Select a Topic
- What Are Mold Allergies?
- Diagnosing Mold Allergies
- What Causes Mold Allergies?
- Help for Mold Allergies
- More Information about Mold Allergies
What Are Mold Allergies?
Molds are fungi which grow in the presence of moisture. Molds or mold spores may cause allergic symptoms in people of all ages.
Diagnosing Mold Allergies
Molds usually cause reactions that people commonly recognize as allergies. Wheezing, itching of eyes, runny noses and sinus congestion are common. Some people develop hives, which are swollen, itchy, raised lesions on the skin. Other, less common symptoms may present in diverse ways.
What Causes Mold Allergies?
Mold allergies are caused by several different kinds of fungi. Some molds are visible, while others are not. All produce an allergic reaction as a result of a faulty response within the immune system. When a mold spore comes into contact with your body, several biochemical reactions occur which can produce uncomfortable symptoms.
Help for Mold Allergies
Your conventional or alternative health care provider may offer several options. He or she will ask you questions about your health, symptoms and what provokes symptoms. Allergy, blood, skin or muscle testing may be used to learn more about your allergy, or you may then be refered to an allergist for additional support.
Conventional practitioners may prescribe allergy shots or pharmaceuticals. While pharmaceuticals provide symptom relief, they do not necessarily get to the root of the problem.
More Information about Mold Allergies
The most important thing is to avoid exposure to molds. Molds are prevalent in the environment so you will not be able to avoid them completely. Common mold sources include:
- Moist areas of the home including the basement, kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms
- Hay and grass
- Rotting plant matter such as compost piles, fall leaves and rotting wood
- Certain foods such as blue cheese, and fermented foods such as natural sauerkraut
- Heating and air conditioning ducts
How do I remove mold or prevent its growth in my home?
Consider hiring an expert if you find that extensive mold is present or if you are highly allergic. If you do elect to remove mold yourself, use these safeguards and tips:
- Prevent mold from growing by limiting moisture from accumulating
- Repair leaks, have heating and air conditioning units cleaned regularly and ensure that your home has proper ventilation
- Use an exhaust fan in bathrooms and kitchens
- Wear a special mask, called an N-95 respirator, when cleaning mold
- Consider purchasing a dehumidifier for your home
- Ensure proper drainage of outside areas
- Limit the use of carpet
- Use bleach to remove mold
- Avoid or use care when mowing lawns or doing yard work