is basically a sensitivity of the body to certain kinds of molds or fungi. Fungi reproduce themselves with the help of spores. They are mostly found in damp and dark places. The spores are spread through air indoors and wind outdoors.
Allergies affect around 40 million to 50 million Americans. This particular type of allergy is quite common. This allergy through the fungal spores is mostly prevalent in the dry summer months starting from July. Generally, mold grows on rotten logs and fallen leaves which are put together in piles. The outdoor molds are dormant in the winter season. They start becoming active and grow in the spring and summer months.
How do we get Mildew Allergy?
Inhalation of mold spores in the air can result in them getting deposited on the inner nasal lining and these results in the allergic symptoms like hay fever. Allergic rhinitis affects 10-30% of adults and around 40% of children. In some individuals the body reacts to the protein in the mold spores. The immune system is triggered to produce more of the IgE antibodies. These antibodies react with the proteins and causes the body to produce excess histamines from the mast cells of the gut, pharynx and skin. Histamine is the main culprit when it comes to the adverse allergic reactions in the body.
Symptoms of the Allergy
The symptoms of this allergy include:
- Continuous sneezing with head thrown back.
- Itching and skin rashes.
- Nasal Discharge.
- Allergic rhinitis.
- If the mold spores reach the lungs then it can cause asthma like symptoms.
- In an extreme case, an anaphylactic attack where the individual experiences shortness of breath, congestion, dizziness, a drop in blood pressure levels and confusion can happen.
Treatment of the Allergy
- Antihistamines and decongestants are extremely beneficial in providing relief from symptoms of hay fever and decongestants.
- Antihistamines and decongestants combined together can also provide faster and long lasting relief. However, decongestants cannot be continued for a longer period of time.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays help with asthma.
- In case of anaphylaxis, an emergency shot of epinephrine needs to be administered.
Prevention of Mildew Allergy
- Stay indoors during the summer season when the mold spores are heavy in the air.
- Use HEPA enabled air filters which can prevent them from invading your living space.
- Remove the bathroom carpets when they are wet. They can be perfect breeding grounds for mold spores.
- Repair any leakages or damp spots on the bathroom walls, corners and ceilings.
- Garbage and trash must be removed periodically.
- Keep kitchen clean and dry. Doors, gaskets and drip pans of the refrigerators must be cleaned regularly.