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
How Do Doctors Diagnose Mold Allergy
To diagnose an allergy to mold or fungi, your doctor will take a complete medical history and do a physical exam. If they think you have a mold allergy, the doctor often will do allergy skin tests or a blood test. The doctor uses your medical history, the allergy test results, and a physical exam to diagnose a mold allergy.
How Are Mold Allergies Treated
Tackling a mold allergy is a multi-step process. Dr. Yasharpour recommends staying clear of uncut fields and raking leaves, fixing leaky faucets and pipes, reducing indoor humidity to below 60%, removing basement carpeting and cleaning mold off walls with vinegar solution.
Treatments of mild mold allergies include nasal sprays, with nasal antihistamines helping control a runny and itchy nose, and nasal steroids to combat congestion caused by inflammation, explains Dr. Yasharpour. Nasal corticosteroids in particular are an effective treatment for inflammation by suppressing reactions from the immune system.
Other over-the-counter options are antihistamines and decongestantslook for Claritin, Benadryl or Zyrtec says Dr. Williams, who adds that more severe asthma or respiratory illnesses will require treatment by a medical professional.
Desensitizing to molds can be accomplished by allergy shots, says Dr. Yasharpour. Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy that can regulate the immune system by teaching your body to change its response to foreign allergens.
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What Are The Different Types Of Mold Allergy
While there are many different types of molds, only few dozen can cause allergic reactions like alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium. These allergy-triggering molds can be found outdoors as well as indoors. These molds can grow on,
- Rotten logs
Outdoor mold allergy may be experienced in summer and fall
Indoor mold allergy, on the other hand, can be experienced year-round.
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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
How Can I Check For Mold
Its best to hire a professional to help you identify and remove mold, especially if youre allergic or vulnerable to it.
You should also consider hiring help if the mold covers more than 10 square feet or if its hidden behind wallpaper, ceiling tiles, or other areas.
Here are some steps for identifying and removing mold.
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How To Treat Mold Allergies Using Ginger
Generally, fresh and supplemental forms of ginger both can help with various types of allergies, consisting of a mold allergy. This herb acts as a natural antihistamine and strengthens the immune system as well. It is also effective at alleviating symptoms, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, a cough and a headache. Here are two methods on how to treat mold allergies with the help of ginger.
Take fresh ginger pieces and sprinkle it with some salt. Then, chew it several times per day. You can also include ginger in your cooking.
Alternatively, you can consume ginger tea daily for recovery. You can make the tea at home by adding grated ginger to water and boiling it for 5 minutes. Then, strain and add some lemon juice and raw honey to it. Afterward, consume it.
Mold Allergies Tests And Diagnosis
A doctor will want to know a person’s signs and symptoms and might want to conduct a physical examination in order to identify or exclude other medical issues. A doctor may also recommend one or more blood or skin tests to find out if the person has an allergy that can be identified. The tests include the following:
- Skin Prick Test: The test uses diluted amounts of suspected or common allergens such as mold found in the local area. During the test, theses substances are applied to the skin in a person’s back or arm with tiny punctures. If the person is allergic, they develop a raised bump or hive at the location of the test on their skin.
- Blood Test: A blood test can measure a person’s immune system response to mold by measuring the amount of certain antibodies in their bloodstream known as, ‘immunoglobulin E antibodies.’ A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory where it can be tested for evidence of sensitivity to particular types of mold.
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What Are The Causes Of Mold Allergy
Like all other allergies, mold allergy symptoms are caused when a persons over-sensitive immune system is triggered.
When you inhale tiny spores of mold, your immune system falsely considers them to be foreign invaders and reacts to them, creating antibodies to fight these invaders. Even when the exposure has passed, the body keeps producing these antibodies to fight with the mold spores in it were to come in contact with them later.
This process triggers release of a substance called histamines. Allergic reactions are caused due to these histamines.
How Can I Address Mold Toxicity
Most experts agree that the best treatment for mold toxicity involves two main steps. First, youll want to remove yourself from environments with toxic mold. Then, youll want to take steps to get rid of any mold in your environment.
Other treatment options focus on easing symptoms of mold exposure rather than on removing it from your system. Unless you develop an infection, your body will likely take care of removing the mold on its own.
When it comes to managing the effects of mold, you have many options, including prescription options, over-the-counter treatments, and natural remedies.
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Risk Factors For Mold Allergy Symptoms
1. Outdoor conditions: You may already know to avoid damp woodland and piles of autumn leaves. Also the countryside during harvest.
But its also a good idea to wear a dust mask in the garden during mold allergy season. Ideally, youd get someone else to mow the lawn, as well as turn and spread your garden compost. Certain molds love it.
2. Raising the indoor mold count without realizing: Coats and shoes can trap spores when mold counts are high. So quarantine them by the door. Rub pets down with an old towel. Other carriers of mold spores include damp logs brought in for the fire.
3. A long DIY to-do list: Leaky roofs and rain gutters can create the ideal conditions for mold growth. Regularly clear out your gutters to drain standing water and fix any roof or plumbing issues. Clear flood damage too. Excessive moisture encourages rot.
