Medically reviewed on August 1, 2022 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Dust allergies are some of the most common indoor allergies today. Toxins and debris accumulate all over our homes—in hallway corners, beside TVs, around flowerpots, and in the air itself—creating dust.
But house dust is more than just a household nuisance. When dust floats into our skin and airway, it can cause negative reactions commonly known as dust allergies.
Dust allergy symptoms can be frustrating. To combat the infamous itchy nose and uncomfortable sinus pressure commonly associated with dust allergies, it’s important to understand what causes these reactions in the first place.
Below, we’ll help you understand the basics of dust and house dust mite allergies, their causes, symptoms, and how to diagnose a dust allergy. Plus, we’ll equip you with a handful of medical and preventative solutions to help you ditch dust allergies for good.
When people experience dust allergy symptoms, what they’re often experiencing is a dust mite allergy. Dust is a vehicle for allergens. The dust in your home can carry pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and other kinds of allergens.  Though just one of many allergens, dust mites have a far-reaching influence affecting about 20 million Americans. 
A dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to this common household pest and its waste products. When you inhale or ingest dust mite particles, your immune system kicks into threat-fighting mode. The body releases histamine, a chemical released from cells responding to threats or offenders. The release of histamine triggers common allergic reactions like itchy eyes, watery eyes, and runny nose. 
Dust allergies are most common indoors. As homes are tightly sealed to keep external elements out, excess debris builds up and creates dust. With time and everyday activities, the dust in your home moves, grows, and agitates, sending it through the air and into your system.
There are many factors that may cause an increase of dust mites in your home, including:
Dust allergy symptoms can arise in mild, moderate, or severe cases, depending on the person. For example, dust mite allergens can be severe for people with asthma, especially after long-term exposure. 
According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare, dust mite allergies typically appear from a younger age and remain through adulthood. Later in life, the allergic reaction can move into the lungs, triggering asthma. 
The most common dust or dust mite allergic symptoms are: 
The location of the symptoms in your body, the duration of the exposure, and your unique body composition all affect how long symptoms may last. When combating allergy symptoms, it’s important to pinpoint what’s happening and where so that an appropriate diagnosis and treatment can follow.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that, in many cases, nasal and sinus-related symptoms can clear up on their own within a few days. However, symptoms can last for a week or longer in more chronic cases. 
If a dust mite allergy leads to hives, an outbreak may vary between a few hours to several days. However, most cases are reported to clear up within 24 hours. 
An asthma attack is an obstruction of your airway that causes wheezing and difficulty of breath. An asthma flare-up can last just a few minutes, while more severe attacks can last hours or days. 
How do I know if I'm having an allergic reaction to dust and dust mites? You can self-diagnose mild cases of a dust mite allergy by identifying those short-lived nasal, sinus, and congestion symptoms. If symptoms persist longer than a few weeks or become more severe, contact your healthcare provider to help formulate an action plan for your unique body and health history.
There are two ways you can learn more about whether you have a dust allergy:
Although there’s no cure for dust allergies yet, there are several approaches and treatment options you can take to relieve your symptoms. For dust and dust mite allergies, pairing preventative measures with medication like a nasal spray or allergy shots could be a viable way of soothing your symptoms.
Let’s start by exploring a few simple preventative steps you can implement at home.
Dust mites are incredibly common in U.S. households, and it can be difficult to rid your home of them for good. Nevertheless, a few thoughtful cleaning habits could reduce the number and spread of these mites.
Here are a few ways you can prevent dust mites from spreading and breeding in your home:
Treating dust and dust mite allergies usually involves medication when symptoms are already present. Fortunately, many medications exist in pharmacies today. Work with your healthcare provider to find the right one for you.
Some of the most common dust allergy treatment medications are:
Dust allergies caused by dust mites affect a large number of people every single day. If you’re experiencing dust allergy symptoms, you’re certainly not alone—but don’t lose hope. If you or someone you know is experiencing dust allergies, there are a number of solutions that can come to your aid. The first step to relief is diagnosing the issue—and we can help.
We’re Everlywell. We set out to design best-in-class allergy tests that you can take in the comfort of your home. Our easy, non-invasive finger-prick test can detect 40 common indoor and outdoor allergens. The results are quick, personalized, and actionable, delivered to your phone in just a few days.
Stop living with frustrating dust allergy symptoms and start living well. Take our Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test today and get back to feeling better.