Q:

6/23/2014
Do you think people who are labeled as "hoarders" usually suffer from dust allergy? For instance, my wife complains about my clutter, but I have severe dust allergy and get actually pretty sick when I go through old papers and things. I see nothing on the topic of "dust allergy and hoarders" on pubmed (except stupid statements such as hoarders have very dusty homes which bothers people). Does this sound like useful research?

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

I agree with you that there is nothing in the literature on the topic of hoarding and dust mite allergy. At least I am unaware of any such study and was not able to find one on a literature search. However, it is clear that the greater the dust mite load, the greater the symptoms in allergic individuals, and diminishing dust mite exposure is clearly an effective means to improve symptoms. It is intuitive that hoarding may create a more hospitable environment for dust mite residence and growth, but I am not aware of any data on the subject.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

References:
1. Custovic A, Taggart SC, Francis HC, Chapman MD, Woodcock A Exposure to house dust mite allergens and the clinical activity of asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1996 Jul; 98(1):64-72.

2. Htut T, Higenbottam TW, Gill GW, Darwin R, Anderson PB, Syed N. Eradication of house dust mite from homes of atopic asthmatic subjects: a double-blind trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Jan; 107(1):55-60.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology