The Right Doctor Can Help
To determine whether you have an allergy to mold, you should make an appointment with an allergist, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic conditions. He or she will probably use a skin-prick or blood test to determine whether you have an allergy to mold and to pinpoint which fungi are triggering your symptoms.
Note, however, that some evidence suggests that mold allergies are overdiagnosed. Clinicians may have a tendency to overestimate the likelihood of fungal allergy, noted one review published in 2016. The best way to ensure that a diagnosis is correct, research suggests, is to get an allergy test only if you are already experiencing unexplained symptoms asymptomatic people should not be tested for a mold allergy.
Some experts suggest that you might want to consider taking an allergy medication ahead of time if youre going to be exposed to potential sources of mold, such as a compost pile in the backyard.
These Tiny Spores Can Cause Big Trouble But Careful Planning Can Help You Fight Back
Are you having episodes of sneezing accompanied by a drippy or stuffy nose? Are your eyes, lips, mouth, or nose itchy? If youre experiencing these kinds of allergy symptoms even when pollen counts are low, you might have an allergy to mold. Its estimated that 5 percent of all Americans do.
The unpleasant symptoms of an allergy to mold can crop up during any season because common allergy-provoking molds, such as alternaria and aspergillus, can grow outdoors and in damp spots indoors all year. In addition, spores from outdoor mold can waft inside when you open a window or door, and they can hitch a ride on hair, clothes, shoes, bags, and even your pets.
Molds are fungi found both inside and outside the home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no one knows exactly how many different species of fungi there are in the world, but they are ubiquitous.
Many of the 1,000 or so species of mold found in the U.S. are almost invisible without a microscope. That can make it a challenge to figure out where youre coming into contact with it and which particular fungi may be the source of the problem. But if you suspect you have such an allergy, the following steps can help you find relief.
Where You Might Find Mold
Feel free to check out my other article where I discuss the signs of mold in your home. As a general rule, mold can develop indoors and outdoors.
Youll likely find mold where there is moisture andhumidity. Here are some examples:
- In a bathroom that lacks ventilation
- Under a leaky sink
- In a moist basement without adequate airflow
- Outside in a pile of leaves
- In a tropical environment
Indoor water leaks are a serious problem because moisture behind a wall might go unnoticed for years while it causes property damage and mold growth.
If you have watermarks on your wall or soft spots on your wall it might be an indicator of moisture and/or mold.
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Allergy To Mold 8 Signs To Look For
When we think of allergies, pets and pollen are what usuallycome to mind.
But did you know that mold is a major allergen?
Yes, you could be allergic to mold!
Allergies cause our immune system to exhibit symptoms suchas sneezing, wheezing, itching, and crying. These symptoms can affect our breathing,confidence, alertness, and quality of sleep.
If were lucky, were only bothered for a short period oftime during the year. Those who arentlucky might experience allergy symptoms year-round.
Mold allergy can be both a seasonal and year-round problem so its important to know the signs. In this article, Ill share my experience with mold allergy and the 8 signs youre allergic to mold.
How Mold Allergies Affect Your Body
Mold is all around us. Thankfully, most of the time, our body’s reaction to mold is so mild that symptoms never appear. However, for some people with mold allergies, the effects can include runny nose, sneezing, upper respiratory problems and gastrointestinal distress.
One of the less common symptoms of a mold allergy involves a rash or hives on the skin. This reaction is often associated with sensitive skin.
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Question 2 Of : What Should I Do If I Think Mold Is Making Me Sick
Dog Mold Allergy Treatment
Did you know that dog mold allergy is a common illness among pet dogs? Mold allergies in dogs can make your pet miserable, just like allergies can make you miserable. Dogs can be exposed to mold when there is mold in the home, and because they are smaller than people, mold can make them sicker than it makes people living in the same home. Dogs explore the world with their noses, sniffing everything, so they may be more likely than people to inhale mold, which increases their risk of mold-related allergy symptoms.
