Could Your Sniffling Be A Mold Allergy
Sniffling and sneezingalong with other unpleasant symptomsare your bodys way of signaling that it really, really doesnt like being around a certain substance. If you have a mold allergy, exposure causes your bodys immune system to overreact, producing symptoms like a runny nose and watery, itchy eyes. If you also have asthma, it might even lead to some wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, theres a major complicating factor: You may not even know that this common allergen is the culprit. It can lurk, unseen and hidden. The only way you might realize its around is when you start using up your box of tissues.
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis And Allergic Bronchopulmonary Mycosis
Most patients are initially monitored on an outpatient basis during diagnostic workup. Inpatient care is likely when the patients’ conditions are unresponsive to adequate corticosteroid therapy. Frequent inpatient care is anticipated when patients’ clinical conditions become chronic . A superimposed infection notably compromises the respiratory system. Patients may require frequent, short hospital stays for pulmonary medical care. If the patient has an underlying condition, such as cystic fibrosis , urgent inpatient care may be needed.
Preparing For An Appointment
Many people are diagnosed and treated for allergies by their primary care physicians. However, depending on the severity of your allergies, your primary care doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating allergies.
You can take steps to ensure you cover everything that’s important to you during your appointment. Here’s some information to help you get ready and know what to expect from your doctor.
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Is Allegra Or Claritin More Effective
Allegra and Claritin are both effective at relieving symptoms of allergic rhinitis compared to using no medication at all. However, Claritin has been shown to provide more overall symptom relief compared to Allegra. It has also been shown to provide overall relief faster than Allegra.
According to a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial, Claritin was found to have a 24.5 percent reduction in symptom relief scores compared to a 19 percent reduction with Allegra. The trial compared both drugs in 836 patients randomized to either therapy. Results showed that the active ingredient in Claritin produced a greater level of relief earlier than that of Allegra.In another randomized study, 688 participants with seasonal allergic rhinitis were given either Claritin, Allegra, or placebo. Results found that Allegra produced better relief of eye symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes compared to Claritin. While both drugs relieved nasal symptoms, Allegra was also found to improve the overall quality of life compared to Claritin.
Some reports say that Allegra has less sedative effects than Claritin and other antihistamines. However, one post-marketing study found that there was no significant difference in the level of sedation between Claritin and Allegra. Both drugs were found to be appropriate for workers with jobs that require some level of alertness for safety, such as flight crew.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Mold Allergy
To diagnose an allergy to mold or fungi, the doctor will take a complete medical history. If they suspect a mold allergy, the doctor often will do skin tests or allergen specific IgE blood tests. Extracts of different types of fungi may be used to scratch or prick the skin. If there is no reaction, then you probably dont have an allergy. The doctor uses the patient’s medical history, the skin testing results and the physical exam to diagnose a mold allergy.
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How To Take And Store
Most antihistamines can be taken with or without food.
Second-generation antihistamines are typically taken in the morning. If your doctor prescribes both an antihistamine and a leukotriene modifier for allergic asthma, its common to take the antihistamine in the morning and the leukotriene modifier in the evening.
Storage recommendations vary by drug:
- Both Zyrtec and Xyzal should be stored at room temperature thats ideally 68 to 77 degrees F, with excursions in temperatures ranging from 59 to 86 degrees F.
- Claritin should be stored in a cool, dry place thats ideally between 36 and 77 degrees F. Clarinex should be kept at 77 degrees F, with excursions that can range from from 59 to 86 degrees and should be protected from excessive heat or light.
- Benadryl should be stored at room temperature thats ideally 68 to 77 degrees F.
Options Other Than Drug Treatment For Mold Allergies
Indoor allergies are primarily due to mold and dust mites. Both tend to thrive in areas that are warm and humid. Below are some options for dealing with these indoor allergies.
- Use a dehumidifier: Dehumidifiers bring the humidity down present in your home. Humidity should be at less than 40% in your home. This alone can make a significant improvement on allergy symptoms by decreasing the mold and dust mites present in the home.
- Cover your bedding: Using impermeable mattress covers and other bedding can decrease the dust mite population. Bedding that cannot be covered should be washed weekly in hot water.
- Properly vent high humidity areas of home: Make sure all bathroom vents are working. The kitchen cooking areas is another area where high humidity can exist if not vented properly.
- Know when there are allergy alerts in your areas: There are apps available that can alert you to high mold counts in your area. On these days, limit outdoor time and shower when you are home for the day. This can facilitate waking up in the morning without terrible allergy symptoms.
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Does This Sound Familiar
While allergic reactions to substances like peanuts and bee stings are unmistakable, a mold allergy certainly sounds a lot like just being sick. Mold allergies are not just uncomfortable but deceptive as well. Diagnosing a mold allergy can be challenging because its so easy to mistake it for a cold, the flu, or another upper respiratory infection. What sets a mold allergy apart?
