Cutting Edge Personalized Medicine for Asthma & Allergies

Are Allergy Shots Appropriate For Dust Allergies?

Allergies to dust and dust mites are very common and can lead to a range of annoying and hard to manage symptoms ranging from itchy eyes and a stuffy nose to eczema and hives. The number of Americans who have an allergy to dust and dust mites is estimated to be around 20 million. Treating dust allergies is a two-pronged approach: avoiding dust mites as much as possible and medical treatment, which can include allergy shots.

Reduce Dust and Dust Mites At Home

There are some practical steps that you can take in your home to reduce dust and lessen your allergy to dust mites or dust. Research finds that the bedroom is the gathering point for most of the dust in the home, so that’s the best room to start making changes. However, you can consider the following list of actions for every room in the house:

  • Cover the mattress and pillows in dust-proof covers that zip.
  • Wash all bed linens in hot water on a weekly basis.
  • Remove wall to wall carpet if possible
  • Wash any rugs in hot water as often as possible
  • Use a vacuum that has been specially certified to keep dust and dust mites from getting back into the air (HEPA filter)
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep the home’s humidity below 50%
  • Install air filters that have a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 10 or higher

Medications and Allergy Shots For Dust Allergies

Since we can’t eliminate dust entirely from our homes, the modifications mentioned above won’t always be enough alone to handle your dust allergy. The next step to consider is medical treatment to help manage your allergy. Over-the-counter medicines include antihistamines, decongestants, and intranasal corticosteroids.

To handle itching, sneezing, and runny nose, antihistamines can help to reduce the amount of the body’s immune system chemical, or histamine, produced during an allergic reaction. To shrink swollen nasal passages, consider a decongestant. Some over-the-counter allergy medicines even combine antihistamines and decongestants. Finally, corticosteroids, which come in nasal spray form, can address hay fever symptoms such as inflammation.

These medicines offer short-term assistance. For a longer-lasting approach, consider allergy shots and sublingual (SLIT) or intralymphatic (ILIT) immunotherapy. The SLIT build-up phase to your maintenance dose can take as few as several weeks followed by several years of daily maintenance. Allergy shots have a 7-12 month weekly build-up phase, followed by 3-5 years of monthly injections. Doses of the allergen increase over time, helping the immune system improve its tolerance for dust. Once the initial period is over, you may need follow-up treatment once a month for several years to maintain your immunity to dust and dust mites.

Additionally, Precision Immune Targeting or Intralymphatic Immunotherapy (ILIT) is one of the most recent and exciting developments in allergy treatment. This innovative procedure, involving monthly injections over three months, achieves the same results as those typically achieved through conventional allergy shots over 3-5 years.

Allergy treatment is not a cure for a dust allergy, but it can limit your symptoms over time and decrease the frequency that you have symptoms. If you experience allergy symptoms for three months or more of the year, allergy treatment, including shots, may provide you with greater relief than medications alone.

If you are seeking treatment for asthma or allergies, contact Columbia Allergy, with convenient locations in California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington. We take a patient-focused approach that views every person as an individual with unique challenges and goals.

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Amy M.
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Sarah S.
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"Extremely great experience. Truly God sent figures. Dr. Jain and Melissa are such wonderful and humble doctors, I have ever met. Thank You. Dr Jain and the entire staff for being with us through the journey. I will recommend him to all the people that I know with allergies
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