When To See A Doctor
Its a good idea to see a doctor if youre not sure if your rash is caused by mold or something else. The doctor can order an allergy test that can either confirm your allergy or help you find the cause of your rash.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the following situations warrant a visit to a dermatologist or primary care doctor:
- the rash covers your entire body
- you have a fever
How Can I Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Mold
There is no cure for allergies. But you can reduce your allergy symptoms by avoiding contact with the mold spores. Several measures will help:
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Outside
- Limit your outdoor activities when mold counts are high. This will lessen the amount of mold spores you inhale and your symptoms.
- Wear a dust mask when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials.
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Inside
- Use central air conditioning with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter attachment. This can help trap mold spores from your entire home. Freestanding air cleaners only filter air in a limited area. Avoid devices that treat air with heat, electrostatic ions or ozone.
- Lower your indoor humidity. No air cleaners will help if excess moisture remains. If indoor humidity is above 50%, fungi will thrive. A hygrometer is a tool used to measure humidity. The goal is to keep humidity below 45%, but below 35% is better. If you have to use a humidifier, clean the fluid reservoir at least twice a week to prevent mold growth. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can also be a source of mold.
- Prevent mold and mildew build up inside the home. Pay close attention to mold in bathrooms, basements and laundry areas. Be aggressive about reducing dampness.
To Reduce Mold in Your Bathrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Kitchen:
To Reduce Mold in Your Laundry Area:
To Reduce Mold in Your Bedrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Basement:
I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family
There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.
Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.
There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Mold Toxicity
Mold toxicity is characterized by a variety of signs and symptoms, which is why it so easily often goes under the radar. In fact, people are often diagnosed for a lifetime with conditions that are actually a byproduct from toxic mold exposure. In clinical practice, Ive worked with countless patients to address the root cause, only to magically see their other pesky conditions, from SIBO to autoimmunity, hypothyroidism, stubborn body fat, IBS, anxiety and migraine headaches, also go into remission. Mold simply makes everything way worse.
Common signs and symptoms of mold toxicity include:
Find The Right Treatment Plan
For starters, a number of medications can help you get some relief. Options include:
- Antihistamines: Histamine is the chemical in your body that causes those undesirable symptoms. Antihistamines are available in numerous different forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids, syrups, creams, lotions, gels, eyedrops, and nasal sprays. They block the effect of histamine, so you can avoid all of that sniffling and scratching.
- Nasal steroids: A steroid nasal spray delivers relief right to the source to ease your nasal congestion and reduce inflammation in your sinus passages.
- Allergy shots: If your symptoms are really severe, you might want to opt for a series of allergy shots . Take note that theyre only used for certain types of mold allergies.
Not sure what you need? We can help point you toward a personal, allergist-picked Pack. Simply tell us about the symptoms and seasons that bother you most, along with a little about your experience, and we’ll get you the personalized Allergy Pack and ongoing care you need to achieve peak relief.
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
Symptoms Of Mold Allergies In The House
Mold allergic reactions can be hard to outrun. The fungus can grow in your basement, in your restroom, in the cabinet under your sink where a leak went unnoticed, in the pile of dead leaves in your yard and in the field of uncut lawn down the roadway.
There are approximately 1,000 types of mold in the United States many of which arent noticeable to the naked eye. As small mold spores become air-borne, they can cause allergic reactions in individuals who have MA reactions.
Mold Toxicity Is Also An Issue And It Is Considered A Chronic Inflammatory Response
An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and Mycobacterium serve as inflammogens! Inflammogens keep your body in a state of inflammation.
Eczema Or Dry Scaly Skin
I grew up with eczema but never knew there was a connectionto allergy. I tried every cream and moisturizer available, but nothing seemedto work.
Sure enough, after treating my allergies, my skin clearedup. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. If its showing signs ofirritation then try to figure out the reason.
A mold allergy could definitely exacerbate skin that isprone to dryness and eczema.
A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
How To Test For Mold Allergies
These clues can all help, but ultimately theres only one way to know for certain if you have a mold allergy: Visit a healthcare provider for the appropriate tests. The Mayo Clinic explains that one of two tests will be performed:
- Skin prick test: A small, diluted amount of your suspected allergen will be injected into your skin. If you develop a hive at that location, youre allergic to that substance.
- Blood test: This measures your immune systems response to mold by looking for specific antibodies in your bloodstream.
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.
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.
Coughing And Shortness Of Breath
The irritation and inflammation caused by mold often lead to frequent coughing that is otherwise unexplained.
