Sugar & Spice Advice on Dust Mites and Sinus Symptoms

Cat dander, spring flowers, pollen, mold, dust mites – you name it. Many people are allergic to things in the environment. People of all ages can develop and suffer from allergies. Allergies can lead to trouble breathing, runny nose, itchy and/or watery eyes, poor sleep, sneezing, and dark circles under the eyes, often from lack of sleep.

Before we talk about managing sinusitis, let’s talk about one of the troublemakers that can worsen the symptoms. The common allergen found right in our own homes is the wicked dust mite and his relatives. You keep your house spic and span, vacuum often, and dust your collectibles on a routine basis. Despite all of your hard work you still have dust mites. You might want to throw in the towel. Why do all that work if it doesn’t help? Your efforts are making a difference, so don’t give up. By the way, even the rich folks in Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, and New York City have them.

The dust mite itself is very disgusting. Look them up on the internet to get an idea of what they look like. Very small and very ugly. The mite itself isn’t what causes the trouble. It is the protein in the dust mite waste that tricks your immune system into thinking it is under attack.The immune system comes to the rescue by creating antibodies and attacks something that it really does not need to, leading to the unpleasant symptoms. While being gross, note the fact that mites love to feed and drink from our moisture-rich skin cells. We shed those everywhere, with the bedroom and living room furniture being favorite spots. Disgusting!

To get these buggers under control try a few simple additional housekeeping ideas-
Starve them. Yes, that is what I said, starve them. Dust mites love off the dead skin cells of people and animals in the house. Vacuum carpets and upholstery frequently to cut their food supply. Many vacuums come with HEPA filters which are great for reducing allergens. Also wash linens, stuffed animals, areas rugs in hot water. Mites don’t like water or laundry soap or heat, for that matter. Facetiousness aside, live and dead mites will be gone after a cycle in the washer and dryer.

One of my favorite mantras fits here perfectly, and that is to GET RID OF CLUTTER in your home! Reduce the number of places where the mites can set up house. For people with very severe dust mite allergies, consider replacing the carpet with wood or laminate flooring.

Choose your linens with mite reduction in mind. Did you know that wool and down bedding attract mites? Switch to synthetics like polar fleece to make the habitat less welcoming. If allergies are severe, try putting allergen-proof covers on mattresses and pillows.

Allergies can lead to more than just a runny nose and sneezing. They can lead to sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses. One of approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sinusitis. Viruses that trigger a cold can lead into a case of sinusitis. Symptoms include headaches, a stuffy nose alternating with a running nasal fawcet, post-nasal drip, difficulty breathing, and sleeping due to the congestion.

Of course, see your doctor. Your healthcare provider may prescribed antibiotics. Your healthcare provider should not give you antibiotics if the cause is viral. Antibiotics are useless against viruses. (Overuse of antibiotics can lead to the development of drug resistant bacteria. This is bad news for everyone.)

If you are given antibiotics take them until gone. If you stop them early because you are feeling good the bacteria can come back causing a worse infection. Whether or not you are given antibiotics, there are some other things you can do to ease the symptoms –
Help keep your sinuses clear by rinsing them with a saline rinse. This can be done 4 times a day. You can find these over-the-counter. Try steam treatments to help open your sinuses and drain mucus. If the nasal drainage becomes foul-smelling or greenish, get to your doctor.

Hopefully, with the above suggestions, riding out an allergy attack or sinusitis will be more tolerable. Wishing you good health!

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