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How To Treat Mold Allergies With Garlic
Garlic is a powerful antifungal herb, so it is regarded as one of the most excellent ways on how to treat mold allergies. In addition, garlic is a rich good source a natural named of quercetin that can help to lower the symptoms of a mold allergy. Furthermore, it helps to combat allergy symptoms by giving a boost to the immunity.
To fight the different symptoms of mold allergies, chew around raw garlic cloves every day. Also, you can opt for garlic tablets . Remember to consult a doctor before using garlic tablets.
You chop 3 or 4 garlic cloves and later boil them in a cup of water for ten minutes. Strain them and add a little raw honey. After that, drink it twice daily.
A Detailed Look At Mold Allergy
Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist. He is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and currently practices at Central Coast Allergy and Asthma in Salinas, California.
We are surrounded by mold. Countless species of mold exist in nature and the vast majority are harmless to humans, although terms like toxic mold syndrome and toxic black mold have been sensationalized in the media. In reality, mold can only cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems .
People who work or live in buildings with water damage sometimes complain of black mold or toxic mold. Instead of the mold is toxic, its more likely the mold is causing allergies. Mold typically grows in homes that experience water damage. Importantly, buildings with water damage have been shown to be linked to sick building syndrome, which causes nonspecific symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and nausea.
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Find The Right Treatment Plan
For starters, a number of medications can help you get some relief. Options include:
- Antihistamines: Histamine is the chemical in your body that causes those undesirable symptoms. Antihistamines are available in numerous different forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids, syrups, creams, lotions, gels, eyedrops, and nasal sprays. They block the effect of histamine, so you can avoid all of that sniffling and scratching.
- Nasal steroids: A steroid nasal spray delivers relief right to the source to ease your nasal congestion and reduce inflammation in your sinus passages.
- Allergy shots: If your symptoms are really severe, you might want to opt for a series of allergy shots . Take note that theyre only used for certain types of mold allergies.
Not sure what you need? We can help point you toward a personal, allergist-picked Pack. Simply tell us about the symptoms and seasons that bother you most, along with a little about your experience, and we’ll get you the personalized Allergy Pack and ongoing care you need to achieve peak relief.
Reduce Mold To Breathe Better
Because mold needs moisture to grow, it’s often found in piles of leaves, in grasses, and on logs. Inside, it can grow wherever theres moisture and poor ventilation. Heres how to protect yourself, indoors and out:
Use a dehumidifier. Lowering the humidity inside your home to under 45 percent or even under 35 percent will help you fight mold growth, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. If you live in a larger house, consider placing the dehumidifier in your basement, which is a cooler, moister area in the home where mold grows easily. Cohn recommends setting one up so that it drains automatically without your having to empty the reservoir, which is easy to forget to do, and can actually create more mold growth. To do so, attach a hose to the unit and allow it to empty into a water-collecting sump pump drain.
Focus on air flow. Use a clean exhaust fan in your bathroom when you shower and in your kitchen when you cook or wash dishes. Keep the inner doors of your house open to help air flow and to stem mold growth.
Fix leaks. Anywhere there’s leaking water, mold may be present. Check for leaks in your basement, bathtubs, and laundry room, by all faucets, and on your roof.
Position drains away from the house. Moving rainwater away from your house will help keep the structure dry and mold-free.
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Other Problems Caused By Mold
Besides allergens, mold can pose other health risks to susceptible people. For example, mold can cause infections of the skin or mucous membranes. Generally, however, mold doesn’t cause systemic infections except for people with impaired immune systems, such as those who have HIV/AIDS or who are taking immunosuppressant medication.
Molds And Other Fungi
The spores of fungi are ubiquitous and, like pollen, are very light and travel in the air. Capable of surviving in dry, adverse conditions, fungal spores can live a long time. However, they especially thrive in a damp, warm environment, indoors or out.
Many people are allergic to mold, and in some people it may trigger asthma. Doctors have long recognized the connection between respiratory diseases caused by the inhalation of mold spores and an allergic response.
Outdoor molds include Alternaria, whose spore count peaks in late summer or early fall, and Cladosporium, whose spore count peaks during the summer months. People who are allergic to mold should minimize exposure to airborne molds by avoiding wooded areas or activities like raking damp leaves. Also avoid outdoor activities on windy and rainy days, since mold spore counts increase in warm, humid weather and immediately after summer rainstorms.