The throat and lungs are irritated continuously when repeatedly exposed to mycotoxins. If the issue isnt addressed, this coughing can develop into more severe conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
The same inflammation that causes irritated, constricted airways that lead to wheezing and coughing can eventually lead to shortness of breath.
This gives a feeling of tightness in the chest. It may feel like you are unable to take in a full breath.
Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
Diagnosing mold illness can be tricky since its symptoms mimic that of any traditional allergies. If you look at each mold illness symptom, it does not distinctly point to mold allergy. But mold sickness comes with the following symptoms:
- Memory problems and difficulty with focus
- Sensitivity to light, blurred vision or red eyes
- Muscle aches, cramping, joint pain, ice pick pain
- Persistent nerve pain
- Sinus problems, shortness of breath, air hunger, asthma-like symptoms
- Night sweats or difficulty in regulating temperature
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or appetite changes
Do You Have An Allergy To Mold
Mold allergies arent as easy to diagnose as other allergies, says Dr. Pacheco.
Skin prick testing, which is commonly used to identify allergies, is an option. During these tests, a drop of diluted allergens is applied to the skin. Your doctor will then gently scratch or prick the allergen into your skin.
Youll be closely observed to see if you react and develop raised, red, itchy bumps in the area where the allergen was applied.
Unfortunately, Dr. Pacheco says, this type of testing is not necessarily a slam dunk when it comes to mold.
The testing extracts are made from mycelium in mold, but what you are actually exposed to are spores in the air, she says. This is like comparing apples to oranges.
Results from blood tests that measure immunoglobulin E antibodies offer another clue as to whats causing your allergy symptoms, says Stephen I. Wasserman, MD, an allergist and immunologist in La Jolla, California, and a spokesperson for the AAAAI. If you are allergic to something, your immune system overreacts to it by producing these antibodies.
But this doesnt provide a definitive diagnosis either.
Testing can help confirm or deny a mold allergy, but in and of itself, its not a diagnosis, Dr. Wasserman says. There has to be a logical link between symptoms and exposure to something.
If its fall and there are leaves on the ground and you can see and smell mold, thats a logical link, he says.
Allergy Medicine For Mold
Decongestant and Antihistamines will likely be given as mold allergy medication to control the symptoms. In case of allergic rhinitis, you may also be given nasal corticosteroids, Montelukast, or decongestant nasal sprays. Other treatments may include nasal lavage, which involves rinsing your nose with salt water every day, and immunotherapy.
How Are Mold Allergies Diagnosed
Your allergist will review your medical history and possibly recommend a skin or blood test if mold allergies are suspected. During a skin test, your allergist will use different types of mold to scratch or prick your skin and look for a reaction. Based on the results, a treatment plan will be proposed.
Is There A Test To Determine If I Have Been Exposed To Mold
Some physicians have recommended testing for mold-specific antibodies. Thepresence of antibodies only indicates that you have been exposed to a substanceat some time. It does not tell you when you were exposed, where the exposuretook place, or how much of the mold you were exposed to. Having a positive testfor mold-specific antibodies alone is generally considered insufficient toprove that health effects reported by individuals in moisture-damaged buildingsare caused by exposure to mold.
How To Diagnose Mold Allergy
Besides considering your symptoms and signs, your doctor might wish to perform a health examination to identify or leave out other medical problems. He or she might likewise advise one or more tests to see if you have an allergic reaction that can be determined. These include:
- Skin prick test. This test uses diluted amounts of typical or presumed irritants, such as molds discovered in the city. During the test, these substances are used to the skin in your arm or back with tiny punctures. If youre allergic, you establish a raised bump at the test location on your skin.
- Blood test. A blood test, sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test, can measure your body immune systems reaction to mold by determining the quantity of particular antibodies in your bloodstream referred to as immunoglobulin E antibodies. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory, where it can be tested for proof of level of sensitivity to specific types of mold.
How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:
- What type of mold they are exposed to,
- How long the exposure has been,
- How well their bodies eliminate toxins
Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.
Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.
Reduce The Risk Of Mold Growing In And Around The Home
- Change your air filters regularly.
- Use central air conditioning with a certified allergy filter attachment.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity under 50% to discourage the growth of mold and other fungi.
- Clean damp areas, such as bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms, regularly.
- Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and keep other rooms well-ventilated.
- Have any leaks, from the plumbing to the roof, repaired as soon as possible.
- Remove garbage from the home promptly and clean indoor trash containers frequently.
- Do not let papers or damp clothing pile up, as this can encourage mold growth.
- Clean house gutters regularly and remove dead vegetation from around the foundation.
