Did you know that you could be sharing your bed with anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites? These microscopic organisms, which are related to spiders, live in many homes. Too small to see with the naked eye, dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments — eating dead skin cells and nesting in dust-collecting bedding, fabric, carpet and furnishings.
The residue that dust mites leave behind in the form of their feces and decaying bodies mixes with dust and becomes airborne. If you aren't allergic to dust mite residue, it's not harmful. But if you are, inhaling the residue can cause bothersome allergy symptoms, including wheezing, sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose.
One treatment for dust mite allergy is avoidance — that is, taking measures to minimize the number of dust mites in your home. Your doctor may also recommend allergy medications or allergy injections.