Do your seasonal allergies seem to last year-round? If so, your symptoms could be caused by a mold allergy. Understanding the causes of this common allergy can help you find the treatment you need to get relief.
What Is a Mold Allergy?
Mold is everywhere. This fungus produces spores that are released into the air typically during dry and windy weather. When you breathe in the spores, they can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Dry skin
There are a number of types of molds, but only some cause an allergic reaction. While many of the molds that grow outside become inactive in the winter, mold can also grow in the damp areas of your home and be active all year.
How a Mold Allergy Is Diagnosed
Your doctor will start by reviewing your medical history. They will then order a skin prick test or an allergen-specific IgE blood test, testing a number of different molds and fungi.
Skin Prick Test
This type of allergy test involves placing a small drop of an allergen-specific extract on your skin. A lancet is used to prick the extract into your skin’s surface. After 15 minutes, your skin’s reaction to the allergen is reviewed. If you are allergic, a raised, red, itchy bump called a wheal will form; a wheal resembles a mosquito bite.
A blood test is used to determine the amount of allergen-specific antibodies called immunoglobin E (IgE) in your blood. The higher the level, the more likely you are to be allergic.
Prevent Your Allergy Symptoms
Reducing your exposure to mold is the best way to prevent allergy symptoms caused by both indoor and outdoor exposure to mold.
- Limit your outdoor activities when mold counts are high
- Wear a mask when cutting the grass and gardening
- Use central air conditioning with an allergy filter
- Lower your home’s humidity
- Remove carpeting
- Open a window or use an exhaust fan when showering
- Clean trash cans frequently
- Remove wet clothing from the washing machine promptly
- Dispose of old books, newspapers, clothing and bedding
- Repair any plumbing links
Can a Mold Allergy Be Cured?
There is no cure for a mold allergy, but your symptoms can be treated with antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays.
Talk to your doctor to see if you are a good candidate for immunotherapy.
To learn more about preventing allergy symptoms or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at CENTA Medical Group.