When Should You Test Your Home For Mold Exposure
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no Environmental Protection Agency or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room complies with any health regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Health officials haven’t defined tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.
When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning of a building has occurred.
How To Prevent Mold Allergy Symptoms And Causes And Reduce Mold Exposure
The best way to prevent mold allergy symptoms is to avoid or minimize your exposure to mold spores. This may include taking precautions both inside and outside. While limiting mold exposure can be difficult, and may require some creativity or changes to your routine, there are many different options you can try.
Symptoms Of Mold Illness Everyone Needs To Know
Mold is not something to take lightly in your home. You should monitor for mold in your house on a weekly basis and take precautions to kill any mold on sight, mainly to avoid any life-threatening mold illnesses.
Thats right, mold doesnt just look nasty in your bathroom, it can be devastating to your health, too.
And the worst part of all? You may not even know youre suffering from a mold-related illness.
To keep you and your family safe, check out this mini-guide on how to get rid of mold and, most importantly, how to tell if youre suffering from a mold illness.
HOW DO YOU GET RID OF MOLD?
So youre doing your weekly sweep for mold checking any moist spots like under sinks and in bathrooms, corners, and near windows and you see a big black spot. Gross.
The two best options? Spray the mold with bleach or a designated mold killer.
Spray the molded spot with your weapon of choice. Let the chemicals sit for a while before scrubbing the mold away with a bristle brush. We highly suggest opening some windows to air out the room, because either product will stink up a room easily.
Also, invest in some protective face masks to wear when youre handling mold. The last thing you want is to accidentally ingest mold when trying to clean it away.
WHAT IS MOLD ILLNESS?
You are most prone to mold illness if you live in a home where mold is most rampant. Mold tends to thrive in damp, dark, and humid places, like in typically warmer environments or in basement level apartments.
Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
How To Prevent Allergic Reactions To Mold
The key to controlling mold allergies is reducing your exposure to mold, whether indoors or out. Here are some steps you can take at home to lessen the likelihood of mold growth:
- Eliminate sources of water or dampness in your basement
- Change your furnace filters every three months
- Use a dehumidifier in spots where moisture accumulates
- Use air conditioners with high-efficiency particulate air filters
- Adequately ventilate bathrooms, washrooms, and kitchens
- Remove carpets from bathrooms and washrooms
- Promote groundwater drainage on your property
- Throw away old books, magazines, and newspapers
- Clean out drains and other water-collection points
- Remove garbage from the premises
- Wear a mask when gardening or working outdoors
Signs Of Mold Illness
Mold is a big problem in most homes, but many people are unaware of the problem. Of course, everyone looks at the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement when he or she think about mold issues, but mold can grow just about anywhere.
Mold can be found in drywall, in the roof , and even in ones Christmas tree. One study found that Christmas trees can breed mold, quietly releasing millions of spores into the room causing winter allergies and asthma attacks. Studies have found that indoor air quality dropped six-fold over the 14 days a Christmas tree typically decorates a room.
There are 1,000 types of mold that can be found growing in the modern American home. Scientists classify these molds based on the effect they have on humans and other living things.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing/shortness of breath
- Long standing or frequent sinusitis
And, serious pain and neurological symptoms, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle cramping, aches and pains
- Persistent nerve pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor memory, brain fog, difficulty with focus
In some cases, the spores from mold take root and grow in specific parts of the body, such as the lungs and sinuses. This can cause serious respiratory illnesses and infections.
Sneezing And Nasal Congestion
While many things can trigger sneezing, its also a symptom of mold toxicity that should get your attention. If youve never had allergies or hay fever symptoms and youre positive you dont have a cold, those sneezes could be indicative of mold exposure.
Sneezing is the immune systems standard response to allergens. It could also be a warning sign that your home has a mold problem.
Different Types Of Mold
Allergenic Molds. Allergenic molds are on the low end of the danger scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.
Pathogenic Molds. Pathogenic molds will cause some infection. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.
Toxigenic Molds. As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one inhales them, eats them, or even touches them.
Mold Allergy Symptoms Fatigue
Fatigue in itself is not enough to press the alarm button on mold exposure. However, you could claim that you have an allergy to mold if you feel it with other mold allergy symptoms, such as coughing, stuffy or runny nose, headaches, light sensitivity, poor memory, red eyes, itchiness, and dry skin. It becomes an even bigger cause of concern about mold exposure if you recently have experienced flooding or leaks around the house.
Fatigue must also be distinguished from tiredness. It is more prolonged and makes you feel like you need longer rest to recover from it.
How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold: