For a Bad Dust Mite Allergy, What are Treatment Options?

Published: November 13, 2018
Photo: Getty

Q: My dust-mite allergy makes me sneeze like crazy through the night; then I blow my nose and have a lot of mucus for an hour after getting out of bed. I’ve considered allergy shots, but don’t have time for a lot of doctor’s visits. Any suggestions?

Dr. Bassett: First, there are a variety of ways to modify your home environment, particularly in the bedroom, which is the No. 1 indoor allergy hot spot and a place where we spend about a third of our day.

The intervention may include bedding encasings to help reduce levels of dust-mite allergen, the use of a HEPA-filtered vacuum, less upholstered furniture in favor of leather and other less porous materials, and so on.

Other Triggers, Treatment

Although, you report having dust-mite sensitivity, when it comes to nasal triggers, you can also have a related indoor allergen sensitivity to mold spores, pet dander (even in households without a pet). As well, cockroach can be a trigger (this pest can be harder to control in apartments). An allergist can help you to develop an indoor allergen modification and reduction plan.

While traditional allergy injections are often effective therapy, the FDA has approved a sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for adults with house dust-mite allergy. SLIT tablets are dissolved under the tongue, and can provide relief and help to reduce long-term symptoms. They can be taken at home, which is a convenience for those who are pressed for time.

Lastly, there are SLIT drops (prescribed now by some allergists), which are administered under the tongue and then swallowed.

Related Feature Article: How to Defeat Dust Mites

Dr. Clifford Bassett, allergist and asthma specialist, is the Medical Director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York (; Twitter @allergyreliefny). He is on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College and is also the author of The New Food Allergy Solution: Supercharge Resistance, Slash Medication, Stop Suffering.

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