All about Mould Allergy
Mould is a family of organisms which is found all around us. Mould is also known as fungus and is common where water tends to collect, such as shower curtains, window mouldings and damp basements. It can also be found in rotting logs, hay, mulches, commercial peat moss, compost piles and leaf litter. This allergy is usually worse during humid and rainy weather.
How allergy occurs
When inhaled, microscopic fungal spores or, sometimes, fragments of fungi may cause allergic rhinitis. Because they are so small, mold spores may evade the protective mechanisms of the nose and upper respiratory tract to reach the lungs.
Mould Allergy Symptoms
People with mold allergy experience the same signs and symptoms that occur in other types of respiratory allergies:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Cough and postnasal drip
- Itchy eyes, nose and throat
- Watery eyes
- Skin rash
Although there are many types of molds, only a few dozen cause allergic reactions. Alternaria, Cladosporium (Hormodendrum), Aspergillus, Penicillium, Helmin thosporium, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Mucor, Rhizopus and Aureobasidium (Pullularia) are the major culprits.
Mould Allergy Treatment
- Antihistamines block this release of histamines responsible for allergic reactions, thus providing symptom relief. Common antihistamines are loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and fexofenadine (Allegra).
- Decongestants help clear mucus from the nose and sinuses, providing relief from congestion, swelling and discomfort.
How to prevent Mould Allergy
- To prevent mold and mildew build up inside the home, especially in bathrooms, basements and laundry areas, be aggressive about reducing dampness,put an exhaust fan or open a window in the bathroom. Quickly repair any plumbing leaks.Remove bathroom carpeting where moisture is a concern.
- Remove leaves and dead vegetation near the foundation and in the rain gutters.
- If bedding is made with these foams, it should be covered in plastic.