There are many people who find that their allergies get much worse when it rains. If this is the case with you, then chances are you may be suffering from a mold allergy. Mold allergies can greatly impact your life as they can make it to where you are uncomfortable throughout the day. These allergies are not life threatening, but they can be annoying.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that produces spores. These spores float through the air, much like pollen with plants. It is the spores that cause people to have allergy-related symptoms. The basic types of mold are outdoor and indoor mold. Outdoor mold is often found within the grass, around fallen leaves and other debris. When mold is outside, it does not get killed out by the frost like most pollen's do. It just stops growing, but once temperatures are back a bit warmer, it starts growing again. Indoor mold is found in damp places, such as kitchens or bathrooms, and can grow at any time of the year.
What Are the Mold Allergy Symptoms?
Those who have a mold allergy often have family members that are allergic to mold as well. In addition, those who are allergy to mold often have an allergy to animal dander.
Mold allergies have a wide range of symptoms that can be simply bothersome, or they can be a huge pain to those who have them. Some of the mold allergy symptoms are:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Tight chest
- Itchy eyes, nose or throat
- Shortness of breath
- Watery eyes
- Sinus pain
- Extreme fatigue
Those who experience some of these symptoms may find that asthma is to blame, especially with shortness of breath and the tightness in the chest. However, many times asthma is brought on by the mold spores that a person breathes in. In addition, those who are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia often have many of these same symptoms. Studies have found that these two medical issues are often linked to mold, as they get worse when the person breathes in the mold spores.
How to Reduce Exposure to Mold
If you believe you do have a mold allergy or are just concerned about being exposed to mold, there are several things that you can to prevent your exposure as well as help to remove the mold in your vicinity.
- Have your home tested for mold to determine if you do have mold in the house. You can utilize a dust sample from the carpet or use a moisture meter to see how prone the atmosphere is to mold.
- Any source of water needs to be eradicated. If you have a leaking pipe, be sure to fix it as water is one of the reasons that mold appears in homes.
- Remove the mold that you can see, which can be done with a service. Or if the area is small, you may be able to do this on your own.
- Be sure that the drywall and insulation in your home does not have mold. You can usually smell this, but many times you may have to visually check this.
- If you find mold on hard surfaces, remove this with a stiff brush and some soap and water. If this does not work, consider using some white vinegar to help remove it. The areas need to completely dry.
- If your carpet becomes flooded or any other areas become water damaged, be sure to dry these items within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold from setting up.
- When carpet or ceiling tiles become moldy, you have to replace these as there is no getting past this.
- Using vents in the bathrooms and kitchens to reduce the humidity in the air when water or steam is in the area. Cracking a window can also work in preventing mold from setting up.
- Consider using dehumidifiers and air conditioners regularly to help reduce mold. You will want to ensure that the filters are regularly changed.
- In areas that are prone to condensation, be sure to add insulation in any way that you can. This includes adding insulation around pipes, roofing and even floors.
How to Treat Mold Allergy
When dealing with a mold allergy, the best way to avoid it. However, with mold, this can be nearly impossible as it can be anywhere and everywhere. Though you may not be able to avoid the mold, you can do things that are going to help deal with the mold and minimize the chances of having an allergic reaction.
There are several medications,such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, nasal corticosteroids and/or oral decongestants, that you can use to deal with the symptoms you are suffering from, though they may not heal a mold allergy.
There are many people who find that taking immunotherapywhich is basically a series of allergy shots that are helpful with a mold allergy. However, it only works with certain types of mold allergies.
3. Nasal lavage
Another method to treat mold allergies is to use nasal lavage. You need to use salt water to rinse your nose every day with a particularly designed bottle, such as saline kits, neti pot. This is one method that allows you to keep your nose free from mold irritants.