, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 465-477
Date: 26 Jul 2012

Time for New Methods for Avoidance of House Dust Mite and Other Allergens

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Abstract

Asthma is a common disease in which environmental exposures and lifestyle factors play critical roles in expression and symptoms. Recommended methods for reducing exposure to domestic allergens as a component of asthma and rhinitis management have changed little over the last 30 years. The data that implementation of these provides clinical benefit are inconsistent. We contend that current methods are ineffective at reducing chronic personal exposure. More effective strategies can be developed based on understanding when people are exposed, the sources of this exposure and the activities associated with this exposure. Developing new methods should be founded on understanding the aerodynamic behavior of particles, their aerosolization, removal from surfaces, and the complex relationships between exposures and clinical outcomes. It will also require developing better proxy measures of chronic exposure, identifying markers for the sub-set of people who benefit, and integrating this with strategies addressing other domestic exposures and lifestyle factors.