If you’ve been experiencing fall allergies, mold may be to blame. Humidity and damp conditions may exacerbate the already-heightened spread of mold spores before they die down in winter. If you’ve noticed sneezing, watery eyes, or scaly skin, we’ll provide you information about mold allergies, their symptoms, and what you can do to stop them.
Mold Allergies: An Overview
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow on nearly anything, as long as some moisture is present. Many molds grow on grasses and grains, in compost piles, or underneath rotten logs and fallen leaves—making the beginning of fall a perfect time for them to thrive. Alternatively, damp basements or humid laundry rooms or bathrooms may also provide the ideal environment for mold to grow year-round.
Unlike plants and animals, molds reproduce and grow through spores, which are lightweight and extremely small “seeds” that can travel through the air.
Breathing in these spores is where problems may arise. There are a few mold species in particular that are responsible for allergy symptoms:
Mildew is also a type of mold, and seeing its thin gray, black, or whit dusting on upholstery, fabric, or walls may also indicate the presence of an allergy trigger. Worse, if you notice “black mold,” you may have the toxic Stachybotrys species growing in your damp walls or near water damage.This type of fungi can be extremely hazardous to human health, especially with long-term exposure.
As far as the other types of mold go, they can cause allergy symptoms—whether or not you have a mold allergy.
Symptoms of a Mold Allergy
In the US, about 20% of the population has been diagnosed with environmental allergies—which includes mold allergies. Two-thirds of those with asthma may also have environmental allergies.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with environmental allergies, mold spores still could make you sensitive. When the body is exposed to mold spores, it responds by producing antibodies. Repeated exposure prompts a bigger response which—especially for those with a mold allergy—can include the following symptoms (similar to other types of allergic rhinitis):
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Coughing and postnasal drip
- Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
- Watery eyes
- Dry, scaly skin
If you have asthma, mold can also trigger an asthma attack. Certain types of mold may also produce flu-like symptoms, which in some cases could include fevers and general feelings of illness. In the most extreme situations, severe symptoms like lung infections and anaphylaxis may also arise.
How to Treat a Mold Allergy
The best thing we can do to stop a mold allergy? Avoid mold in the first place.
Especially if you notice black mold in your home, it’s important to eradicate it immediately to avoid serious complications. You should also take steps to avoid other types of mold and mildew, either by using an exhaust fan or open window to limit dampness or avoiding things like piles of wet leaves. Professional remediation may be required, too.
To address symptoms, antihistamines, nasal steroids, and other medications may provide relief. If you suffer from asthma, you may be prescribed inhaled steroids or other types of medications. As always, it’s good to check with your doctor before taking any medications, including over-the-counter solutions to allergies.
But mold spores are all around us. Even if you don’t spot their source, you’re breathing them in right now. In fact, on an average day, a human will inhale anywhere from 1,000 to 10 billion mold spores!
If you don’t want to live in a mold spore-free bubble or constantly have to reach for a bottle of antihistamines that make you drowsy, there’s another solution to mold allergies: an AirDoctor HEPA Air Purifier.
An AirDoctor to Clean Your Air of Mold
Between miserable symptoms that leave you feeling awful to the potential dangers that come with certain species, mold allergies aren’t something you should just tolerate. And fortunately, you don’t have to.
Because they’re equipped with UltraHEPA filters, AirDoctor purifiers are beyond capable of trapping mold and mildew spores, as well as smaller air contaminants like viruses, bacteria, and smoke. AirDoctor is the perfect solution to protect your indoor air from mold species. Order one today and get ready to notice a decrease in your mold allergy symptoms.