Dust mite allergy: treatments and drugs. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, nasal lavage
The best treatment for managing dust mite allergy is to avoid the mites as much as you can. If you reduce your exposure to house dust mites, it will make you experience less often or less severe allergic reactions. But you are not able to entirely remove house dust mites from your environment, so you will probably also need some medications to manage symptoms.
Your doctor may suggest you to take one of the medications listed below in order to improve nasal allergy symptoms.
Antihistamines can reduce production of a chemical in your body which is normally active in an allergic reaction. It will relieve sneezing, itching and runny nose. Antihistamine pills prescribed contain fexofenadine (Allegra) and desloratadine (Clarinex). Prescription antihistamine which is used as a nasal spray is Azelastine (Astelin). You can also find over-the-counter antihistamine pills like Claritin or Zyrtec available, and antihistamine syrups for kids.
Decongestants will help you shrink the swollen tissues in the nasal passages, thus making it easier to breathe with your nose. Some of the nonprescription allergy tablets contain both an antihistamine and a decongestant. However, oral decongestants sometimes increase blood pressure, so you shouldn’t take them if you have some cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure. It can also worsen the condition in men having an enlarged prostate. Always consult your doctor to find out if you can safely take a decongestant.
Nonprescription decongestants in the form of a nasal spray can briefly reduce allergy symptoms. But if used for over 3 days in a row, spray can contribute to congestion.
Corticosteroids in the form of a nasal spray are able to decrease inflammation and manage symptoms of allergic rhinitis. It contains mometasone furoate (Nasonex) and fluticasone (Flonase). As nasal corticosteroids contain a very low dose of the drug, they aren’t associated with the risk of long-term taking of oral corticosteroids.
Leukotriene modifiers can block the action of specific immune system chemicals. You may be prescribed this montelukast (Singulair) tablet in case of inability to tolerate corticosteroid or antihistamine nasal sprays. The drug may have side effects including headache, and sometimes cough, dizziness, abdominal and dental pain.
Cromolyn sodium as an over-the-counter nasal spray helping reduce the symptoms by preventing the release of an immune system chemical. It needs to be used several times a day, and has the best effect before symptoms and signs develop. The drug doesn’t have any serious side effects.
A series of allergy shots, called immunotherapy, may “train” the immune system to be insensitive to allergens. 1-2 shots every week will expose you to tiny allergen doses – in our case, to the dust mite protein which actually causes an allergic reaction. The dose will be gradually enlarged, usually within a 3-6-month period. Then maintenance shots will be needed every month for 3-5 years. This kind of therapy is normally used after other simple treatments appeared to be not satisfactory.
Nasal lavage is another sort of treatment. It is the use of a saline (saltwater) rinse for your nasal passages. It may be suggested to you by your doctor to help lessen sneezing, congestion and postnasal drip. To administer a rinse, you can buy nonprescription saline sprays or kits with bulb syringes devices. You can even prepare your own solution – mix 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) of salt with two cups (0.5