What Are The Symptoms Of A Mold Allergy
Although a mold allergy is developed rather than being present since birth, some people have a predisposition to allergiesfollowing exposure to certain allergens, explains Dr. Mavunda.
Exposure to mold spores can cause slight to severe reactions, including sneezing, a runny, stuffy nose, coughing and postnasal drip, itchy, watery eyes, a scratchy nose and throat, wheezing and dry flaky skin, says Bridget Williams, M.D., a board-certified family physician, author and CEO of Green Harvest Health, medical cannabis and integrative clinics in Ohio.
Keep in mind that long-term exposure to molds can spark more severe chronic illnesses including fungal sinusitisa reaction to fungal organisms in the sinuses, most common among those who are immunocompromisedand skin or mucous membrane infections, adds Dr. Williams. If you suspect a mold allergy and experience any of these symptoms, your family physician can best diagnose and advise treatment options.
Fight Your Toughest Allergies
This is a sponsored offer from our partner.
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
Indoor Vs Outdoor Mold Allergy Symptoms
The mold allergy symptoms you experience will likely be the same regardless if they are caused by indoor or outdoor mold. The main difference between indoor and outdoor mold allergy symptoms is when you might experience them.
If your symptoms are triggered by indoor mold, youll likely experience symptoms throughout the year. You may also feel particularly bad after spending time indoors near mold growth.
If your symptoms are triggered by outdoor mold, it is likely that you will only experience symptoms during wetter seasons, like spring and fall, when the ground outside is damp enough for mold to grow. You may also feel worse after spending time outside when molds are growing and producing spores.
Recommended Reading: Is Allergies Bad Right Now
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.
How Is A Mold Allergy Diagnosed
Mold allergies are diagnosed by analyzing present symptoms, an examination from your health care provider and specialized allergy testing. Possible tests include a skin prick test to check how your body reacts to minor exposure to allergens, or allergen-specific immunoglobulin E testing through blood work, says Dr. Yasharpour, explaining that these tests can differentiate between an allergy, infection or even COVID-19.
A skin-prick test is typically performed on your forearm by a trained member of medical staff who applies a small drop of the allergen to your skin, before scratching it into the outer layer with a lancet. Despite how it sounds, the test is painless. Your reaction to each allergen will confirm if an allergy is present. On the other hand, IgE testing measures the antibodies present in your body, although you must be exposed to the allergen a few days prior to detection.
Don’t Miss: Can Allergies Turn Into Sinus Infection
Symptoms Of Mould Allergy
Symptoms of mould allergy vary from person-to-person but typically include sneezing, wheezing, itchy or watery eyes, and runny nose. Mould allergy can cause a condition identical to hay fever in the late summer and autumn. Mould can also aggravate asthma.
The allergen isnt the mould itself instead, it is the spores released by the mould when the temperature in a damp environment rapidly increases. An example of this is switching on the heating in a damp house. Reports of sudden asthma attacks during thunderstorms can be accounted for by a release of mould spores triggered by the storm.
What Do We Know About Mold Sensitivity
The term mold sensitivity is broadly used to refer to any chronic non-allergic response to mold exposure. Mold sensitivity is not understood nearly as well as mold allergies because the condition is associated with an undefined range of symptoms that have no measurable cause. Some people report experiencing a wide array of symptoms that they believe to be caused by mold sensitivity. These symptoms include anxiety, cognitive issues, depression and insomnia, as well as different types of physical pain. Because mold sensitivity cannot be measured, there is no observable link between the condition and its associated symptoms.
Unfortunately, Western medicine has no answer for those who believe they are affected by mold sensitivity, also referred to as vulnerability to mold toxicity. Unlike mold allergies that can be diagnosed with a skin test or allergen-specific immunoglobulin blood test, there is no test that can diagnose this issue, and there is a lack of scientific research to back up information about the condition. The EPA states that mold-related symptoms other than allergic reactions and irritation by spores are not commonly reported.
Don’t Miss: Can Food Allergies Cause Diarrhea
What Are The Different Types Of Mold Allergy Treatment
It may not always possible to reduce or remove mold from your environment, in which case it becomes necessary to take medications. You can, in consultation with your doctor, consume the following medicine
- Nasal decongestants or nasal steroids to decongest clogged and stuffy nasal passages and reduce nasal inflammation
- Antihistamines can be consumed to fight allergy-inducing histamines released by the immune system to fight the mold spores
- Allergy shots or immunotherapy gradually desensitize your body to mold and can provide long lasting symptom relief
When Is Mold Allergy Season
Mold allergy season isnt simple to pin down, as different molds are active at different times of the year.
Most outdoor molds are inactive during the winter, and are more active during the spring and fall as they thrive in moist environments and commonly grow on plants that the winter cold kills2.
Indoor molds, meanwhile, can develop at any time of year in damp bathrooms, kitchens or basements2.
In other words, there is no mold allergy season as such. Instead, understanding which mold you may be allergic to and learning when and where it is most common, is usually the best course of action.
Recommended Reading: Is Tumeric Good For Allergies
How To Prevent Mold
Whether you just got rid of the mold or you dont ever want to see it in your house you need to know the mold prevention rules. To prevent mold from appearing in your house:
Small investments in prevention can go long waysand keep more cash in your pocket!
As a family owned business, we understand the importance of protecting your family, employees, and customers without breaking the bank.
Complications Of A Mold Allergy
Mold-induced asthma can occur when people who are allergic to mold also have an allergic reaction to mold. These symptoms can be severe and a plan should be ready. Allergic fungal sinusitis happens when there is a prolonged period of fungus in the sinuses. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is the reaction to fungus in the lungs in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a rare condition that occurs when exposure to mold spores causes the lungs to become inflamed.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Allergy Rash
What Is Mold Allergy
Mold is everywhere. Mold spores can grow both outdoors and indoors all year round. They are fungi with seeds called spores that travel through air. Some spores spread in dry, windy weather while others spread with fog or dew when the humidity is high. Mold spores count is highest at night, especially when its foggy, damp or rainy.