How Much Will My Allergy Medicine Cost
Allergy medications vary in cost. Oral antihistamines are some of the most affordable options: A months worth of generic antihistamines, such as loratadine or cetirizine, cost under $10. Decongestants are also equally affordable.
Nasal steroids are usually the most pricey. The average retail costs for the OTC generic versions of Flonase, Nasacort, and Rhinocort are between $20 and $30. Theres a trick that could save you money on these, but it does require you to speak with your healthcare provider.
The key here is to ask your healthcare provider to send a prescription for your allergy medicine to the pharmacy even though its available OTC. Be sure to contact your pharmacy also and let them know youd like to use a GoodRx coupon to help you save.
When you purchase medications OTC, you dont just pay for the price of the product. Youll also pay an upcharge for both the manufacturer and the retailer, as well as sales tax .
When you fill a medication as a prescription, some of the extra charges arent applied, so the cost of the medication can go down. Add a GoodRx coupon, and the price will drop even further. Flonase, for instance, can go from $27 to $13 by doing this which is over 50% in savings!
The table below lists some common allergy medicines and their approximate cost if your provider writes a prescription for it and you use GoodRx:
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Risks And Side Effects
While most of the supplements and tips described above can provide natural allergy relief safely, there are some precautions to keep in mind.
When allergies are mild or moderate, they are usually not very threatening and go away with time. However, severe allergic reactions can be dangerous and require medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is the term for a severe allergic reaction, which can happen due to contact with food allergens, drugs/medications or insect stings. Symptoms usually affect the lungs, blood vessels or heart and can include:
- trouble breathing
If you or your child experience these symptoms, head to your doctor or the emergency room right away to prevent complications.
What can you do for severe allergies? Your doctor may need to prescribe allergy shots or prescription asthma medications, such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.
Discuss these options with your health care provider, and consider trying the natural allergy relief remedies described above in addition to using medications.
Avoidance And Environmental Control
- Keep windows closed during mold season especially on windy, humid days
- Avoid raking, cutting grass, playing in leaves and remove rotting material from around the home – Keep indoor humidity low with dehumidifier or use of air conditioner if possible
- Avoid damp basements and clean damp areas weekly with 1 part bleach 10 parts hot water
- Limit the number of plants in the home
- Clean air conditioners and dehumidifiers as directed by the manufacture to prevent mold
- Repair indoor water leaks and remove moldy or musty smelling objects
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What You Can Do In The Meantime
While you’re waiting to see your doctor, there are numerous over-the-counter allergy medications that may ease your symptoms.
If you have visible mold in your home, it will help to have someone who’s not allergic to mold clean the area using a solution of 1 ounce of bleach to 1 quart of water or a commercially available mold-cleaning product. If you have to clean up the mold yourself, be sure to wear long rubber gloves, safety goggles and a mask to limit your exposure to the mold.
Medicines That Help With Mold Allergies
Antihistamines. These over-the-counter medicines help with itching skin and itching, runny, and sneezing noses. They block histamines, an inflammatory compound released by the body during an allergic reaction. They include loratadine , fexofenadine and cetirizine . Nasal Sprays are available with a physicianâs prescription.
Oral Decongestants. There are many OTC oral decongestants including Sudafed, Mucinex, and many others. These can cause hypertension in certain people. You should consult a physician to be sure they wonât cause hypertension in you.
Nasal Corticosteroids. These nasal sprays help treat and prevent inflammation located in the upper respiratory system. For many casual but severe sufferers of allergies, these nasal sprays are the most effective treatment of symptoms caused by allergies. These include mometasone , budesonide , fluticasone . They are generally safe for long-term use.
Mast Cell Stabilizers. These prevent your body from producing histamines. They are available in eye drops and nose sprays.
Topical Corticosteroid ointments. Prescription-strength may be needed for severe rashes but for most cases of an allergic reaction on the skin, antihistamines and a topical corticosteroid will clear it up.
Immunotherapy. The two types of immunotherapy used are Allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy .
While both immunotherapies are relatively safe to use, they should both be done by a professional allergist or physicianâs office.
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The Best Treatment For Mold Allergies: Prevention
But experts agree that mold allergy sufferers are better off avoiding mold in the first place.
That means steering clear of places where mold is likely to lurk: decomposing vegetation as well as antiques shops, flower shops, farms, summer cottages, greenhouses, saunas, and anyplace else where warm, damp conditions prevail.
Most important, it means taking steps to ensure that your home — where the average American spends 90% of the time — is a mold-free zone.
