Dust is probably the most common cause of allergic disease in Australia.
Dust allergy is caused by indoor allergens, of which dust mites (microscopic organisms) are the most common cause. Other potential triggers for dust allergy include cockroaches, moulds, pet hair, fur and feathers.
Dust allergy typically causes year-round symptoms that include various combinations of sneezing, itchy and watery eyes and nasal congestion. In addition, dust allergy is also important for many patients with asthma and atopic eczema.
Dust mite faecal particles are often found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture. Patients have their most exposure when sleeping in their beds at night, or when cleaning. Vacuuming rooms stirs these particles which float in the air and cause allergic reactions when inhaled. The warm humid climate of Southeast Queensland is very conducive to dust mites, which flourish year-round.