Ways To Prevent Mold Allergies
Although mold can live almost anywhere, avoiding exposure is a critical part of controlling your mold allergies. Learn how to protect yourself at home and outdoors.
Fighting mold allergies might seem like an impossible challenge. After all, mold is a natural part of the environment and, though you cant see mold spores, they can travel through the air and make their way into your nose. Its fair to say that a mold allergy can be a problem, but the first place to start is with good, basic hygiene, says John Cohn, MD, a professor of medicine and pediatrics and chief of the adult allergy section at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia. Just as staying out of the sun can prevent sunburn, good housekeeping and other simple measures can go a long way toward managing allergies, Dr. Cohn says.
Mold Cleanup And Removal
To prevent a mold allergy, the first step is to get rid of the mold where you live or work.
Prevention is the best treatment for mold allergies. So, you first need to find the source of it to keep it from happening again. Mold thrives in warm and damp areas, such as bathrooms and humid kitchens or basements.
- Fix a water leak as soon as you notice it, as it can lead to moisture buildup in a basement or damp areas under carpets that can easily go unnoticed.
- Make your home less mold-friendly by controlling the amount of moisture in the air. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners will help.
- An exhaust fan or open window in the bathroom will help cut down on humidity.
- In the kitchen, keep an eye out for mold in refrigerator drip pans, door seals and garbage pails.
- If you spot mold on a hard surface in your home like glass, plastic or tile, clean it using a bleach solution.
- Throw out old carpets, bedding and mattresses that have become infested with mold.
- Avoid piles of damp leaves in your yard and garden. If you need to mow the lawn, dig up plants, or rake leaves during the rainy days, wear a dust mask.
- Keep things in airtight, waterproof containers, so mold cant sneak in.
The Best Treatment For Mold Allergies: Prevention
But experts agree that mold allergy sufferers are better off avoiding mold in the first place.
That means steering clear of places where mold is likely to lurk: decomposing vegetation as well as antiques shops, flower shops, farms, summer cottages, greenhouses, saunas, and anyplace else where warm, damp conditions prevail.
Most important, it means taking steps to ensure that your home — where the average American spends 90% of the time — is a mold-free zone.
Does that mean youâll have to give up the Stilton? Probably not. âCheeses and other moldy foods can bother some people with mold allergies, but generally this isnât a problem,â says James L. Sublett, MD, chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Ky., and vice-chairman of the indoor environments committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Here are some other six strategies that can make a big difference in containing mold.
Keep Up Your Guard Outside
You have to think outside of the house too when youre combating mold allergies. If its growing on the foundation and siding, mold is making its way into your home. Airborne spores come in through windows opened to fresh air and follow busy family traffic through doorways.
Keep gutters and downspouts clean so that they run freely. Accumulated debris in their damp environment sets up a perfect breeding ground for mold.
Dont stack firewood against exterior walls. Mold takes hold and rapidly grows on wood especially when it gets damp.
Make sure that your homes foundation and porches have good drainage directed away from the house.
Think about where youre going. Locations like flower shops, antique stores and farmers markets are likely places to pick up microscopic mold spores.
Track the outdoor mold activity in your area. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology site offers with local information about mold levels.
Could Your Sniffling Be A Mold Allergy
Sniffling and sneezingalong with other unpleasant symptomsare your bodys way of signaling that it really, really doesnt like being around a certain substance. If you have a mold allergy, exposure causes your bodys immune system to overreact, producing symptoms like a runny nose and watery, itchy eyes. If you also have asthma, it might even lead to some wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, theres a major complicating factor: You may not even know that this common allergen is the culprit. It can lurk, unseen and hidden. The only way you might realize its around is when you start using up your box of tissues.
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Mold: How Does It Cause Allergies
Mold is a fungus that grows in places that are moist. During its growth phase, mold is unlikely to cause many allergy symptoms unless youre actively touching or removing it, says Christian Nageotte, MD, staff allergist at Henry Ford Hospital in Novi, Michigan. But on dry and windy days outside, mold goes into the protective part of its life cycle, he says. Thats when mold releases seeds, or spores, that blow in the wind and can be inhaled.
About three dozen types of mold can cause respiratory allergies. Mold allergy symptoms may include a runny nose, sneezing, congestion, mucus buildup, postnasal drip, and an itchy nose and eyes. When mold spores enter the lungs, they could trigger asthma.
If you have experienced allergic symptoms but are unsure of the cause, a skin or blood test done by an allergist can tell you if mold is the culprit.
How Do U Take A Look At For Mold In Home
In the event you see any of the next indicators under, contact Avalon Residence Inspections for an entire mold analysis:
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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.
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
Your bodys overproduction of mucus can reveal itself not only through a persistent cough but also through your bodys attempts to dispose of it. The body continually produces mucus, a viscous fluid that serves to lubricate as well as clean. Its the second of these two functions that is pertinent to the allergic response. Mucus captures foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria, and flushes them out, often harmlessly and unnoticeably. But when the body produces more mucus in the respiratory system than it can quietly dispose of, you notice the output in the form of a runny nose or postnasal drip. Whether excess mucus drains through the nostrils or down the throat, the discomfort it creates can indicate that the body is responding to the presence of mold.
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Eczema Or Dry Scaly Skin
I grew up with eczema but never knew there was a connectionto allergy. I tried every cream and moisturizer available, but nothing seemedto work.
Sure enough, after treating my allergies, my skin clearedup. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. If its showing signs ofirritation then try to figure out the reason.
A mold allergy could definitely exacerbate skin that isprone to dryness and eczema.
First: Time Length Of Mold Exposure
The single greatest factor in your recovery from mold is time of exposure. If you have been living in a house with a substantial mold problem for years, you are highly likely to have a fungal build-up in your body. This can take the form of fungus balls in your sinuses. It can be Candida in your gut. In extreme cases mold can be stored in and around the organs of your body.
