How To Know If You Have Dust Mites Before It Starts Eating You Up
Do you have any idea of how to know if you have dust mites? I guess you’ll answer (NO), and it’s not your fault.
Dust mites are invisible monsters that should be dreaded by everyone because of the number of health problems they cause. From allergies to asthmatic attacks, dust mites have been implicated as the culprit behind some of those health conditions that put you under intense distress.
But how do you know if you have dust mites? Well, the simple answer to this question is that, it is not easy to know if you have dust mites.
Since they are microscopic (they cannot be seen with your naked eyes), you need something special to make them look bigger or magnified before they can become visible to the ordinary eyes. It is possible to have signs and symptoms that point to the fact that something could be wrong with your health but those symptoms may not be diagnostic or conclusive evidence that what you have are dust mites for sure.
Diagnoses are not made just by suspicion; there has to be tangible evidence. That is why there should be proof that dust mites are actually responsible for the signs and symptoms you have.
Signs And Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergies
Dust mite allergies come with noticeable symptoms. But unfortunately, these symptoms are not unique to dust mite allergies alone; other conditions may also present with the symptoms. That is why it is difficult to just look at the presenting symptoms and conclude that one has got dust mites. What are the symptoms of dust mite allergy? They include the following:
- Itchy or a runny nose
- Itching of the skin
- Sinus pressure (this may cause pain in the face)
- Postnasal drip
- Itching of the throat
- Nasal stuffiness
- Swollen, bluish discoloration of the skin underneath the eyes
- Itchy, red, or watery eyes
- Difficulty sleeping
Additionally, if you have dust mite allergy and you are asthmatic, you could have the following symptoms as well:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty talking
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Serious asthmatic attack
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
Even if you have the symptoms of asthma, it is still not enough to say that you have dust mites because dust mites are not the only causes or triggers of asthmatic attack.
So, what then do you do to determine if you have them? You don’t need to work yourself up. Here are the steps to take to know for sure if you’ve got dust mites:
Buy a microscope: No microscope is specially made for viewing dust mites. You can get any good one from the hobby stores. They are not as expensive as you think. All you need is a microscope that has the capacity of at least 10 x magnification. Since dust mites are between 250 and 300 microns long (less than half a millimeter in size) they can be picked by a microscope that has that capacity.
Collect a dust sample: The best place to find dust mites is in the damp and warm areas of the house, especially where there’s large quantity of dust. The presence of dead skin in this area makes it easy for them to thrive. You can also get them by collecting dust from pillows, mattresses, upholstery, blankets or areas where there are a lot of pet hairs.
Collect sample using tape: It is possible to use this method if you notice the dust mites crawling on your skin. How do you know this? You will notice a short itching or tickling sensation on your skin.
If you notice that the dust mite is crawling on your skin, take a two-inch piece of clear tape and place it over the area where you noticed the sensation. The dust mites will stick to the tape if they are present on the skin.
Examine the sample under the microscope for dust mites: Even if you have to examine them under the microscope, how would you know that you are viewing a dust mite? The answer is simple. Dust mites are translucent (they are semi-transparent) and they have 8 legs. Sometimes, it is possible to see them in dust sample or trapped on the tape.
On the other hand, it is possible to observe dust mite feces under the power of the microscope. They appear as small, brown rectangular pellets.
Be tested for a dust mite allergy: This is another way to detect if you are suffering from dust mite infestation. Unfortunately, this procedure is only helpful in people who are experiencing respiratory allergies resulting from dust mites.
To carry out allergy skin testing, the doctor will place a small amount of purified allergen extract (including dust mite extract) under the skin by pricking the skin (usually on your forearm). The doctor or nurse watches for 15 minutes to see if there would be any allergic reaction.
According to Mayo Clinic, respiratory allergy symptoms that get worse when you go to bed or when you are cleaning may suggest that they are caused by dust mites. However, you can only be sure of the cause after running a test or following the steps we have listed above.
Dust mites are almost everywhere – mattresses, bed linens, pillows, rugs, carpets, upholstery, corners of the room, and the rest. You need to stay safe by keeping your home clean and tidy all the times.
Never wait for dust mites to afflict your health before thinking of how to get rid of them in your home. We have listed how to know if you have dust mites. Should you notice any of the symptoms we highlighted, see your doctor.