Mold Allergy : An Unexpected Airborne Allergy

When most people think of mold they think of the mold in damp basements or the mold and mildew associated with bathroom cleaning products. A mold allergy in that case would have been thought of to result from somehow touching the mold. The reality is that a mold allergy is typically triggered by the mold spores that become airborne at certain times.

There are a number of triggers that can cause seasonal allergic rhinitis. Most of these identified allergens are airborne. Typically they include the pollen that is blown about from trees, plants and grasses. Another type of airborne allergen, mold spores, is the seasonal culprit that causes mold allergies.

This type of allergy is generally found from spring to early fall, with a peak in the late summer months, although other types of mold can cause symptoms almost year-round. The allergens that cause mold allergies are generally found in humid climates, and moist areas like rotted logs and compost piles. They can also be found indoors in damp basements or closets, or even lurking in your shower stall. Fresh food storage areas are also a popular hangout for mold spores, as well as house plants and certain pieces of furniture.

How are Mold Allergies Triggered?

If you suffer from a mold allergy, your immune system has incorrectly identified mold spores as a threat. The response of your immune system is to produce antibodies called immunoglobulin that will create chemicals that will fight off these potentially damaging substances. The result is the typical symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and itching. In the case of a mold allergy, the mold spores are airborne and inhaled into the body through the nose. This is why nasal congestion and coughs are common complaints of mold allergy sufferers. The amount and severity of symptoms from a mold allergy will depend on the amount of the allergen and the ability of the air currents to spread the spores. The weather can affect these patterns making mold counts somewhat ineffective in determining the severity of your exposure.

Treatment of Mold Allergies

A mold allergy remedy is usually one that is good for treating rhinitis. Because mold allergies are airborne, they usually result in the symptoms of rhinitis, which will include nasal congestion, watery eyes and coughing. The best treatment for rhinitis is generally an over-the-counter antihistamine, decongestant or nasal spray to treat the inflammation and congestion. If over-the-counter medications are not effective in treating your mold allergy symptoms, you should see your doctor for possible prescription relief for your mold allergy.

There are a number of medicines that your doctor can recommend to treat your mold allergies through the use of prescription antihistamines and steroidal nasal sprays that will reduce the inflammation in your sinus passages. Allergies to molds and other airborne allergens can cause seasonal or even year-round rhinitis.

As can be seen by the above a mold allergy can be treated like most airborne allergies. Being aware that you can have this type of allergy and confirming it with your allergist are the first steps in managing your symptoms. Allergy relief may just be a trip to the pharmacy away.

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