If you typically suffer from a headache or battle the symptoms of a cold the minute you get to the Shore, you could be allergic to mold.
A mold allergy comes from mold spores that float in the air like pollen and can occur indoors and outdoors, causing uncomfortable allergy symptoms. Outdoor molds often appear during warmer months, but can be found year-round in the South and on the West Coast. Indoor molds shed spores all year, usually hiding in damp environments.
Where does mold typically live?
Mold is capable of growing wherever there is sufficient moisture and warmth, and it is often rampant at a shore house due to humidity. It can be found in the mattress, air-conditioning units and bathrooms. Hotel rooms near a pool can also be problematic. If the room has a musty odor, don’t stay there.
What are the symptoms of a mold allergy?
The symptoms of a mold allergy are similar to those of other allergies, such as sneezing, itching, nasal discharge, congestion and dry, scaling skin. Some people with mold allergies may have allergy symptoms the entire summer, because of outdoor molds, or year-round, if symptoms are due to indoor molds.
How is a mold allergy diagnosed?
If you think you are allergic to mold, an allergist will take a complete medical history. If mold allergy is suspected, the doctor often will do skin tests. Extracts of different types of fungi will be used to scratch or prick the skin. If there’s no reaction, allergy is not suggested. In some people with an allergy, irritation alone can cause a reaction. Therefore, the doctor uses the patient’s medical history, the skin-testing results, and a physical examination to diagnose a mold allergy.
How can I avoid a reaction to mold?
Reduce your symptoms by dehumidifying damp areas, like the basement. In bathrooms, wash the tiles and grout frequently, and remove humidity with an exhaust fan or by opening a window. In the bedrooms, cover all mattresses and pillows in airtight covers so they do not become damp. Examine all air-conditioning units for mold, and clean filters on a regular basis. Be sure windows are sealed tightly, and wipe away any condensation daily.
If you think you are suffering from a mold allergy, call (800) 86-COUGH to schedule a consultation.
Allergy & Asthma Specialists, P.C., a group practice with eight locations in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, provides state-of-the-art medical care in a personal and caring environment, emphasizing the control of asthma and allergic disease while at the same time avoiding side effects from medications.
Allergy & Asthma Specialists
Locations: Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Collegeville, Pottstown, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Lansdale, Doylestown
Office hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Evening appointments available weekly on alternating days.
Toll-free: (800) 86-COUGH
Local: (610) 825-5800