Indoor molds are also common, with more than 1,000 different molds found in U.S. homes. Indoor exposure to mold can be linked to not only to rhinitis symptoms, but also coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
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Is It Safe To Clean Black Mold Yourself
If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. Apply the cleaner to the mold spot and scrub away the growth. Be sure to dry the area thoroughly when youre done.
Are There Any Other Factors That Make Me More Susceptible To Mold Allergies
Many factors can make someone more susceptible to develop a mold allergy, including:
- Family History. If your mother and father will have the most impact on judging susceptibility of allergens.
- Occupational exposure. Jobs that put you in high-risk mold situations include construction, roofing, farming, dairy work, logging, baking, millwork, carpentry, greenhouse work, winemaking, furniture repair or any job that might require you to be in a damp environment continuously.
- Sleeping/living in a house that is high in humidity. When indoor conditions get above 50 percent humidity, the chance of mold growth increases dramatically. Mold can collect in vent systems that are not controlled and cleaned regularly, which will put you at risk due to prolonged exposure. Windows and doors that have too much weatherproofing can cause seals that trap moisture inside the house.
- Working or living in an apartment building that has a history of mold incursions. Mold does not die like mildew does with a hard freeze. It goes dormant, which allows for it to continue to spread across most places.
- Because of this, mold incursions that become deeply rooted in large buildings are hard to fully cleanout, which causes them to come back again and again. If you see anything report it so that the problem can be remedied as soon as possible.
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Diagnosis Of Mold Allergies In Dogs
Pets who have an inhalant allergy often have sensitivities to multiple particles such as dust, mites, and pollen. Cases where a dog has a severe skin problem that is difficult to diagnose, a referral to a veterinary dermatologist may be necessary.
To start, the veterinarian will discuss your dogs medical history. Important information for her to know will be recent illnesses, prior incidences of skin irritation, recent travel history, present diet, and whether there has been a need for medication of late. The veterinarian will also do a physical examination which will include a close look at the ears and the skin over the body. Some pets will need to be sedated for this exam if their ears or skin are tender, sore, or infected. Tests that can be done in the veterinary clinic will be blood tests, urinalysis, and skin scrapings, all with the goal of verifying other possible reasons for a skin problem such as mites or mange.
A veterinary dermatologist will order further testing which may include skin biopsy, skin cytology, ear and skin cultures, and additional skin scraping if necessary. Intradermal skin testing, where responses to allergens are measured and additional blood tests to check for antibodies to specific allergens may be recommended also.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Allergies
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, July to Early Fall are the most common months to see symptoms caused by mold mycotoxins or mold spores. But mold can grow in many undisturbed, damp places indoors, so symptoms can pop up any time of year with the right conditions. Symptoms of mold allergies appear much like most other common upper respiratory infections, which include:
- Itchy Nose or Throat
- Dry and/or Scaly Skin
These symptoms will vary in severity from person to person. You may be affected year-round, in specific environments, or even just a specific time of year. If you are affected by allergy symptoms year-round, it is just as important to test your home for mold spores as it is to go see a doctor for an allergens test.
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Treating Sinus Congestion Caused By Mold
While sinusitis caused by the common cold virus generally gets better without medical treatment, just like a cold does, sometimes sinusitis does require medical care. Bacterial infections may require antibiotics. Fungal infections may require prescription medication, as well. If allergies to mold or other substances are causing sinusitis, immunotherapy may help.
Over-the-counter remedies can relieve some symptoms of sinus infections. For instance, decongestants help relieve sinus congestion. Saline nasal spray can help clear clogged nasal passages and soothe inflamed mucous membranes. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can relieve sinus pain.
Sinusitis caused by mold will almost certainly not resolve completely, though, even with medical treatment, as long as you continue to be exposed to mold. Symptoms may abate temporarily but will probably return and may even worsen. Youll need to have your home thoroughly cleansed of all traces of mold if mold is causing or contributing to your sinus problems.
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