Prescription Drugs for Dust Mite Allergies
When OTC medications are not strong enough or do not work because of individual resistance, prescription medications may be required. Most prescription dust mite treatments are simply stronger or newer versions of the three types of OTC medications.
Antihistamines are generally available as OTC medications, but a few prescription antihistamines are being recommended by doctors for those who do not respond to OTC versions. The three most commonly prescribed antihistamines include the following:
- Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Xyzal (levocetirizine)
- Clarinex (desloratadine)
In addition to prescription antihistamines, a doctor may also prescribe a decongestant or corticosteroid drug. Sometimes, the terms are used interchangeably because the primary ingredient of many prescription decongestants is a corticosteroid. Examples of this type of prescription medication include the following:
- Flonase (fluticasone)
- Nasonex (mometasone furoate)
- Nasacort (triamcinolone)
- Omnaris (ciclesonide)
A final type of prescription medication used to treat dust mite allergies is immunotherapy medication. Immunotherapy consists of a series of injections that train your body to become resistant to a particular allergen. The ingredients of the drug consist of vitamins and small doses of the allergen. The dose is increased over the course of three to six months, and then injection frequency is reduced to once every two to four weeks.
Mattress Encasements – The Most Effective Treatment?
Many dust mite allergy treatments aim to create a barrier between the allergen and the person with the allergy. Among the most effective of these are mattress encasements and allergen-proof bed covers. Because mattresses are difficult to keep 100 percent free of dust mites, the only solution is to entrap the dust mites and the allergens they produce inside the mattress.
In research conducted in Denmark, it was found that children who suffer from asthma experience a substantial relief from symptoms after using mattress and pillow encasements.
For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended to buy a new mattress and pillows and use the encasements immediately upon purchase. This prevents dust mites from getting in and filling the mattress with allergens.
Dust Mite Air Purifiers
Air purifiers can help to treat dust mite allergies by removing dust mites and allergens from the air. However, scientific research suggests that air purifiers are not 100 percent effective due to the weight of dust mites and their fecal castings. If an air purification system is used, the most effective are those with HEPA filters. Even with a HEPA filter, it is recommended that an air purifier have a pre-filter to catch and contain larger airborne particles.
Promising Dust Mite Treatments
Most new research concerning the treatment of dust mite allergies is aimed toward the reduction of exposure to allergens in one’s own home. Such advancements include new types of air filtration systems and devices for confining allergens so they can be of no further harm.
In the medical field, researchers continue to develop new antihistamines and decongestants that are more powerful and have fewer side effects. Immunotherapy is also a relatively new type of treatment that continues to be improved and fine-tuned. Combinations of vitamins and drugs have also been found that may be able to modify the immune system. They are currently being used with cancer patients, but their applications are expected to expand.