What causes Mold Allergy?
A mold allergy is an allergic reaction to mold spores. A mold allergy can cause severe asthma attacks.
Common Symptoms of Mold Allergy
- runny nose
- postnasal drip
- watery eyes
- shortness of breath
Diagnosis and Treatment
An allergist can diagnose a mold allergy through a physical examination, allergy testing or blood test. They can provide the best form of treatment for the symptoms. Doctors may suggest treating mold allergies with nasal corticosteroids, immunotherapy, antihistamines and/or decongestants.
The best treatment for mold allergy is to avoid the source of allergy. Reducing mold exposure and limiting mold spore growth is crucial when a mold allergy is identified. Some common avoidance strategies:
• Avoid contact. Keep away from areas known to harbor mold spores. Minimize contact with mold-prone household items (e.g., houseplant soil).
• Reduce indoor humidity. The risk of mold growth rises steeply if indoor humidity levels are above 50%. Hygrometers can be used to measure the humidity accurately and conveniently. The goal is to keep household humidity below 45%, however, levels lower than 35% humidity are ideal. An electric dehumidifier can be used to remove moisture from basements. If a dehumidifier is used, be sure to regularly drain and clean the condensation coils and collection bucket to prevent additional mold growth.
• Use central air conditioning with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. These filters help trap spores before they reach you. Air conditioning with a
HEPA filter attached works better than electrostatic air-cleaning devices and much better than free-standing air cleaners.