House dust allergy test
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Various methods can be used to test for a house dust mite allergy. Before a test, the doctor first goes through the observed symptoms with the patient. A thorough medical history is the basis for every subsequent test. A general distinction is made between blood tests , skin tests and provocation tests .
In the blood test, just a few drops of blood are enough to test them for antibodies against individual allergens (specific IgE ). If, for example, such antibodies against allergens of the house dust mite are found in the blood to a high degree, then this indicates a house dust allergy. A house dust allergy is not yet fully proven. Rather, the results must be confirmed with the medical history, the observed symptoms and possibly another test.
The prick test is used most often, also when testing for a mite allergy. The patient receives various test solutions with potential allergens, including mite allergens, on the forearm. The area with the test solution is then pierced very briefly with a fine lancet so that the solution can penetrate the skin. After about 15 to 20 minutes, a reaction is now checked. If a skin reaction, such as a wheal or reddening or the like, shows up at the corresponding point, then this speaks for an allergy. Again, the pure test result is only of limited significance. Only with a complete medical history and possibly a further blood test / provocation test can a house dust mite allergy be assumed.
The provocation test is usually not the first test to be carried out because it also carries most of the risks of the allergy tests presented here. In the provocation test, the patient comes into direct contact with the allergen. In the case of a suspected house dust mite allergy, a house dust mite allergen extract would be brought into contact with the mucous membrane, for example via the nose. The dose of the extract is gradually increased until a reaction, i.e. the typical house dust allergy symptoms , appears. Before this step, the doctor would first use a harmless saline solution to test whether the mucous membrane is generally hypersensitive. If it is not, but there is a reaction with the house dust mite allergen extract, then there is a lot to be said for a corresponding allergy.
Prevention is often enough in the case of a mite allergy. Although mites cannot be completely banished from the house, some measures can greatly reduce their number. With special protective covers ( encasing ) for mattresses, pillows, duvets and the like, you remove part of the food source from the mites, and the mite droppings remain enclosed. In addition, pillows, blankets and covers should be washed regularly.