Tree, grass and weed pollen aren’t the only catalysts of allergy attacks. Unbeknownst to many people, mold can also trigger attacks. Known as a mold allergy, it’s a common condition from which millions of people suffer. Because it shares similar characteristics as pollen allergies, however, mold allergies are often left untreated.
What Are Mold Allergies?
A mold allergy is an condition in which your body’s immune system — the internal self-defense mechanism that fights bad germs — overreacts to the presence of mold spores. Consisting of tissues, organs and white blood cells, the immune system’s primary job is to defend against harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. If the cold-causing virus influenza is attempting to invade your body, your immune system will try and stop it by attacking the virus with white blood cells. In some cases, though, it may overreact to an otherwise harmless substance, including mold.
Whether you realize it or not, mold is all around us. According to one study, the average person breathes in 1,000 to 10 billion spores each day. The good news is that mold exposure — especially in relative small amounts — is harmless for most people. The immune system does it job by effectively neutralizing the spores without ill effect. People with mold allergies, however, experience adverse effects from mold spores. When absorbed into their body, typically by breathing in the spores, these individuals experience a wide range of symptoms during a period known as an allergy attack. This attack may last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Symptoms of Mold Allergies
To determine if a mold allergy is to blame for your health problems, you must evaluate your symptoms.
Common symptoms of mold allergies include the following:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes
- Red eyes
- Sore throat
Is It Mold Pollen or Pollen Allergies?
Symptoms of mold allergies are created as a byproduct of an overactive immune system. Therefore, they share many of the same symptoms as pollen allergies, making it difficult for individuals to distinguish between the two. So, how do you know if mold is to blame for your allergy attacks?
Start by searching for signs of mold in your home. It’s impossible to eliminate all mold spores from your home. But if you see obvious signs of mold, such as black spots on the bathroom walls, this indicates a high concentration of mold spores, which increases the risk of mold allergies. Mold thrives in moist, cool and dark places. If mold is a problem in your home, you may find it in the shower, attic, basement and other humid areas.
You should also eliminate the possibility that pollen is causing your allergy attacks. Googling the phrase “pollen count” should reveal the level of allergy-causing pollen in your area. If the pollen count is low and you still experience an allergy attack, mold might be to blame. You can also wait until the late fall or winter months to eliminate pollen as a cause of your allergy attacks, as there’s little or no pollen in the air during this time of year.
Keep in mind that, like most allergies, you can develop mold allergies at any age. Even if you’ve never experienced it before, your body may develop an allergy to mold spores.
Watch the Moisture
If you believe mold is to blame for your allergies, you should keep your home dry to discourage mold spores from thriving. In the bathroom, for example, turn on the exhaust fan when you take a bath or shower. The exhaust fan doesn’t blow air into your bathroom. It does the opposite: It pulls moist, humid air from inside your bathroom and releases it outside. Neglecting to use the exhaust fan when you bathe or shower means moisture vapor will get trapped inside your bathroom, creating the perfect breeding grounds for mold.
Treat Your Home
It takes more than just moisture control to protect against mold allergies. You’ll also need to clean and remove the living spores from your home. A spray product like EC3 Mold Solution can kill mold spores on contact. By going over problematic areas in your home with a mold-killing spray such as this, you’ll create a cleaner home while reducing your risk of a mold allergy attack in the process.
Because mold often thrives in carpet, it’s recommended that you vacuum your home on a regular basis. For maximum mold-removing power, use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA vacuum cleaner are designed to trap more smaller particles than traditional vacuum cleaners. And due to the small size of mold spores, they offer greater mold-removing power. Just remember to clean or replace the HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you suffer from mold allergies, contact us today to learn more about our mold sensitivity evaluation test and treatment solutions.Share