The more mold that builds up in your body the longer it takes to remove, and the more powerful the anti-fungal you will need to stop your symptoms. If it took years to create the problem, it could take more than a year to undo it. And that is assuming that you have completely remediated the mold source and/or moved out of the problem environment. If you continue to put mold into your body you may never get truly well, you will only succeed in reducing your symptoms.
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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.
Preparing For An Appointment
Many people are diagnosed and treated for allergies by their primary care physicians. However, depending on the severity of your allergies, your primary care doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating allergies.
You can take steps to ensure you cover everything that’s important to you during your appointment. Here’s some information to help you get ready and know what to expect from your doctor.
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What Are The Signs Of Mold In Your House
Musty smells are a tell-tale sign of mold. Another common indicator is visible signs of water damage.
As mentioned earlier, mold grows fast. Within 24 hours of a water leak, or a flood, mold will begin to take hold. This mold can grow on anything thats humid walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, and even wet laundry.
When there is a chance of mold, its important to have a professional in to test. Professionals qualified to do environmental investigations can:
- Check the surfaces of your house for mold
- Test the air for spores
- Help you to identify sources of moisture
- Identify where the mold is growing and help you decontaminate your house
- Use natural enzymes to kill mold spores
If you dont get rid of all sources of mold, you risk getting sick from it.
About Mold And Mold Allergies
Healers first wrote about mold allergies more than 300 years ago doctors and pharmacists now use advanced methods to create mold allergy treatment.
About 96 percent of all chronic sinusitis is the result of mold, according to a landmark1999 study by the Mayo Clinic. In a 2012study, researchers examined 289 homes and 36 types of mold and discovered that infants and young children who had been exposed to mold in the home had an increased risk of developing asthma by the time the children turned 7-years-old.
Mold is a type of fungus, which can grow nearly anywhere. Outdoor mold plays an important role in breaking down dead leaves, plants, and trees. Mold thrives on moisture and prefers dark, stagnant locations. This type of fungus reproduces by sending tiny, lightweight spores through the air.
Sometimes these spores land on damp spots in homes or buildings. Mold can get inside through open doors, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Clothing, shoes, bags, and even pets can bring mold indoors.
Once inside, mold can begin to grow in exposed and in hidden areas anywhere there is moisture. Mold can grow around leaks in windows, roofs, pipes, or anywhere there has been a flood. This type of fungus can also take hold in dust, wallpaper, paints, drywall, carpet, fabric, insulation, and upholstery.
Mold growing on exposed surfaces can be released into the air, where it can spread to other parts of the house. Airborne mold is easily inhaled.
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How Can You Remove Mold
Mold is often difficult to remove in the home. It can even lurk inside walls. Its best if someone other than the person with the mold allergy works to remove the mold.
First, identify the source of the moisture that is allowing the mole to grow and fix the source if you can. Remove any carpet or drywall that has had mold growing on it. If the mold is extensive, you may need to hire a mold remediation contractor.
If materials cannot be removed, you can remove visible mold and mildew with a household bleach solution or non-toxic mix of 1 tablespoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 quart water.
Following cleaning, a dehumidifier is often useful in not allowing mold to regrow.
How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:
- What type of mold they are exposed to,
- How long the exposure has been,
- How well their bodies eliminate toxins
Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.
Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.
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What Is Your Mold Allergy Terrain
Warm, windy conditions are bad for mold allergy sufferers. Mold thrives on warmth and travels by way of the breeze. Even though the salt air will keep some mold away, some
are resistant to the salt air and can still thrive not far inland. So even though it would be pretty to move to the beach, it may not give you a reprieve from your mold allergies.
Even in the northern US, where freezes occur often, mold can grow from the snow and ice melt off that can pool or create water damage in wood. Places where it stays below
the freezing temperature for months at a time are some of the few places where mold will at least not grow outside for a large chunk of the year.
It is good to be prepared when you know you must move, but you should not move to âget away from your allergiesâ.
Quick Answer: How Long Does It Take To Recover From Mold Illness
As you kill the mold and there are less organisms in your body, you will start to feel better. It took my husband six months to become free and clear of mold while it took me a year and a half. Even though I am currently back on my detox regimen due to a new mold exposure, which is another story, I feel good.
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How Do You Kill Mold Spores Within The Air Naturally
To kill mold: Use white distilled vinegar and pour it into a sprig bottle with out watering it down. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy floor and go away it to sit down for an hour. Lastly, wipe the world clear with water and permit the floor to dry. Any scent from the vinegar ought to clear inside just a few hours.
How Do I Know If I Have A Mold Allergy
Allergy or allergy-like symptoms, especially those of the upper respiratory system, are common, and may result from a number of medical conditions. You will need to see your physician for a proper evaluation. He or she may take the following steps to diagnose your case:
- Conduct a physical examination
- Document your symptoms and family medical history
- Administer a radioallergosorbent, or RAST, test to identify your allergen or allergens
- Conduct a skin-prick test
- Administer an IgE antibody test
The skin-prick test involves injecting tiny amounts of potential irritants under your skin, to look for evidence of an allergic response . The IgE antibody test indicates past contact with an allergen.
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Echinacea For Mold Allergies Treatment
One of the powerful ways on how to treat mold allergies is using Echinacea. Echinacea helps to enhance the immune system by aiding the ability of the body to combat the fungi responsible for the problem. Apart from that, this herb can help to relieve the symptoms and promote recovery as well. You add Echinacea tincture to 1 glass of water and consume it around 3-4 times per day. Alternatively, take Echinacea supplements but consult your doctor prior to taking it.
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.
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