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Picture this: School is out, work hours have relaxed and it’s time to pack up for vacation. You—and maybe your family or friends—pile into the car, chasing the long daylight hours and relaxation. Maybe you head to the shore to sink your toes into the sand. Or, perhaps a house at the lake or in the mountains is more your style.
That first day is glorious, but after a night in your vacation accommodations picturesque, someone starts to show symptoms of a cold. While nasal congestion, a sinus headache and watery eyes may seem like a cold, it may not be a cold at all. Your new vacation environment may contain an allergen that you don’t typically encounter in your home. There is a very good chance this allergen in mold.
Mold commonly grows in the places we most associate with fun, like beach houses, lake houses and hotels, thanks to a warm, moist environment which allows mold to flourish.
While mold allergies are common in vacation spots, that shouldn’t stop you from going away. Take precautions when traveling, like picking hotels or rental homes that are newer, traveling with a small dehumidifier and properly caring for items like towels and swimsuits.
First and foremost, be sure to book a room away from an indoor pool—they’re a magnet for mold spores. If your room has a musty odor, mold is probably present. Ask for another room, if possible. Pack a dehumidifier, if you can, to lessen the feeling of dampness in the space. Inspect the bathroom for mold and mildew in the tiles and grout and the air conditioning filters. If you suspect mold, spray the spot with a mold-specific disinfectant like Lysol or Clorox. Lastly, always let wet or damp clothing dry outdoors and wipe away any built-up condensation on windows.
Most importantly, plan ahead to see an allergist. If you or a loved one commonly experience symptoms on vacation, see a board certified allergist at Allergy & Asthma Specialists ahead of your next trip. An allergist can help identify allergies by skin testing, a simple in-office procedure in which an allergist will apply a small amount of different fungi extracts to the patients’ skin. If the patient has a reaction, the allergist can confirm the specific allergens.
After skin testing, an allergist can determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may mean making lifestyle changes or taking prescription medicine to reduce the allergic reaction. Immunotherapy, including sublingual drops—custom formulated drops that help alter the body’s reaction to an allergen—are a great choice for their long-term effectiveness.
An allergist can also make recommendations for keeping your home, and other environments like vacation homes or hotels, clear of mold. By doing so, you can get back to enjoying the stretches of pristine white sands, salty air and glinting water without the worry.
To schedule a visit with the board-certified allergists/immunologists of A&AS at one of the eight convenient locations, call 1-800-86COUGH, extension 2, or schedule online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com.
Learn more about the Allergy & Asthma Specialists here.
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