Allergy To Mold 8 Signs To Look For
When we think of allergies, pets and pollen are what usuallycome to mind.
But did you know that mold is a major allergen?
Yes, you could be allergic to mold!
Allergies cause our immune system to exhibit symptoms suchas sneezing, wheezing, itching, and crying. These symptoms can affect our breathing,confidence, alertness, and quality of sleep.
If were lucky, were only bothered for a short period oftime during the year. Those who arentlucky might experience allergy symptoms year-round.
Mold allergy can be both a seasonal and year-round problem so its important to know the signs. In this article, Ill share my experience with mold allergy and the 8 signs youre allergic to mold.
What Are The Different Types Of Mold Allergy
While there are many different types of molds, only few dozen can cause allergic reactions like alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium. These allergy-triggering molds can be found outdoors as well as indoors. These molds can grow on,
- Rotten logs
Outdoor mold allergy may be experienced in summer and fall
Indoor mold allergy, on the other hand, can be experienced year-round.
Symptoms Of Snow Mold Allergies
If you are allergic to mold, you will notice seasonal allergies that return just about every spring. Some years may be worse than others, depending on the temperature and weather. If youre experiencing a chilly and wet spring, be prepared to gear up because snow mold is likely going to make an appearance. Some symptoms you can expect from snow mold allergies include: 4
- Watery eyes
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How Do I Manage Seasonal Allergies
There are steps you can take to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Avoiding the allergy trigger is first and foremost. Stay indoors when pollen counts are at their peak, especially on dry, windy days. This usually occurs during the early morning and evening hours. Close windows and run the air conditioner.
If you have to go outside, wear sunglasses and consider a dust mask. When driving, keep the windows rolled up and the AC running. Back indoors, change out of the clothing you wore, and shower to rinse away pollen from your skin and hair. Using a high-efficiency particulate air filter indoors can help keep the air clean.
Over-the-counter medications can help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. Antihistamines will help reduce sneezing, itching, watery eyes and runny nose. Popular choices include Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra and Alavert. Decongestants such as Sudafed and nasal sprays like Afrin help with nasal congestion.
Irrigating the nasal passages with a Neti pot or similar rinse can also prove beneficial. If medical treatment is ineffective, talk to your doctor about alternative options such as immunotherapy .
How Is Mold Allergy Diagnosed
To diagnose an allergy to mold, your healthcare provider will take a complete medical history and examine you. To diagnose most types of allergies, including mold, your provider will probably do a skin and/or blood test.
The skin test involves scratching your skin with needles that have mold extracts on them. If youre allergic to the molds, youll probably have some type of reaction, like itching or redness or swelling.
Blood tests can provide allergy screening or an allergen-specific IgE antibody test. This can help to diagnose an allergy or to see if treatment is working.
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Are There Different Types Of Mold Allergies
You can be allergic to molds in the air, and you can be allergic to molds in foods. Some food allergies related to mold include mushrooms, certain types of cheese, fermented foods, some wines and food products that contain vinegar.
There are also many different types of mold that can cause allergies. Some common ones include _Alternaria, Aspergillus, _Cladosporium and Penicillium. There are also toxic molds that can cause very serious illnesses. An example of a toxic mold is Stachybotrys, which is known as black mold. In addition to allergies, aspergillus can cause infections known as aspergillosis.
How To Treat Mold Allergies Using Borax
Basically, borax can efficiently combat the harmful agent causing mold allergies. Borax is a natural cleaning property composed of minerals, which can remove the mold spores and inhibit further development as well. For treating mold allergies with borax, you simply coat infested areas evenly by using borax powder. To remove mold spores, you repeat this way every other day for one week. Another way is to dissolve borax powder in hot water . Then, spray the solution onto surfaces of wood to prevent an infestation. Remember to wear rubber gloves and goggles when using borax.
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What To Do When You Find Mold
If you find mold on a glass, plastic or tile surface, clean it using a bleach solution or soap and water. In addition, you should figure out what the source of the mold is so you can eliminate it and prevent future growth. For more information about preventing mold allergy symptoms or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call ENT of Georgia today.
What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Mold Allergy
These are number of factors that can lead to a development or aggravation of mold allergy symptoms
- Having a family history of allergies
- Working in an environment where you are exposed to mold
- Living in a house with high humidity
- Working or living in a building thats been exposed to high moisture
- Living in a house with poor ventilation
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How To Prevent And Treat Mold Allergies
Mold can be present in almost any place that is warm, damp and humid.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in filaments and reproduces via spores. These spores are present in the air and they eventually make their way to your nose. This triggers an allergic reaction that can cause symptoms like sneezing, itching, a runny nose, eye irritation, a cough, congestion, post-nasal drip and asthma.