Does that mean youâll have to give up the Stilton? Probably not. âCheeses and other moldy foods can bother some people with mold allergies, but generally this isnât a problem,â says James L. Sublett, MD, chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Ky., and vice-chairman of the indoor environments committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Here are some other six strategies that can make a big difference in containing mold.
Is Benadryl Or Claritin More Effective
While Benadryl and Claritin are similarly effective for treating allergy symptoms, Claritin has less sedating side effects. Claritin is often preferred over Benadryl for this reason.
According to guidelines developed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians , second-generation antihistamines are recommended to treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as sneezing and itching.
Other guidelines from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggest using a nasal steroid such as Flonase or Nasacort for allergic rhinitis before adding the use of an oral antihistamine.
Research from a literature review found that newer antihistamines such as loratadine are safer than first-generation antihistamines. The study also compared other second-generation antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Allegra . The study found that cetirizine or fexofenadine may be more effective than loratadine.
Choosing an antihistamine depends on your overall condition. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to determine which treatment option may best for you.
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Guidelines For Use Of Claritin For Dogs
Before we talk about dosages of Claritin for dogs, it is essential to take into account the following considerations:
- Never give your dog Claritine without the approval of your veterinarian. Always follow their dosage instructions and alert your vet of any other medical conditions or medications. Pregnant bitches and dogs with liver and kidney disease cannot ingest Claritin.
- Do not give your dog Claritine-D. It contains pseudoephedrine , which is highly toxic in dogs.
- Only use normal Claritine or Claritin Junior in tablet form and make sure to give the tablet to your dog without crushing it.
- Medicines can only control the symptoms, not cure the allergies.
When talking about dosage and medical advice, ALWAYS speak with your vet, no matter what you see on the internet, because your veterinarian will advise you depending on your pets needs and circumstances.
These are just dosage guidelines, according to Valley Vet Hospital: Claritin : 5 mg daily if less than 15 lbs 10 mg daily if 15-39 lbs 10 mg twice daily if over 40 lbs.
Even though Claritin is not yet FDA approved for animals, Claritin for dogs can be beneficial in certain situations like allergies . If you do not want to give your dog Claritin, there are other natural alternatives and drugs such as Benadryl and Zynterc. Speak with your veterinarian first.
Do Air Purifiers Help With Pet Allergies
Pet dander includes more than just fur its also animal skin and saliva. These particles are small and lightweight measuring just 2.5 microns, meaning they can remain in the air for some time. Because its so light, pet dander can also easily move around the home should it fall on clothing, furniture or floors.
Its possible to remove the particles that trigger allergies caused by pets using an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency , HEPA filters can theoretically remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns, so they should safely take care of pet dander floating in the air.
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Reduce Mold To Breathe Better
Because mold needs moisture to grow, its often found in piles of leaves, in grasses, and on logs. Inside, it can grow wherever theres moisture and poor ventilation. Heres how to protect yourself, indoors and out:
Use a dehumidifier. Lowering the humidity inside your home to under 45 percent or even under 35 percent will help you fight mold growth, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. If you live in a larger house, consider placing the dehumidifier in your basement, which is a cooler, moister area in the home where mold grows easily. Cohn recommends setting one up so that it drains automatically without your having to empty the reservoir, which is easy to forget to do, and can actually create more mold growth. To do so, attach a hose to the unit and allow it to empty into a water-collecting sump pump drain.
Focus on air flow. Use a clean exhaust fan in your bathroom when you shower and in your kitchen when you cook or wash dishes. Keep the inner doors of your house open to help air flow and to stem mold growth.
Fix leaks. Anywhere theres leaking water, mold may be present. Check for leaks in your basement, bathtubs, and laundry room, by all faucets, and on your roof.
Position drains away from the house. Moving rainwater away from your house will help keep the structure dry and mold-free.
What To Expect From Your Doctor
To determine whether allergies or other possible causes are responsible for your symptoms, your doctor may ask you a number of questions, such as:
- Exactly what are your symptoms?
- What seems to trigger symptoms or make them worse?
- Are your symptoms worse during certain times of the year or certain times of the day?
- Do your symptoms flare up when you’re in certain locations, such as outdoors or in your basement?
- What medications do you take, including herbal remedies?
- What other health problems do you have?
- Do other members of your family have allergies? What kinds?
- Are you exposed to mold, dust, fumes or chemicals at work?
- Do you know if you have mold in your home?
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Best Places To Live With Mold Allergies
Since there are so many types of mold and other allergens, it is virtually impossible to name one place as a safe haven for all types of allergy victims. Still, there are things to consider. There are perimeters when selecting a place to move to for people suffering from mold allergies, but unfortunately, there is no true, universal answer. Allergy sufferers should always check the mold and pollen count of each season for at least a year, if possible, in any area before moving. They may be making their life mush worse by coming into contact with a previously undiagnosed allergen for You.