Allergy to dust mites is by far the most common allergy in Western countries. It affects one in three people and is constantly increasing, mainly because of the Western lifestyle that favors indoor living. Now there is a new possibility to treat it: Allergen Specific Immunotherapy (AIT). We talked about this new therapeutic perspective with Prof. Giorgio Walter Canonica, Past President of SIAAIC and head of the Centre for Personalized Medicine Asthma and Allergology Humanitas.
A seasonal-free allergy
Unlike pollens, which can be felt only at specific times of the year and are connected to being outdoors, allergy to dust mites is instead a disease that is present, in those who suffer, at all times of the year and that develops especially indoors. Dust mites are also the main risk factor for the development of allergic asthma. The arrival of Allergen Specific Immunotherapy (AIT), a new therapeutic perspective that can act on the causes of allergy and not only on symptoms, is an important option for both patients and for various specialists, including allergists, pulmonologists and rhinologists, who deal with asthma and rhinitis. “The problem of dust mites – points out Prof. Canonica – concerns one in three people and is constantly increasing, mainly because of the Western lifestyle that favors living indoors, with windows and doors sealed, where the reduced air exchange creates ideal conditions for the proliferation of mites”.
The demoscopy research promoted by HOME
Allergic asthma is diagnosed before rhinitis. According to the demoscopic survey carried out by Doxapharma and promoted by Housedust Mite Observatory for Management of Evidence-based immunotherapy (HOME), it has been shown that patients allergic to dust mites are predominantly polysensitive (mostly also sensitized to pollens), polysymptomatic, that is, with evidence of symptoms also because of pollens, often annoying, poorly controlled, such as to make them consider allergy a disease that significantly impacts on daily life. The HOME Observatory analyzed the responses of 206 patients with dust mite allergy.
The new drug available against mite allergy
The new Allergen Specific Immunotherapy (AIT) for dust mite allergy in orodispersible sublingual tablets is already a reality in Italy. It is a drug validated by the Marketing Authorization (AIC) in various European countries, following studies that involved thousands of patients. These studies have allowed the approval of a dual indication: adolescents and adults (12-65 years) with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis and adults (18-65 years) with allergic asthma not well controlled, associated with rhinitis of any severity. In both cases, this is an important novelty that will allow allergologists, pulmonologists and rhinologists to promote a new and effective collaboration between the different specialists and to guarantee patients a new and effective treatment solution.