There are millions of people around the globe who suffer from an allergy in one form or another.
As with all allergies a mold allergy is triggered by the immune system responding and overreacting to an allergy source, in this case mold spores.
A mold allergy will produce similar types of symptoms seen with a number of other allergies of the upper respiratory system i.e. runny of stuffed up nose, cough, itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing and watering eyes – all of which spell misery for the sufferer! However not everyone will suffer to the same degree and it is possible that certain environments where there are higher concentrations of mold spores or even a particular time of year may influence the severity of mold allergy symptoms.
There is also an association between mold allergies and asthma. In fact, asthma attacks may be started if the sufferer is exposed to mold spores in the atmosphere. There are specific strains of mold spores which may cause severe asthma attacks in certain instances. Some of the classic symptoms of asthma are wheezing, being short of breath, feeling tight in the chest and a cough detoxic waar te koop.
The body will try to fight off a mold allergy by manufacturing antibodies, so that as soon as the body detects mold spores being inhaled the immune system will kick in and begin to release these chemicals such as histamine into the body. This is responsible the horrid symptoms of itchy nose, throat, watery eyes and so on.
Fortunately for us having an allergy to one type of mold does not mean that we will react badly to all strains of mold spores. This is probably just as well, due to the fact mold is found pretty much everywhere but there are only relatively few which will cause a mold allergy, the most common are cladosporium, aspergillus, alternari and penicillium.
Allergies are undoubtedly the most common illness brought about the presence of mold spores, however, mold may in some cases cause some really unpleasant and potentially serious conditions without any allergic reaction taking place.
Infection: This might take the form of a skin infection or flu-like illness in some cases even pneumonia.
Irritation: The irritation begins when VOCs (volatile organic compounds) irritate the mucus membranes around body. The symptoms are very much like a mold allergy. The big difference is that with an allergy the symptoms tend tend to worsen each time contact is made with a particular strain of mold spore. Where as, if it is an irritation the condition does not deteriorate.
Toxic Reaction: Usually caused by ingesting or breathing in something known as mycotoxins. The symptoms of this may include flu-like illness, breathing problems, skin irritation and in addition headaches, dizziness, problems with concentration and fatigue.
Mold allergies are more likely to rear their heads or existing conditions might get worse depending on various factors, for example:
The type of work you are employed to do, certain occupations give higher exposure to mold spores. Take working with wood for example it may be logging or restoring furniture, working with grain or flour is another whether you are milling or baking.
Conditions at home will have an effect. If your home have an abnormally high humidity level, mold will grow in all types of places like the basement, in the carpet, in tile grout basically anywhere there is a sufficiently damp surface. Having leaking pipes or water seeping in the property in some way will also create the ideal growing conditions for mold. Another frequent problem in homes which will encourage mold growth is lack of ventilation particularly in areas where huge amounts of moisture is generated such as the bathroom and kitchen.
Last but not least and possibly the most likely contributory factor in a person developing a mold allergy is family history. If there are other family members who suffer from asthma or some form of allergy the likelihood increases that an individual might also becoming a sufferer.
The best way to avoid or lessen the symptoms of a mold allergy is to eradicate the source. However this is more or less impossible because mold is found in so many places both indoors and out. There are medications which will relieve symptoms for example nasal corticosteroids, antihistamines and decongestants. For persistent problems particularly for asthma sufferers it is probably best to consult a doctor who will prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
At home small steps like wearing a face mask when carrying out work particularly in the garden should help Ensuring windows are closed during the night hours when the number of mold spores tend to peak and particularly if the weather is cool and damp.
Prevention is unquestionably the best solution for mold allergies, so here are a few things you can do:
- * Buy a dehumidifier – some models come with HEPA filters
- * Invest in an air conditioner with a HEPA filter
- * Adequately ventilate rooms especially bathrooms and kitchens – get a ventilation fan and range hood
- * Repair leaking pipes and any other problems which allow water to seep into the building
These are just a few suggestions but ones which really should make a difference to anyone suffering a mold allergy.