, some took to Reddit to point out the harshness of certain comments.

Zinvitali wrote, "Too Hot To Handle is completely undermined by its terrible narrator ... the narrator constantly makes fun of the contestants and can be downright mean." iluvwinterx agreed, writing, "Yes I was definitely thinking this, the narrator as a whole destroys the immersion when she pitches in every two seconds during a conversation."

7 Cam Should Have Won Season 2

This unpopular opinion is truly controversial. Cam was arguably a season 2 villain. His flirting and lies did not make him likable or worthy of Emily in many fans' eyes. While most viewers are in agreement that Cam was not one of the Too Hot to Handle players who deserved to win the prize fund, some Reddit users argue otherwise.

thedean246 wrote, "It appears I have an unpopular opinion thinking Cam was the most deserving. I honestly think he came furthest from where he started than any of the others." HarveyCMoreau echoed this sentiment, stating, "After the show, it's clear Cam grew the most. Dude moved in with Em and they are still together."

6 The Casts Haven't Been Too Hot To Handle

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course,yet some Too Hot to Handle viewers still feel like the show wasn't successful at finding the hottest hotties. steingrrrl said, "I think they hyped up the 'hotness' way too much."

RELATED: 8 Best Too Hot To Handle Season 2 Romances, Ranked

happydaize_34 added, "I really don't find these people excessively attractive. Sure, they have nice bodies, and clearly take care of themselves, but I don't know, they're just not really my cup of tea 'hotness' wise." One Reddit user argued it could be because "nobody in this show is honestly very likable."

5 Matheus Might Have Grown The Most

Matheus, of Too Hot To Handle Brazil fame, set a record for how many times he did the deed on the show, but that did not endear him to most fans. However, upon further reflection, one Reddit user pointed out it might have been because he received a villain edit.

Iconissued posted, "I respect that he never let Brenda take the heat alone and made himself the bad guy in her defense. He might have been selfish but I do think it was for the right reasons when it came to Brenda. He also tried to gaslight her in the beginning, which she picked up and called him out on. After that, I do think he took the initiative to change. Because in reality, they were the only strong couple in the house [and] the only surviving couple" post-show.

4 Too Hot To Handle Is Wholesome

Too Hot To Handle is known as being one of the horniest shows on any streaming platform. wopbabaloobop, however, begs to differ. They asserted, "Too Hot to Handle is so unexpectedly wholesome ... they were actual people who I could relate to. Watching their sexual desires fight against the shame of disappointing their community was endlessly entertaining."

RELATED: How Much Of Too Hot To Handle Is Real (& What's Fake)

Another Reddit user agreed, reminding users of "when the guys had that warrior exercise, I cried. It was so beautiful to see all those overly masculine men being vulnerable and showing how hurt they are (in my opinion, people that only care about sex and not feelings are crying for help). I was pleasantly surprised."

3 Larissa And Kayla Deserved More

Season 2 had quite the cast of characters. From Christina to Peter to Melinda to Chase to Marvin, there were a lot of big personalities stealing the show. While the most popular Too Hot To Handle players captured many fans' hearts, some viewers preferred quieter contestants like Larissa and Kayla.

auntynia said, "Larissa may actually be my fav person ... she seems the most intelligent and rational person among all. And the fact that she’s a lawyer!! + can also make jokes about being a real-life legally blonde. I wish they gave her & Kayla more screentime." ilove711hotdogs added, "Kayla is just naturally so pretty. People think she is boring, cause she didn’t get a lot of screentime but I watched her first Youtube vlog, and she has a fun personality and just genuinely seems nice as a person."

2 The Prize Fund Is Too Low

While the season 2 cast had the opportunity to win the entire prize fund solo, the fact that the season 1 cast had to share $100,000 still doesn't sit right with some viewers. One Reddit user argued the prize fund is an "insultingly low amount for a Netflix show that will make millions off of them." Another user agreed: "The prize money is just ridiculously low. Who cares about splitting POTENTIAL 100k with 10 people? Why would you follow a single rule? Memories> >>>>The 10k max prize money. "

instanugg suggested, "They should each start with 10k, and when people lose money, it should get divided to others not rule-breaking since they’re not even dividing it evenly at the end anyways."

1 Kelz Deserved The Prize Fund

Allegedly, there's been some pushback on who was deserving of the prize fund in season 1. OneMikeNation wrote, "So been noticing a lot of people saying Kelz didn't deserve the prize money since he didn't show any personal growth. But he is literally the only person who did not break the rules when the temptation was in front of him." Another Reddit user agreed, arguing, "People are so obsessed with couples and things shoved into their face that they don't even notice if a person grows and learns on their own. He embraced the entire process, he didn't break the rules, and I think he was the true winner."

tomxbaker concluded the conversation by pointing out, "I think him accepting and liking Harry counted as growth."

NEXT: 10 Drama-Filled Reality Shows To Binge On Netflix Right Now


NextRHOBH: The Zodiac Signs & Ages Of The Cast

About The Author
Kayla Webb (22 Articles Published)

Kayla Webb is a writer with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. When she's not obsessing over words and sentences, Kayla can be found trying to read too many books at one time, snuggling with her cats, and fangirling over everything pop culture.

More From Kayla Webb

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Meme stocks: What are they and why you should be careful buying them

For those still itching to trade the next viral stock, invest only with money you can afford to lose. Before you invest, you should make sure you already have an emergency fund set aside, you've paid off your high-interest debt and you're already contributing to a retirement account (and meeting any 401(k) employer match, if applicable).

When you're ready to buy stocks, your first need to open a taxable brokerage account. Robinhood and Webull are two popular trading platforms for active investors, boasting easy-to-use mobile investing apps. Plus, Webull offers IRAs (traditional, Roth and rollover) so users can manage their retirement funds along with their stocks all in one place.

Both companies also allow investor to buy fractional shares of stocks, so you can buy a piece of the action without getting in too deep. Experts generally suggest keeping individual stock picking limited to 5% to 10% of your overall investment portfolio.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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