In The News: New Treatment for Dust Allergies

About 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites. Those annoying little critters collect in the home, especially in mattresses and bedding, because they feed off the skin we shed.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a breakthrough treatment to fight dust allergies.

It's called Odactra.

Dr. James Tarbox, an Allergist and Texas Tech Physician, says, "This is the first one in America for dust mites. So, it is a big deal."

This treatment is not an injection. It's much easier than that. Instead, Dr. Tarbox says this is a prescription you can take in your own home. He explains, "And what you do is you put it under your tongue and it will dissolve every day and after about 8 to 12 weeks, most people will notice a significant improvement in their symptoms."

Dust mite allergies are so common that he says, "20 to 30% of people with allergies are allergic to dust mites." He says it is also good to know that this new treatment has minor, if any side effects. Dr. Tarbox says patients may feel a little itching inside the mouth on the tongue, but nothing serious.

No word yet on when Odactra will be available since it was just FDA approved today on March 2nd.

In the meantime, Dr. Tarbox says you can reduce your reaction to dust by washing your bedding in hot water at least once a week.

And choose pillows that contain synthetics... rather than feathers.... because dust mites love feathers.

We have much more from Dr. Tarbox on preventing allergies. Just watch our special interview here.

Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.