Mold allergies may seem like a strange allergy to have, but it is actually extraordinarily common. Molds live nearly everywhere and millions of Americans suffer from some sort of mold allergy. The symptoms of mold allergy are similar to symptoms of other allergies, but unlike other allergies, which may have their own allergy seasons, mold can be found year-round. However, mold allergy sufferers needn’t lose hope—with the direction of a doctor, mold allergies are very treatable.
What Are Mold Allergies?
This condition isn’t as curious as it seems. If you have an allergy that carries through several seasons, you may have a mold allergy. Mold and mildew are fungi that pollinate by releasing their “seeds” (spores) into the air. These spores can travel dozens of miles away and when inhaled, can result in an allergic reaction. While there are many different types of molds, only certain types (in the minority) cause allergic reactions. However, these types of molds can grow both indoors and outdoors.
Indoors, you can find mold in damp areas such as in the kitchen, bathroom, or basement, or near standing water. Outdoors, mold often grows on rot, logs, fallen leaves, and rocks. While indoor mold can grow year-round, most outdoor molds become inactive during winter.
They are more resilient than pollens and are not killed by the first freeze—rather, they simply lay dormant until they are reactivated in spring. That means no relief for allergy sufferers!
Mold Allergy Symptoms
As aforementioned, mold allergy symptoms are very similar to traditional allergy symptoms and include sneezing, runny nose, congestion and itchy, red, or watery eyes, and dry skin. Microscopic mold spores can also reach the lungs, triggering symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation, and shortness of breath. It may also trigger asthma in some sufferers.
How to Treat Mold Allergy
What to take for mold allergies? With proper diagnosis and the assistance of a doctor, mold allergy is easily treatable. There are both prescription and over-the-counter medication that can be taken.
Options include nasal corticosteroids, which are nasal sprays that help prevent and treat inflammation, antihistamines, which can help with itching, sneezing, etc., over the counter oral decongestants such as Sedated, decongestant nasal sprays, and montelukast, a tablet that helps block the action of leukotrienes which contribute to excess mucus. Other mold allergy treatment options include nasal irrigation and immunotherapy (allergy shots).
If you suspect you may have a mold allergy, talk to your Sneeze doctor about your best course of action.