Respiratory ailments: Blame it on dust mites

Bengaluru: Are you suffering from respiratory allergies? House dust mites could be the reason. An allergen profiling done by a city based lab has revealed that these mites were the biggest reason for respiratory allergies.

Bengaluru-based Neuberg Anand Diagnostics Labs had examined the findings of allergy tests done for 318 patients during January-December 2017 and found that 75% of them were allergic to house dust mites.

“We do not have data on asymptomatic patients and these are people who have come to the lab on the suspicion of respiratory allergy. For them we conducted the Line assay test, one of the most common allergy tests. It revealed that dust mites are much more common than other respiratory allergens," said Dr Samarat Bordoloi, Consultant Pathologist, In-charge of division of Immunopathology, Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory, Bengaluru. The centre conducts close to 15-20 respiratory tests a week.

Dr Gayathri Pandit, Consultant ENT surgeon and Allergy Specialist, Samarth ENT and Allergy Centre, Bengaluru added, "House dust mites are often called asthamogenic allergen. It is major allergen for combined upper and lower respiratory allergy. It is also a common first allergen sensitivity to be seen in children.”

She pointed out that out of the skin prick allergy test they carried out, nearly 75-80% were house dust mite allergy. “House dust mite remains the main respiratory allergen contributing to nearly 75% of sensitivity. The remaining 20% respiratory illness is from pollens of which Parthenium, Amaranthus spinosum, Prosopis Julifera, Ricinus Communis and castor oil plant," she said.

The other prominent allergens include cockroach allergens (8%), cultivated rye (7%) and sunflower pollen (6%).
The other prominent allergens include – cockroach allergens (8%), cultivated rye (7%) and sunflower pollen (6%). The other allergens identified included animal associated allergens – dog hair, cat dander, chicken feathers and plant associated allergens – eucalyptus, ragweed, timothy grass and trichophyton, she said.

However two factors need to be considered before drawing further conclusion. Urging patients to pick up signs, Dr Samrat said, "Since the symptoms are almost similar what patients can do is pick the signs of when and where do they feel the allergic reaction. If it is indoors and especially when there is cleaning up and dusting, it can be associated to dust mites."

For effective patient management Dr Gayathri called for a patient-centric partnership between clinical specialists and diagnostic laboratories with constructive counselling efforts.

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