4. Hidden mold growth: Clean mold from neglected areas such as behind kitchen cupboards and around window frames and fridge seals where they trap mold spores. Fridge condensation coils too if you can get to them. Keep houseplant numbers to a minimum and change the soil regularly to stop mold growing freely.
5. Poor ventilation: Cooking, washing and cleaning all make hot damp air. This can add to the humidity mold spores love. Close internal doors to stop it spreading round your home and use exhaust fans to vent excess moisture. Open windows when the mold count is likely to be low.
How Do You Treat A Mold Allergy
Mold allergy treatments include over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. These common allergy medications can relieve symptoms of runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and congestion.
It may be best to take these medications in advance when you know you may be around mold spores. Before starting any medication, speak with your doctor or allergist.
You may want to wear a mask when you know youre going to be around mold. This will help prevent you from breathing in mold spores. If you are exposed to mold, you can remove them by rinsing your nose with a saline spray or taking a shower.
Immunotherapy, designed to make your body less reactive to an allergen over time, is available for certain types of mold, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Talk with an allergist for more information.
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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.
Coughing Or Difficulty Breathing
Coughing is a sign that your body is starting to kick up its defense systems after mold spores have made their way into your throat and lungs. The harsh reaction is an attempt to get the foreign bodies out and give your lungs a break. High spore counts inside make it difficult for your body to recover without unaffected air, so coughing fits or difficulty breathing become an issue for those affected.
Drinking plenty of water and even trying a spoonful of honey can help with the irritation and pain at the back of your throat after a coughing spell. Cough drops dont cure a cough, but they do encourage salivation that further lubricates your irritated throat. Some even have things like honey or lemon that not only feel better, but help you recover as well.
While humidifiers can make it easier for you to breathe, adding moisture to the air when you know mold is at the heart of the problem is counterintuitive. If mold is the only allergy affecting you, opening the windows of your home for fresh air is a great alternative.
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Diagnosing Mold Allergy Symptoms
Only your healthcare provider can say for sure if youre allergic to mold. Try keeping a record of what you think could be mold allergy symptoms. Here are some details to include:
- When do you experience symptoms, exactly?
- How long do your symptoms last?
- Do your mold allergy symptoms happen when youre at home or outside?
- Are they worse at a particular time of the year?
- Are your symptoms worse at night?
- Do you know where you were when symptoms developed?
How Can I Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Mold
You can reduce your allergy symptoms by avoiding contact with mold spores. These steps can 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.
- Remove leaves and piles of dead plant material or tree clippings as soon as possible.
- Wear an N95 mask, hat, and sunglasses when caring for your lawn or garden.
- Have someone without a mold allergy do yard work, if possible.
- Promote groundwater drainage away from your house.
Reduce your exposure to mold spores inside.
- If you have houseplants or potted herbs, only water them when the soil is dry. Here are some other ways to prevent mold in houseplants:
- Plant them in sterile soil
- Give them more light
- Use a fan to circulate air around the plant
- Trim dead leaves often
To reduce mold in your laundry area:
- Remove clothes from the washing machine right away.
- If you have a front-loading washing machine, clean and dry the rubber seal and inside of the door often. Leave the door cracked open when the machine is not in use.
- Dont leave wet, damp clothes sitting around.
- Make sure your laundry area has good air circulation.
To reduce mold in your bedrooms:
To reduce mold in your basement:
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What Causes Mold Allergy
Molds produce spores. Allergies happen when your immune system is very sensitive to outside substances, such as mold spores. Your body produces antibodies against the mold spores. As youre repeatedly exposed to the mold spores over time, your body sees the mold spores as something to be destroyed and your immune system creates bigger reactions to protect you.
Its also possible to allergic to fungi in food, like mushrooms or fermented foods. This type of allergy generally causes local symptoms in the mouth and can cause rashes or even affect breathing.
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How To Treat Mold Allergies With Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle plays a vital role in relieving the mold allergy symptoms thanks to its natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, it can soothe nasal congestion and provide instant relief from symptoms such as coughing, itching and sneezing. For this purpose, you prepare 1 tbsp of dried stinging nettle and 1 cup of hot water. Later mix the dried stinging nettle in the hot water. Then, steep for five minutes, strain and add some honey to it. To remove your symptoms soon, consume this tea 2-3 times every day. Also, you can take stinging nettle in the supplement form, after consulting a doctor. This remedy isnt suggested for young children and pregnant women.
- You should choose flooring, such as concrete or linoleum, which does not hold in moisture.
- You should eat a moderately high-complex-carbohydrate, low-fat diet to reduce allergy symptoms.
- Consume enough water to keep the body and nasal passages well-hydrated because dehydration can aggravate the symptoms and make your condition worse.
- Cut down on the intake of sugar to prevent mold from surviving.
- You should eat foods that are full of omega-3 fatty acids because they reduce allergic reactions.
- The amount of fermented foods needs to be limited in the diet to reduce and prevent mold allergies.
- At some certain times, such as in damp or foggy weather and immediately after a rainstorm, you avoid going outdoors.