Many types of molds live in our environment. Mold grows in indoor and outdoor areas that are warm, dark and/or moist. Molds reproduce and grow by sending tiny spores into the air. Inhaling these spores cause allergy and asthma symptoms.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold requires warmth and moisture to grow. That is why we are constantly warned to check our basements and showers and any other dark and wet places in our houses. Any time you suspect you have a water leak in your house, it is best to clean the area thoroughly and inspect for mold. Outdoors, mold grows best in warm climates with high agricultural production, which is why people from the southeast and Midwest who suffer from mold allergies may be miserable all year round. Mold is common in many food-related industries, like dairies and bakeries. Those with mold allergies may want to avoid such work.
Identifying Mold Allergies
Mold allergy symptoms roughly the same as those of a cold. If you have a cough, runny nose, are sneezing, and suffer from itchy eyes, then you just might have a cold, or you may suffer from mold allergies. doctor will have to perform some basic tests to determine which it is. Unfortunately, there is no cure for those of us with mold allergies, but the symptoms can be managed with medication, and, in some cases, immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is, basically, allergy shots. Allergy shots are not ordinary shots you receive one time and the doctor proclaims you cured. Immunotherapy can take several years, and even then the benefits might only last a few years. It is also not a promise of a complete cure, but rather a noticeable decrease in symptoms. But the fact is those who suffer from excessive symptoms related to mold allergies are generally willing to endure immunotherapy as a means to relieve their suffering.
Learning To Live With Mold Allergies
Mold allergies affect a large number of people, usually from the early spring into middle to late summer. While mold allergies can cause a certain level of discomfort, they are usually something you can learn to live with. Chances are if you are allergic to pollen, then mold is going to cause you problems too. Just like pollen, mold allergies are brought on when mold spores, or microscopic seeds, become airborne. When these spores are inhaled, they are small enough to get past the nose’s natural defenses. When this happens the spores can invade the lungs, which may lead to allergic rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the mucus membranes of the nose. Some people who suffer from mold allergies may notice symptoms when eating certain foods, like mushrooms or cheese, when mold spores are prevalent.
Environmental Changes Can Help Your Mold Allergies
Evidence shows that allergy and asthma symptoms will improve over time if the recommended environmental control changes are made. Many of the changes are for the entire home. The bedroom is the most important, because the bedroom is where people usually spend 1/3 to 1/2 of their time.
Steps To Help Control Mold Allergens
Exposure to mold can make allergy and/or asthma symptoms worse in some people. To avoid these problems follow the steps below to decrease or eliminate exposure.
In the kitchen - use an exhaust fan to remove water vapor when cooking. Discard spoiled foods immediately. Empty the garbage daily. Empty water pans below self-defrosting refrigerators frequently. Remove moldy stored items. Vent the clothes dryer outside. In the bathroom - use an exhaust fan or open a window to remove moisture after showering. Wipe down the damp surfaces after showering. Wash bathrooms with a mold-preventing or mold-killing solution at least once a month. Remove leaves, clippings and compost from around your house. The person with a mold allergy should avoid cutting grass and raking leaves or at the minimum wear a facemask for these activities.
Don’t use humidifiers. Humidifiers and vaporizers will increase humidity in the room and create a favorable environment for mold to growth. They can also inadvertently spread mold spores throughout your house. If you must use a humidifier, clean it daily to prevent mold growth.
Keep the indoor moisture low. The ideal humidity level is 30-40%. In warm climates, use a dehumidifier or central air conditioning to control the temperature inside your house. Central air conditioning reduces indoor humidity. Clean the dehumidifier regularly.
Always consult with your healthcare provider as they may recommend additional medications, therapies or other environmental controls.
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