In fact, prolonged exposure can lead to immune suppression and progressive lung conditions.
Mild mold allergy symptoms are generally not life-threatening, however they can affect your comfortable daily life. The symptoms vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. Some may have year-round symptoms or symptoms that flare up only during certain times of the year, such as the rainy season.
The problem with mold allergy symptoms is that people often initially mistake them for a cold or sinus infection, since the symptoms can mirror each other.
Certain factors increase the risk of suffering from a mold allergy, including a family history of allergies, a weak immune system, living in a house with high humidity or poor ventilation, and living or working in a mold-infested building.
With the help of lifestyle changes as well as natural remedies, supplements and cleanses, you can effectively eliminate the debilitating symptoms. However, you also need to take steps to solve the mold problem to prevent future allergy outbreaks.
The Right Doctor Can Help
To determine whether you have an allergy to mold, you should make an appointment with an allergist, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic conditions. He or she will probably use a skin-prick or blood test to determine whether you have an allergy to mold and to pinpoint which fungi are triggering your symptoms.
Note, however, that some evidence suggests that mold allergies are overdiagnosed. Clinicians may have a tendency to overestimate the likelihood of fungal allergy, noted one review published in 2016. The best way to ensure that a diagnosis is correct, research suggests, is to get an allergy test only if you are already experiencing unexplained symptoms asymptomatic people should not be tested for a mold allergy.
Some experts suggest that you might want to consider taking an allergy medication ahead of time if youre going to be exposed to potential sources of mold, such as a compost pile in the backyard.
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What Is Mold Allergy
An allergy is an abnormal reaction by your immune system to common substances that dont affect most people. Molds are a type of fungus that exists almost everywhere in the world. The molds that grow inside our houses prefer dark and damp places and can be harmful to some people with immune systems that develop responses against mold.
People with mold allergies may develop itchy skin or rash, watery or itchy eyes, runny or itchy noses or in more severe cases, breathing problems.
There are probably thousands of different types of molds. Its possible to be allergic to only certain types of mold.
Ways To Deal With Mold Quickly To Avoid Allergies
Are you worried you may have mold growing in or around your home? Maybe youve detected a musty odor, found discolored patches on your walls, or noticed brown or green gunk collecting in the corners of your shower.
Its important to address mold as quickly as possible to protect your health and home, especially if you suffer from allergies. Keep reading to learn how to quickly and effectively address household mold to avoid the dangers of mold allergies.
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What Is Snow Mold
Contrary to its name, the snow itself does not actually mold. Mold is often found when snow melts in the springtime and leaves a wet debris on decaying organic matter like leaves and grassthe damp and cool environment makes it ideal for fungus to breed.1
One of the easiest identifying features of snow mold is its cobweb-like appearance. In some cases, it also appears as round patches of dead grass that are white or bronze-pink in colour. Generally, snow mold disappears when the warmer weather arrives, and ground temperatures reach 20oC.2
Snow mold, along with other fungi that grow in a thawing, damp environment, often produce spores that are likely to kick up allergies symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, and congestion are some common symptoms.3
What Steps Can One Take For Mold Allergy Prevention
There is no mold allergy cure. The best way to stay allergy free is by avoiding mold spores. Although it is difficult to outrun mold, you can stick to the following home remedies to prevent your exposure to them
- Eliminate sources of dampness around you, especially in the basement
- Use a dehumidifier. Mold thrives in humidity, so it is best to keep the humidity levels below 50% at home
- Use an air conditioner, preferably one with a high efficiency particulate air filter attachment
- Change filters on your furnace and air conditioner regularly
- Ensure proper ventilation in all the bathrooms
- Dont carpet bathrooms and basements
- Keep organic plant containers clean and dry
- Toss or recycle old newspapers and books
When you are venturing outside, ensure your follow the following steps to avoid mold
- Avoid going through places that can have high mold counts, such as a pile of dead leaves, damp areas, greenhouses and uncut fields among others
- Wear a dust mask when youre out on a trek or going backpacking in the jungle
- Keep your backyard and surroundings clean and dry as they are breeding grounds for mold
- Avoid going out at night, especially during rainy season
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How Can I Prevent Mold Allergy
While you cant prevent mold allergy from happening, you can take steps to prevent and remove mold.
