Can You Be Allergic to Mold? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Updated
Updated

Can mold cause allergies?

Mold spores can cause both indoor and outdoor allergies. However, not all molds cause allergies. Some of the most common mold allergies are aspergillus, penicillium, cladosporium, and alternaria. You may be allergic to just one mold or you can be allergic to multiple.

Mold allergies are incredibly common. Mold can also be difficult to avoid. However, there are ways to treat and relieve your mold allergy symptoms.

Here’s everything you need to know about mold allergies, their symptoms, and how to find relief.

What Is a Mold Allergy?

Mold is a small fungus that grows primarily in damp environments. To thrive, mold needs food, the right temperature, oxygen, and water. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, these perfect mold conditions can be found nearly everywhere – both indoors and outdoors.

A mold allergy is triggered by the spores that mold releases into the air. When certain people breathe these spores, an allergic reaction can occur.

What Are the Causes?

Mold allergies, like all allergies, are an immune system response your body initiates to fight the allergen. When your immune system perceives a harmless substance as a threat, it releases antibodies and histamine to counter that substance. This leads to the symptoms we associate with allergic reactions.

As we mentioned, mold can be found both indoors and outdoors. Fortunately, not every type of mold causes allergies. Also, if you do have mold allergies, it doesn’t mean you’re allergic to every type of mold allergen. The most common molds that cause issues for people are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.

What Are the Symptoms?

Mold allergies have very similar symptoms to most airborne allergies, making it sometimes difficult to determine if mold is the cause. If you are allergic to mold, symptoms will likely worsen when the mold spore count is high outside or if you’re in a building that has mold.

Here are some of the common symptoms you can expect:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Coughing
  • Itchy mouth or lips

Mold allergies can also trigger asthma symptoms if you have asthma. Some molds can even induce a severe asthma attack.

Among the asthma symptoms a mold allergy may trigger are:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness

Not everyone will have the same level of an allergic response to mold allergies. Some symptoms may be mild, while others can be more severe. You may also notice your symptoms worsen when the weather is humid or the place where you are is damp. If you think you may be suffering from a mold allergy, get an at-home allergy test through Wyndly to determine what’s triggering your allergies.

Diagnosis

Since allergy seasons often overlap, it can be very difficult to self-diagnose a mold allergy. It’s even more difficult to determine which specific molds are causing you problems. The best way to find out if you have a mold allergy is with an allergy test.

You can go to a doctor to get either a skin prick or a blood draw allergy test. These tests are typically not very comfortable, and you have to go out of your way to get to the doctor’s office. You may even have to wait for an appointment and then get referred to an allergy specialist, further delaying your diagnosis.

Instead of going through all this trouble, you can get an at-home allergy test with Wyndly. Our test is extremely convenient and pain-free. We’ll send it right to your door, so you can take your allergy test from the comfort of your own home. After following the easy instructions, all you have to do is send it back. Get an at-home allergy test today!

Treatment

When it comes to treating a mold allergy, the best thing you can do is avoid your allergens as much as you can. But since mold is so common, this isn’t always possible. Fortunately, there are treatment options available. These are some of the best ways to manage your mold allergies.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are an over-the-counter solution for managing allergy symptoms. When your body releases histamine, it causes inflammation and itching, sneezing, and runny nose symptoms. Antihistamines block this reaction, helping you find temporary relief.

There are also prescription antihistamines available, but you might want to attempt over-the-counter solutions first.

Regardless of your chosen antihistamine, the fact remains that they’re temporary solutions. They curb your symptoms, but they don’t fix your allergies. For that, you would need immunotherapy.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a way for allergy sufferers to find long-term or permanent relief from their allergies. Immunotherapy works by introducing the allergen to your immune system in gradually increasing doses over time. As your immune system learns these substances aren’t threats, your allergies begin to lessen and disappear.

There are two common forms of immunotherapy available: allergy shots and allergy drops. Though both methods are safe, allergy shots involve a painful needle, frequent doctor visits, and exorbitant costs. Sublingual immunotherapy, which uses allergy drops, can be easily self-administered under the tongue. There are no painful needles or doctor visits involved. When you get a personalized treatment plan from Wyndly, we deliver allergy drops right to your door, so you can start living an allergy-free life without the hassle.

Common Risk Factors

Nearly anyone can develop mold allergies, but there are certain risk factors to keep in mind that can worsen symptoms:

  • Working or living in a building with high humidity, excess moisture, or poor ventilation — all of which foster damp conditions and mold growth — can be a hazard.
  • Genetics can play a role. If allergies run in the family, it’s more likely that you’ll develop an allergy.
  • Working in occupations with the potential for high mold exposure is another risk factor.

Mold doesn’t need much space to grow, and it can pop up nearly anywhere. This makes it especially hard to tamp down the risk factors because mold can sometimes be hard to detect and remove.

How to Get Rid of Mold Spores in the Air

Keeping mold spores out of the air entirely is nearly impossible, especially if you’re outside. However, there are some preventive measures you can take to reduce your exposure.

Prevention Tips

Here are some prevention tips for reducing your exposure to mold:

  • Check the mold count using apps or websites. If the mold count is particularly high, avoid going outside as much as possible.
  • Take a shower after being outside for long periods, taking special care to thoroughly wash your hair.
  • Wash your clothes frequently when mold counts are high. Spores can easily stick to your clothing.
  • Avoid raking leaves and fields with high grass.
  • Fix leaky pipes immediately to prevent mold growth.
  • Reduce humidity in your home with dehumidifiers. Homes with less than 50% humidity will make it more difficult for mold to grow and thrive. A moisture meter or smart thermostat can tell you your humidity levels.
  • Remove carpet from damp areas, like the basement or bathrooms.
  • Use a vinegar solution to kill mold when you do find it in your home.
  • If you have to be outside on high mold count days or when you do yard work, wear a dust mask.
  • Avoid the outdoors after weather events that promote damp conditions, like rain or fog.
  • Close windows at night to prevent mold spores from getting in.
  • Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioning to prevent mold spores from getting inside.
  • Vacuum floors frequently, preferably with a HEPA filter vacuum.
  • Change your furnace and air conditioner filters regularly.
  • Clean your gutters to prevent moisture buildup around your home.
  • Always run your bathroom’s vent fan during baths and showers. Open a window if this isn’t an option.

These preventive measures will keep mold to a minimum in your home and reduce your outdoor exposure. However, if you want true relief, Wyndly can help.

Beat Your Allergies Now!

When over-the-counter medications and prevention aren’t working, it’s easy to get frustrated. Allergies can be miserable, especially when you can’t find relief. That’s why Wyndly provides sublingual immunotherapy drops to bring allergy sufferers long-term relief.

Wyndly makes the path to fixing your allergies as simple and pain-free as possible. Our doctors will create a personalized treatment plan for you based on your allergy history and needs. We can send you allergy drops that can be taken at home without doctor supervision — unlike allergy shots. Allergy drops are one of the safest and most effective ways to find long-term and often permanent relief from your mold allergies.

Get a personalized treatment plan now to start living better and allergy-free!

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