Sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat, congestion, coughing, headache – you sure know it when those miserable allergy symptoms flare up. But are they seasonal allergies, or could they be caused by mold, one of the most common triggers of allergy symptoms?
Seasonal allergies are often triggered by pollen, which are microscopic grains that plants use for fertilization. Mold and mildew, on the other hand, are fungi that release spores into the air, which enter your nose and lungs when you breathe.
Getting relief depends on figuring out what type of allergies you have, so that you’re taking the most effective medicine for you.
Dr. Mia Finkelston, who treats patients on LiveHealth Online, shares these 5 surprising facts about mold allergy and how to tell if it may be causing your allergy symptoms:
- Mold grows quickly in heat and high humidity – this includes wetter environments like the beach, a pile of leaves or damp forests, as well as indoor spaces like your bathroom, basement, or under the kitchen sink.
- A mold allergy can trigger asthma, with symptoms like coughing, chest tightness and wheezing.
- Outdoor mold most often causes allergy symptoms from summer through early fall, while indoor mold may cause symptoms year-round.
- Some people have a delayed reaction to mold, which means symptoms like congestion or asthma may get worse over time.
- Most homes have some level of mold in the air – even if you can’t see it — which can cause allergy symptoms.
To keep mold under control, regularly check your home for mold growth, clean up any standing water right away, use your bathroom fan when you shower, and wash moldy surfaces thoroughly with detergent and water. Consider removing carpeting from your bathroom and basement, keep wet leaves away from your house, and clean your house gutters regularly.
If you’re not sure if your allergy symptoms are linked to mold, it’s important to talk with a doctor. Remember you can always visit with a board-certified doctor who’s knowledgeable of the latest allergy treatment trends using LiveHealth Online.
- American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Fighting fall allergies? Bring it. https://acaai.org/news/fighting-fall-allergies-bring-it
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Mold Allergy. https://www.aafa.org/mold-allergy
- National Institute of Health. Cold, Flu, or Allergy? Know the Difference for Best Treatment. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/10/cold-flu-or-allergy
- S. News and World Report. Mold Is Everywhere: Is it Causing My Allergies? https://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2018-09-18/mold-is-everywhere-is-it-causing-my-allergies