WHAT IS MOLD?
Mold are fungi whose spores float in the air. They grow almost anywhere especially where the temperature is between 70 - 90°. They become inactive below 20°. They can grow outdoors and indoors—even in winter. They thrive in dark, damp areas. Although there are thousands of molds, only a small number cause allergic reactions.
WHAT IS MOLD ALLERGY?
Most people breathe in mold spores without any reactions. In mold allergy your immune system overreacts to proteins found in mold. This creates allergic antibodies called IgE. This IgE binds with allergic cells to release chemicals like histamine which causes typical allergic symptoms.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MOLD ALLERGY?
- stuffy nose
- pressure headache
- itchy, watery eyes
- runny nose or drainage
- asthma symptoms like cough or wheezing
HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE MOLD ALLERGY?
HOW DO YOU TREAT MOLD ALLERGY?
- fix leaky faucets and pipes
- keep humidity in your home below 50%
- remove any flooded carpet within 24 hours
- remove bathroom carpet
- clean mold prone areas like grout and tile with products like Lysol or bleach
- vent clothes dryer outside
- avoid raking leaves and hay
- avoid damp musty basements, seashore motels, unaired cabins
- do not mow the lawn
- Antihistamines and decongestants are used for mild symptoms
- Nasal steroids are more effective, but must be used daily for maximal
3. Allergy shots:
Also called “subcutaneous immunotherapy.” This is the most effective treatment.
Shots are time-consuming but usually cure allergies.