Molds live everywhere. When a mold source is disturbed, spores are disbursed into the air, triggering an allergic response in some people. These reactions can negatively affect your everyday life. If you find yourself experiencing the same symptoms several times a year, it’s time to see your doctor!
Understanding Mold Allergy
Mold allergies come from mold spores that float in the air like pollen. They are spread by the wind outdoors and by air indoors. While the idea of mold spores is pretty scary, it would be very difficult for you to inhale enough to cause permanent damage. If you aren’t sensitive to mold, you may never even have a reaction.
Mold can occur indoors and outdoors, causing a variety of symptoms. Outdoor molds usually appear during warmer months, but can be found year-round in warmer climates. Indoor molds shed spores all year, usually in damp environments. Mold is often visible and easily spotted, but certain kinds are microscopic.
Common symptoms of a mold allergy may include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes. You might also experience a runny nose and nasal congestion. The spores can also reach the lungs, triggering asthma symptoms in some individuals. In rare cases, more serious illnesses can develop. Allergy testing by a doctor can verify whether you’re reacting to mold or have another allergy.
To diagnose an allergy to mold, the doctor will review your entire medical history. If they suspect a mold allergy, the doctor will do skin or blood tests. Extracts of different types of mold fungi are used to scratch or prick to the skin. If there is no reaction, you probably don’t have an allergy. Armed with your medical history and test results, your doctor will make a diagnosis.
Treatment for most allergy symptoms is through over-the-counter medications. However, if these fail to relieve your symptoms or cause unpleasant side effects, you may need a stronger prescription. For severe allergy symptoms, your doctor may prescribe ongoing treatment with prescribed medications.
There is no cure for allergies, but you can reduce your symptoms by preventing exposure to mold spores. For example, vacuum your home regularly to remove mold spores. Invest in a dehumidifier for humid months or a year-round air purifier. Limit your time outdoors when mold levels are high.
Value of Microbial Testing
If you suffer from a mold allergy, household testing may be a good way to gauge your exposure. Knowing what you’re up against will allow you to better protect yourself. This is especially true for at-risk individuals, including those with chronic health conditions.
Stay Clean, Stay Healthy
While mold exposure is generally not deadly, increased exposure often exacerbates symptoms. Mold allergies are progressive, so over time, symptoms can become more severe. The key is to prevent moisture build-up and avoid spending too much time outside during peak mold seasons.
Contact Us to learn more about mold and microbial testing.