House-dust-mite allergen is one of the primary causes of asthma. In many instances, asthma is an immunoglobulin gamma E mediated atopy (i.e., allergen-specific hypersensitivity) that leads to non-specific bronchial hyper-reactivity and subsequent symptom manifestations. These symptoms may range from an annoying cough to full-blown respiratory failure. Allergen-avoidance measures should be a primary mode of treatment for atopic asthmatics. This article focuses on the dust-mite allergen and its relationship to asthma. It details specific avoidance measures that should be implemented by the majority of asthmatics. Studies are cited that support the aggressive use of these measures to decrease allergen exposure, and to subsequently prevent or significantly reduce asthma symptoms. When health care providers have a better understanding of avoidance measures and the rationale underlying their use, these measures are more likely to be valued and given greater emphasis in education and treatment plans. Renewed emphasis on an immunomodulatory approach to asthma treatment may help to reverse the rise in asthma morbidity and mortality rates.
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