I. What Is American House Dust Mite (Dermatophagoides Farinae) Allergy Testing?

Dust mites, tiny pests found in bedding, curtains, and carpets in most homes, are an allergen for 40% to 85% of people with asthma and allergies. Symptoms of dust mite allergies include sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion, and coughing. If you have asthma, you may also experience chest pain, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

Dust mite allergy testing can determine if your symptoms are caused by dust mites. The test is performed via a skin prick or blood test.

Why should you get tested

Testing can confirm if you’re allergic to American house dust mites so you can take steps to limit your exposure or consider treatment.

Who should get tested

You may benefit from dust mite allergy testing if you experience year-round, indoor allergies, especially at night when sleeping, or in the early morning.

When to get tested

Your doctor may order allergy testing if a dust mite allergy is suspected.

II. How to Prepare for American Dust Mite Allergy Testing

Preparation for allergy testing depends on the type of test:

  • You may be asked to stop taking certain medications, such as antihistamines, prior to a skin prick test
  • You don’t need any special preparation for an allergy blood test

Your doctor can provide you with more information prior to testing.

III. How an American Dust Mite Allergy Test Works

When you have a dust mite allergy, your immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to fight the allergen. You may also develop allergic symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, and a skin rash.

Your doctor may order allergy testing to see if dust mites are causing your symptoms. There are two types of tests:

  • For a skin prick test, a dermatologist places drops of the allergen on your skin and then pricks your skin gently so the substance is absorbed. You’re then monitored for a reaction, such as a rash or a welt.
  • For an allergy blood test, a sample of your blood is drawn at a lab and sent for analysis. A lab technician adds the dust mite allergen to your blood sample and measures the antibodies that your blood produces, if any. You can also purchase home test kits on some websites that contain instructions and supplies for collecting a blood sample in the privacy of your home. Once it’s collected, you send it to a lab for testing.

IV. Understanding American Dust Mite Allergy Testing Results

Your test results are typically provided as follows:

  • A skin prick test gives results while you’re at the doctor’s office. If you’re sensitive to dust mites, your skin develops a reaction, such as a red bump or welt, within about 20 minutes.
  • A blood test usually has results sent to your doctor within a few days. Your doctor will look at the level of IgE antibodies your blood produced to determine if you’re allergic.
  • A home test kit usually provides results online within a week of the lab receiving your blood sample. You may wish to review the results with a physician.

If you test positive for a dust mite allergy, you can take steps to reduce your exposure. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you can take medication to ease them, or consider immunotherapy treatments.

V. Learn From Our American Dust Mite Allergy Testing Sources

To learn more about dust mite allergies and testing, please visit the websites used to create this guide.