Upsetting these mold spores send them into the air, triggering an allergic reaction in people who have an allergy to mold.
How Do Molds Affect People
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.
Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.
The above does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional, your state or local health department, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mold website.
Don’t Miss: How Long Do Allergies Last After Exposure
What Is Mold And What Type Of Mold Can Cause Bronchitis
Mold is a fungi group of tiny organisms found almost everywhere. Mold does well on oxygen and moisture, spreading through microscopic, lightweight spores that travel through the air.
These spores cannot be seen with your naked eyes since they are too tiny. They grow in damp environments such as decaying organic material, wet wood, or vegetation.
Inhaling mold can cause allergy symptoms such as a runny and stuffy nose, coughing, or sneezing. This irritates the sensitive lining of the nasal passages and throat, causing bronchitis.
Toxic black mold, black mold, are several species of mold with a black or dark green appearance. One type of such mold is Stachybotrys Chartarum.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention state that mold color doesnt determine how dangerous it is. Black mold, however, has been linked to various lung disorders, including acute and chronic bronchitis.
Five Of The Most Common Indoor Molds
Mold illness is the variety of health problems that can occur from any type of mold exposure. Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause infections or irritants and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia.
Read Also: What’s Good For Allergy
How Is Mold Allergy Treated
One of the most important ways to manage a mold allergy is to avoid mold. Reduce your exposure to mold as much as possible by avoiding damp places and things like piles of wet leaves. Make sure your bathroom has an exhaust fan or window you can open to limit dampness and beware of leaks in your roof, walls or pipes in your home.
Your provider might suggest immunotherapy to reduce your sensitivity to mold, commonly known as allergy shots.
Medications, like antihistamines or nasal steroids can give you relief from symptoms. If you have asthma, your provider may suggest a different medication, like inhaled steroids or mast cell stabilizers.
What Are The Complications Of Mold Allergy
Most allergic responses to mold involve hay fever-type symptoms that can make people feel miserable but are not severe. However, certain mold-induced allergic conditions caused are more severe they include:
How is mold allergy diagnosed?
After consulting with the patient, the doctor may prescribe a few tests. These tests include:
1. Skin prick test In this test, diluted amounts of common triggers such as molds are injected into the patients. During the trial, the substance injected into the arms and back may cause tiny punctures and raise bumps called hives.
2. Blood test the test helps the doctors determine the immune systems response by measuring antibodies such as immunoglobulin E.
You May Like: Can Allergies Make Your Eyes Hurt
Prevention Of A Mold Allergy
The best way to prevent an allergic reaction to mold is to eliminate the source of mold. Keep your air conditioner at a cool temperature and use a HEPA air filter. Use a dehumidifier. In places such as the bathroom, make sure there is proper ventilation. If there is carpet in the bathrooms or basements, then it is a good idea to pull those out and replace them with a hard floor, such as tile. To prevent a mold allergy, you must prevent the mold from happening.
Are There Any Serious Diseases Caused By Mold Allergy
When an allergic person is exposed to mold, it normally triggers symptoms of hay fever which, while miserable, isnt that serious. However, in some cases, the allergic reactions to mold can be more severe and include
- Allergic fungal sinusitis
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Exposure to mold spores can aggravate asthmatic symptoms in people who already have asthma and are allergic to mold. In some people, exposure to certain kinds of mold can also lead to an asthma attack.
This symptom is a result of an inflammatory reaction to fungus in the sinuses.
This symptom is a reaction to fungus in the lungs and can occur in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis.
In some very rare cases, exposure to airborne mold spores can lead to inflammation of the lungs. This may be triggered by vulnerability to allergy-causing dust at work.
Read Also: Best Allergy Medicine For Sneezing
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
Mold Around The House
While antihistamines can address many of the symptoms of a mold allergy, they are often not a sufficient standalone response to mold. Antihistamines can have sedating effects on users and adversely interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medications, so it is best not to rely on them entirely. Instead, after identifying signs and symptoms of a mold allergy, work to reduce the presence of mold in your home. This process often involves optimizing air filtration systems, cleaning bathrooms regularly, and making basement living spaces as hypoallergenic as possible by limiting porous surfaces, such as carpeting, where moisture and attendant mold can build up. While it is impossible to eliminate mold exposure, especially outdoors, you can significantly mitigate mold exposure within the home.
Read Also: Allergy Shot Reaction When To Worry
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 To Minimize Molds Effects
The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that there are a number of precautions to take to ensure youre as safe as possible when youre in a mold, damp environment. These include:
Always wearing personal protective equipment. Whenever you could be potentially exposed to mold, always protect yourself out with protective gloves, an N-95 respirator and goggles.
Avoiding potential fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Always use portable generators with care, away and outside of your home.
Making sure there are no more traces of mold. You need to ensure theres no more mold before you go back to your home to live.
You can also do the following to guard against mold growing in your home:
Keep it well ventilated.
Clean mold from hard surfaces with water and detergent. Then, dry the area thoroughly.
Clean refrigerator drip pans regularly.
Clean garbage cans regularly.
Clean any leaks or spills in a timely manner.
Open windows, use exhaust fans or dehumidifiers to keep moisture to a minimum.
Ensure the outside of your home benefits from adequate drainage.
With the recent floods, many Texans may find patches of mold growing in their homes. As you can see from the above, molds do have the potential to cause health issues. But, dont panic. Theres plenty that you can do about mold growing in your home and about mold allergies.
Read Also: At Home Food Allergy Test