Do you suffer with a mold allergy?
Allergies produce a hyper-reactive response by the immune system which results in somewhat similar symptoms. For the most part, these allergies are triggered by a particular protein molecule which causes the immune system to go into hyper drive, irritating mast cells which then secrete a large amount of histamine. Individuals who are allergic to mold have similar responses.
Mold is a fungus that is found throughout nature and require food and water sources in order to grow. The majority of food is found in the form of carbohydrate materials such as wood or cellulose. Mold grows in groups or units and reproduces by forming spores which become airborne, much like pollen. It is these spores which cause the allergic responses in an individual.
Mold is also associated with other human diseases especially in those of us who have poorly functioning immune systems. The fungus is able to produce toxins which can settle in the lungs, sinuses and upper respiratory tract. Infections on the outermost skin caused by mold will include ringworm, favus, hyperkeratosis and keratitis.
People who are most at risk for getting a mold allergy are those who have other family members who are allergic to things like mold, pollen or animal dander. Some become allergic only to mold while others also have problems with dust mites, pollen and other types of spores. If an individual is allergic to only mold, then it is highly unlikely that all types of mold will affect them.
Symptoms of a mold allergy include sneezing, itching, nasal discharge, congestion and dry skin. Some individuals will suffer throughout the summer months because outdoor mold are prevalent or year-round if they are susceptible to indoor varieties. Some spores will deposit on the lining of the lungs and cause hay fever symptoms or they can reach the lungs and cause asthma flareups. In some instances the reaction is immediate while at other times the reaction is delayed and it can be worse in a damp room such as the basement.
There are several things that individuals who suffer from mold allergies can do. in order to decrease the symptoms they experience and improve their quality of life. The first job is to get the house tested. A moisture meter will help determine areas of the house which are damper and more prone to growing mold. A dust sample from the carpet can show whether or not there are mold spores in the house. You can check with the health department about getting the homes tested for mold or look in the Yellow Pages.
It is important to remove all areas of the home that are the best environments for mold to grow. In other words, fixing leaky plumbing or other sources of water that reach the structure or inside the house. If there is mold in the crawl space or in the basement then locate and stop the water and have the mold removed. During the winter months the heating unit will draw air from the basements and crawlspace and deliver it throughout the house, very effectively distributing mold spores to the upper levels of the home.
When you do find mold call an environmental service in order to get rid of it. If it is a very small area you can attempt to take care of it yourself. Check inside the drywall to see if there is any mold growing. Any mold the drywall must be cut out and replaced and any installation must be replaced.
Do not use chlorine bleach in order to clean mold because it does nothing more than bleach the top of it. Instead, use soap and water combined with a stiff brush to remove the mold. Allow the area to dry completely.
Do not install carpeting in areas where there is moisture, such as the basement. Instead seal the cement floor and use rugs. Any ceiling tiles or carpet that become moldy must be replaced and cannot be cleaned or disinfected.
While many people enjoy a good hot shower it is important to reduce the indoor humidity by venting the bathrooms and other moisture generating sources. While exhaust fans can help they will not take care of the entire problem. Instead, cracked the window and allow the humidity to escape to the outside.
Especially during the summer months, use dehumidifiers. These can help get rid of dampness in the basement and make your air conditioner work more efficiently. Change the filters regularly and don't forget to empty the pan.
Like all other allergies it is important to remove the source of the problem, the allergen itself, in order to adequately remove the symptoms. There is no cure for a mold allergy and treatment is usually symptomatic. This means that allergists recommend removing the source of the mold and using antihistamines and decongestants in order to help the body handle this attack.
More Info On Mold Removal
Mold Allergy: How To Survive When Your Home Is Toxic
How To Get Rid Of Mold And Get Your Home Back
Best Products To Remove Mold That Won’t Send You To The ER
Mold Removal Product Reviews
Kill Black Mold - 16 Tips To Remove Dangerous Mold And Breathe Freely
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And remember … any asthma treatment prescribed by a physician should always be taken as ordered, even if there are no symptoms. Your doctor is the gatekeeper to keeping you healthy.
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