Determining if You Have Mold Allergies
Mold allergies affect many people, but often they may not realize the cause of their symptoms. Mold can grow indoors in damp places and mold spores can be present outside in the air we breathe. Without knowing the root of the problem, it can be difficult to treat the allergic symptoms. Determining what is causing your respiratory issues can lead to treatments that bring lasting relief. Learn more about the symptoms of mold allergies, and the best treatment options.
Symptoms of Mold Allergies
The symptoms of mold allergies can mirror those of many other respiratory allergies. These symptoms can include:
- Postnasal drip
- Running or stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
- Watery eyes
Depending on the individual, symptoms can vary. Although airborne mold spores can be present year-round, mold levels are highest from late spring through early fall when the weather is warm and moist. As autumn leaves begin to fall, they can compost creating another breeding ground for mold. Inside, mold levels will increase due to moisture in the air and from leaks and standing water. Be sure to promptly repair leaks, use exhaust fans in bathrooms, and run a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level below 50%.
Causes of Mold Allergies
If you are allergic to mold, your immune system will be overly sensitive to specific spores and in turn will trigger allergic symptoms. High mold levels can also exacerbate asthma symptoms in asthmatics sensitive to mold. There are many types of mold, but only a handful of varieties are allergy-inducing. It is possible to only be allergic to a select few varieties, as well. Common allergy-causing molds are Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium. The best way to know what is causing your symptoms is with an allergy skin test.
Treatments for Mold Allergies
Like other allergies, mold allergies are treatable. Your allergist may recommend treating with medications including nasal corticosteroids, antihistamines, oral decongestants, decongestant nasal sprays, and montelukast tablets. For people with persistent symptoms, or allergic to allergens in addition to mold (like pollen, dust, or pet dander) allergy immunotherapy may be recommended. Immunotherapy, drops or shots, can desensitize your immune system to your specific allergic triggers, lessening or even eliminating those miserable symptoms.
The Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia can help diagnose and treat your mold allergies. If you are suffering from undiagnosed allergies, our Georgia allergists can identify the cause and develop a treatment plan to bring you relief. Contact our office today to arrange an appointment.