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Mold Allergy Symptoms and Treatment

Mold allergies are more common during humid days, rains or winter. While mold allergies are not curable yet, you can still effectively prevent and manage them. Understand more about mold allergens to keep the allergy at bay.

Allergy By Meenakshi ChaudharyNov 28, 2014

Mold Allergy

If your allergies deteriorate during rains, then it’s a sign that you may be experiencing mold allergy.  Mold allergies aren’t life threatening but they can surely make you feel uncomfortable.  Mold spore is the primary allergen in the allergy as such spores make their way into your nose through air, causing mold allergies.  Such mold has been linked to allergies and asthma. The mold spores that float constantly in the air tend to trigger reactions. The problem gets worse when the spores get attached to a wet surface as it lets the mold to grow. Since the mold is known to grow throughout the year, unlike other allergies, mold allergies are not seasonal. Image Courtesy: Getty

Symptoms

When the spores from the fungi reach your lungs, you experience mold allergies. The response of the immune system to the invading spores results in release of histamine which is responsible for causing the allergic symptoms. The common symptoms of mold allergies include sneezing, coughing, congestion, watery eyes and postnasal drip. These symptoms can be mistaken with common cold or sinus infection but if you are an asthmatic patient, your asthma symptoms will get worse on catching mold. Mold allergy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Image Courtesy : Getty

Risk Factors

People with family history of allergies and asthma are more prone to developing mold allergy. Working in an occupation that exposes you to mold is another factor that could lead to mold allergy.  Even your home can be exposed to mold if the indoor humidity is higher than 60 percent. They are most common in damp locations such as bathrooms, basements or washrooms. Fabrics, stuff toys and books or wallpaper may catch mold if they are kept in damp places.  Poor ventilated houses are more vulnerable to mold. Image Courtesy : Getty Images

Complications

Mold allergy may range from mild to severe. Some severe allergic conditions caused by mold are as follows. Mold induced asthma is a severe type of mold allergy in which the inhalation of spores can flare up the asthma symptoms. Allergic fungal sinusitis occurs due to an inflammatory reaction to fungus in sinuses. Another severe type of mold allergy is alergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis which commonly occurs in people who have asthma or cystic fibrosis. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a rare condition which occurs when the airborne particles cause inflammation in the lungs. Image Courtesy : Getty Images

Skin Prick Test

Skin prick test is used to demonstrate an allergic reaction to a specific allergen. It is very simple, safe and quick test. The test is done with diluted amounts of common or suspected allergens that may be causing the allergy. The suspected allergens are then applied to your arms or back, eliciting a small localized allergic response at the site of testing.  Avoid taking anti- histamines or other medications before the test. If there is no reaction to the skin prick test it means the person is not sensitive to applied allergen.Image Courtesy : Getty Images

Radioallergosorbent Test

This test is done when skin prick test is either not suitable or available. RAST test is done on blood sample to check for allergic sensitivity to specific allergens. The blood sample is mixed with suspected allergens to trigger allergies. If the test comes negative, then you are sensitive to that particular allergen.  On the other hand, positive result indicates that you are sensitive to that allergen. Image Courtesy : Getty Images

Treatments

Although there is no cure for mold allergy but certain medications can provide relief from the symptoms.  These medications include nasal corticosteroids, antihistamines, oral decongestants, descongestant nasal sprays and montelukast.  Nasal corticosteroids are effective in treating the inflammation caused by respiratory mold allergy while antihistamines provide relief from itching and sneezing. Other treatment option for mold allergy includes immunotherapy and nasal lavage. Image Courtesy : Getty Images

Prevention

Keep your windows closed when you sleep to keep outdoor mold away.  The airborne mold spores tend to be more widespread during night and cool weather.  Remove sources of dampness from your basement, washroom and other areas.  Use a dehumidifier in your house to keep the humidity levels below 50 percent. Image Courtesy : Getty Images

 

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