To keep mold out of your house, you need to control moisture. Take steps to keep the humidity in your house low. Make sure your house is properly ventilated. Repair any water leaks immediately.
If you have mold, you need to clean it up. You can use the appropriate household cleaners or a bleach and water solution of 1 cup bleach and 1 gallon of water. If you do your own mold cleaning, its best to wear protective clothing, including gloves and a respirator.
Some mold problems require professional help. These include situations that involve water dirtied by sewage or other contaminants. If you have severe reactions to mold, you shouldnt do your own cleaning. Its best to have someone else do the cleaning in this case.
You should throw away any carpets, rugs or other textiles that got wet and werent dried right away. Other absorbent items, such as ceiling tiles, also cant be completely cleaned of mold.
Mold isnt just an indoor problem. Outdoor mold can also present problems. If mold counts are high, it might be best to stay indoors. Try to keep your yard free of piles of damp and decaying leaves or wood. Check your local mold counts to determine if air quality is safe.
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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Address Leaks Flooding And Water Damage Right Away
Dealing with excess water or humidity is extremely important to protect your home and family from mold. Keeping your home dry and free of water damage is always the goal, but theres only so much you can do and accidents will eventually happen.
After the basement or other area of your home floods, thoroughly dry and clean the space as quickly as possible. Regularly check your roofs, pipes, windows, or gutters and fix any leaks as soon as you notice them. If your home regularly has problems with flooding or leaks, its a good idea to have the problem areas inspected by a professional to address the issue before a chronic mold problem develops.
Tips To Controlling Mold
Avoidance is the first step to treating allergies. When avoidance and medications do not control your allergy symptoms, then immunotherapy is typically recommended for pollen and mold allergies. Controlling mold in your environment is crucial whether you are allergic to mold or not. The key is to control moisture levels. Here are a few tips to help prevent mold growth in and around your home:
Mold typically grows in hot and humid environments. It is important to properly ventilate your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room to control the humidity levels. Simple activities such as boiling water, washing clothes, and taking showers can add moisture to the air. If these areas are not ventilated properly to the outside, moisture can build up and encourage mold growth. Instead of opening a window, use an exhaust fan to vent the area, as open windows may let in pollen from the outside.
Using a HEPA filter in your HVAC or air cleaner can help catch mold spores and improve your indoor air quality. If the air is too humid, use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels. Dehumidifiers should be drained and cleaned regularly.
Monitor your humidity levels
Fix leaks and Damp Areas
Rake Leaves, Drain Water away from Home, and Clean Gutters
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How To Deal With Mold In Your Home
If you are subjected to big amounts of mold and mildew or mold, you need to take steps to obtain eliminate the source of mold. Some kinds of mold produce mycotoxins and the signs and symptoms of this is far more serious compared to a mold allergy. Black mold, for example, results from hefty water damages, such as in a flooding. You can usually smell the mold in a house when you initially enter it, but for those living there they are so used to it that they dont identify it as the cause of their mold allergic reaction.
Moisture and warmth are the two conditions under which mold spores grow at a rapid rate. Despite the fact that you may take extra care with cleansing, if a few of the water seeps into fractures as well as crevices, mold can expand in very tiny areas and this could be the cause of your mold allergies. Just because you cannot see the mold or mildew does not indicate that it isnt really there. Sometimes, you could scent it before you see it and it is them you understand that what you believed was sinus problems could be a mold allergic reaction rather.
What Causes Mold Allergy
Molds produce spores. Allergies happen when your immune system is very sensitive to outside substances, such as mold spores. Your body produces antibodies against the mold spores. As youre repeatedly exposed to the mold spores over time, your body sees the mold spores as something to be destroyed and your immune system creates bigger reactions to protect you.
Its also possible to allergic to fungi in food, like mushrooms or fermented foods. This type of allergy generally causes local symptoms in the mouth and can cause rashes or even affect breathing.
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Contact A Mold Removal Specialist In Yarmouth Ma
When you have prevented mold from growing, contact a mold removal specialist like Mold Doctors in West Yarmouth, Barnstable, Dennis, Hyannis, Osterville, MA to remove any mold in your home. There is no need to test if the mold is safe to people because there is no type of mold that is safe for people to breathe in. Thus, contact a mold removal expert like Mold Doctors to clean and get rid of any mold in your home. These specialists have the knowledge and equipment to removal mold completely. Call 508-534-9091 to get a free estimate.