Finding out whether or not I was allergic to dust is something I really should have paid more attention to sooner. I knew there was something causing my eczema, and my sneezing but I never definitively answered the question ‘am I allergic to dust?’ until relatively recently.
I would regularly wake up with my eyes almost completely shut from allergic conjunctivitis, drag myself out of bed not feeling rested at all, before sneezing my way through the whole day and suffering from large patches of visible eczema.
With non-dangerous conditions like these it can be easy to bury your head in the sand, or in my case under the duvet, and just hope it goes away.
This is what I would do, frequently. After a long day and with my sinuses on fire, I would come home and simply sleep it off, unable to function.
Yes, I would feel better for that, but what a ridiculous coping strategy. How on earth was I ever going to conquer my chronic dust allergy by simply sleeping where ironically most of the dust was actually situated?
Testing for Dust Allergy
What I really should have done, knowing that I had some sort of allergy and these annoying symptoms, was to visit a genuine, qualified allergy specialist who would be able to confirm to me, am I allergic to dust, or perhaps some other allergen.
I cannot stress enough the importance of using a genuine allergist to conduct a patch or skin prick test. They will look something like this:
It works by the allergist subjecting you to a small dose of each potential allergen. If there is a reaction, like in the case of this unfortunate chap, then the allergy is confirmed. Luckily for him, he doesn’t have an allergy to sheep’s wool so he can wear his favourite sweater. Owning a cat or dog however, is out of the question.
I cannot stress enough the importance of carrying our a genuine test like this. There are numerous test kits available on the internet, or rogue allergy gurus out there who will attempt to diagnose you through various techniques and sorcery.
Don’t be tempted. Imagine you got an incorrect diagnosis and spent a huge amount of time and money trying to avoid pollen and cats, when in fact it was dust mites that were causing the majority of your symptoms.
Am I allergic to dust?
If any of the symptoms listed above sound like you, then it might be worth taking the allergy test.
Remember, dust mites are present all year round. It can be difficult sometimes to distinguish between an ordinary cold and a dust allergy, given the symptoms are largely the same.
However colds come in short bouts, then you’re back to normal. With dust allergy, it’s an ongoing problem, which gives some indication that this may be the source.
Receiving a confirmation of a definite dust allergy means you can avoid the mistakes I made and get right to work on cleaning up your environment. Looking back, I can’t actually believe the environment I slept in.
I had pillows, rugs, books, CDs, action figures, radios, carpets, boxes. Pretty much anything that could be filed under ‘clutter’ and ‘dusty’ all around my sleeping environment. And yet I did essentially nothing, and just accepted my eczema, such was my ignorance to allergies at that time.
You don’t have to live that way, and you don’t have to put up with your symptoms. All you need to know is whether or not dust mites are the cause, then you can get to work on getting them out of your way.
After all the human race landed on the moon, invented penicillin, circumnavigated the globe and eradicated smallpox. Living in a dust free environment is seriously achievable, all you need to get started is the knowledge that you have the allergy, then you can get started.
So what are you waiting for?