Yes, an allergy to mold is a thing!
More often than not, it’s easy to overlook mold allergies and assume a completely different issue is at hand. Mold allergy symptoms mimic symptoms of other conditions, which commonly causes this condition to be inaccurately diagnosed.
An allergy to mold is caused by exposure to fungi and mold spores. Although mold spores are literally everywhere, those with an overactive immune system will be triggered when exposed. Mold allergies are especially common during the summer and fall months when humid, windy weather spreads airborne fungal spores. However, indoor mold is also a trigger and can cause allergic reactions year-round, as long as mold is present.
While there is no cure for an allergy to mold, it’s easy to prevent exposure and manage your allergy symptoms. Learn more about mold allergies below!
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and will flare-up when exposed to mold or some other type of fungus.
Severe allergic reactions may result in asthmatic symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Depending on certain risk factors, some are more susceptible to mold allergies. If you are exposed to the following conditions, you will need to protect yourself from mold.
Mold is sneaky and can grow almost anywhere. Because of this, homeowners don’t often find mold growth unless it’s too late. These are the most common areas you will want to routinely monitor if you suffer from an allergy to mold.
The kitchen is a hotspot for mold growth. You will want to check the cabinets underneath the sink for any leaks or moisture. The sink basin and garbage disposal usually have some degree of mold growth so it’s recommended that you clean your sink and disposal regularly. Don’t forget to look into the pantry and fridge for any food items that are becoming moldy. If these are left too long, it can spread to other parts of your home.
Bathrooms are another common area to watch out for. Mold growth thrives in bathrooms because of the high moisture content. Check the tile grout in your shower and the curtain to ensure there’s no mold growing there. Wiping down any water and leaving the fan on for at least an hour can reduce the chance of growth. Similar to the kitchen, check under the bathroom sink as well.
Take a look behind and underneath your washer and dryer to see if any leaks might be occurring. Front-loading washers are especially prone to moisture leaks and mold growth. Keep the washer and dryer door open when not in use to promote circulation and prevent fungus growth. If you hang dry items, make sure there is a drip pan or sink below to prevent water accumulation.
Did you know, 40 percent of the air in your homes is recycled from the crawl space? If you have an allergy to mold, you can see why mold growth in your crawl space shouldn’t be allowed to stay. Because the crawl space is located underground, it’s highly likely it will grow mold at some point.
Here is where you will also find your home’s plumbing pipes. Flooding and pipe leaks are common causes of mold and mildew, so regular crawl space inspections are vital.
Roof leaks, pipe leaks, poor insulation, blocked air vents, and clogged gutters can all lead to mold growth in your attic. While it’s easy to forget about the attic, you will want to go up there once in a while and inspect the entire space for any signs of mold.
If you live somewhere humid, condensation build up in your windows is fairly common. Moisture inside of the window pane can cause wood rot and mold growth that will not only trigger your allergy to mold, but require a costly window replacement. Wipe down condensation as soon as you notice it to keep the windows dry.
Fabric surfaces like carpet and rugs are magnets for mold. Large spills and pipe leaks can cause wet flooring that can go unnoticed for a long time. Once mold grows, it can be difficult to remove from fabric surfaces, as compared to solid surfaces. While a rug can be washed or easily replaced, carpeting will need to be removed and the subfloor may need replacing as well.
Prevention is the easiest way to manage all types of allergies. Here are some simple ways to protect yourself from an allergy to mold, starting from inside your home and moving to the outdoors.
Because mold thrives in areas with high levels of humidity, it’s important to make sure that your home doesn’t exceed a certain level of humidity. To control the air in your home, use a dehumidifier so that the air stays below 50 percent humidity.
In areas such as bathrooms and the kitchen, be sure to open up any windows or doorways to allow air to circulate and properly ventilate.
Any pipe or fixture leaks should be addressed in order to avoid a build up of condensation. Also, be sure you don’t overwater your plants, as mold will quickly grow in the soil and not only harm your plant but trigger your allergies, too.
More importantly, be sure to get rid of any visible mold in your home. Mold growth can be somewhat difficult to get rid of but it’s important to be sure it’s all gone.
Surface mold should never be allowed to continue growing because it can spread quickly. It also needs to be removed properly, with a mildewcide that will ensure it doesn’t grow back eventually. Professional mold remediation can ensure all of the mold is completely gone and will no longer trigger your mold allergy symptoms.
To get started on allergy management, schedule a virtual appointment with one of our providers to discuss your symptoms and allergy triggers. From there, you will be prescribed a custom transdermal immunotherapy treatment that will be delivered to your door. This easy-to-apply cream replaces weekly allergy injections and doctor’s office visits.
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