Mold allergy can be defined as the reaction your body or immune system produces when you contact the allergen called mold spores. It could get worse during the rainy season. Read More
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Risk Factors of Mold AllergySeveral factors could increase your possibility of developing a mold allergy. They include:
- A family history of allergies can increase your chances of having or developing allergies.
- Some occupations could expose one to mold spores. Occupations include farming, dairy work, baking work, millwork, carpentry work, greenhouse work, winemaking, and sometimes furniture making or repair.
- Living in places with high humidity. An increase in moisture aids the development of mold spores. Mold can develop anywhere with the suitable condition that aid their growth, which could range from a moist basement to carpet pads and damp surfaces.
- A house with poor ventilation may also be a risk factor as closed doors or windows could trap moisture, creating ideal mold growth conditions.
- Working or living in a building constantly exposed to moisture due to leakages in pipes, roofs, etc.
Complications of MoldComplications of mold allergy could involve hay fever-type symptoms but there could be other severe complications such as:
- Allergic Fungal Sinusitis
- Allergic Conjunctivitis
- Extrinsic allergic alveolitis
- Mold Induced Asthma
- Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
- Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
- Sometimes, it could lead to infection of the skin or mucous membrane causing a running nose.
Diagnosis of Mold AllergyDiagnosis of a mold allergy can be through:
- Family history of allergies
- Skin test
- Blood Test
- A physician will examine a medical history
- Physical examination
- Pulmonary function test: Indicated for all fungal-induced pulmonary diseases.
Treatment and Management of Mold AllergyTreatments and management of the condition and its symptoms include the following:
- Reduce exposure to allergen or mold spores. You may be able to trace the source of your allergen by tracing the cause of your symptoms and places you have been.
- Medications such as antihistamines and decongestants can help.
- Nasal lavage
- Steroids nose spray for allergic rhinitis.
- For allergic asthma: Short and long-term bronchodilators, mast cell stabilizers, theophylline, inhalational corticosteroids, leukotriene antagonists .
- Immunotherapy Otolaryngologic surgery: Indicated in allergic rhinitis, who develops adenoid hypertrophy, chronic ear effusion, etc.
Prevention of Mold AllergyPreventing mold allergy involves reducing exposure to mold spores and eliminating the ideal environment to facilitate its growth. You can take the following steps to prevent mold growth:
- Remove all sources of dampness by repairing damaged pipes, roofs, etc.
- Regular use of a dehumidifier to remove musty smells and dampness. Clean the collection bucket and its condensation coil regularly.
- Installing central air conditioning with a high-efficiency air filter attachment might help trap mold spores coming from outside the house before they circulate inside.
- Always ensure that you clean the filters on the furnace regularly.
- Check and examine air heating ducts and clean where necessary.
- Ensure proper ventilation for all rooms.
- Ventilate all bathrooms properly.
- Install a ventilation fan to help dry out the water if possible.
- Avoid carpeting bathrooms and basements.
- Ensure that you clean the rain gutter frequently.
- Keep the drainage a little bit far from the house.
- Eliminate old books and newspapers that are not needed as this can help avoid them getting damp and moldy.
- Wear a mask when trimming grasses, digging plants, or turning the compost.
- Limit outdoor activities when the humidity level is high.
- Try scouring bathtubs and sinks at least monthly, as the fungus or mold may thrive on the soap or films that coat the tiles and grout.
- Ensure you clean the garbage pile frequently.
- Make a habit of cleaning the refrigerator door gaskets and drip pans.
- Avoid leaving wet clothes around the house.
- Remove dead leaves and vegetation around the house yard.
The symptoms of mold allergy are just like every other allergy but include:
- Itching in the throat
- Running nose
- Scaling skin
- Nasal congestion
- Irritated eyes
- In extreme cases, asthmatic attacks.
One of the primary causes of mold allergy is exposure to the allergen called mold which could initiate a response from the immune system as it recognizes the mold as a foreign object, hence producing allergy-causing antibodies to fight them.
Even when the exposure is over, the antibodies already produced will still retain the information about the foreign substances or invaders and will fight any resemblance of the invader in the body, hence producing the same effect again when you get exposed to mold spores.
Not all kind of mold causes allergic reactions. Examples of mold that causes allergic reaction include Alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium, and penicillium
- Is mold allergy toxic?
Mold allergies can be pretty uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they are not life-threatening, and proper hygiene precautions and medications may restore your health. But in extreme cases, when exposure to the mold spores is over a long time, it could result in hypersensitivity pneumonitis. In addition, it could make people with asthma have an asthmatic crisis as the mold spore may affect the lungs and make breathing difficult.
- What food should I avoid during a mold allergy?
They include cheese, mushrooms, sour creams and milk, foods made with yeast, etc.
- How can I test myself for a mold exposure test?
The easiest method is through a mold urine test. It is an effective method of checking for molds in the body. Increased uric acid and other organic acids may indicate exposure to mycotoxins.
- How do you recover from mold exposure?
Avoid the causative allergen, using a nasal rinse to flush mold spores, and using a nasal corticosteroid to reduce inflammation might help speed up the recovery process.
- How do you get mold spores out of the air?
Air purifiers are effective means of getting rid of mold spores. Please place them in individual rooms for maximum results.