Mold Allergies: 5 Symptoms and How to Treat Them
Home is a place where you want to be comfortable, but that’s hard to do if you’re constantly struggling with what seems like never-ending cold symptoms. The culprit causing you to itch and running you through tissues is light speed could be mold.
Why Mold Causes Allergy Symptoms
For most people, the presence of mold in a home won’t be enough to cause any dangerous allergic reactions. So why is it that during mold remediation, technicians and workers tend to wear masks?
Frequent interactions with mold lead to more time exposed to potentially high mold spore counts, so people working with mold in your home may prefer to wear these masks. Even for those who don’t work with mold, like your family members and guests, mold spores can be irritating. Mold causes allergy symptoms when your body reacts to the intrusion of mold spores into your ears, nose, and throat system. For those with asthma, lung disease, or a weakened immune system, their body’s attempts to combat mold spores get intense.
Here are five mold allergy symptoms and how to treat them so that you and your family can be more comfortable at home.
Runny noses are one of the more easily disguised reactions your body can have to mold spores. As with irritants like dust and dander, your body tries to flush out mold spores that enter your nasal passage with mucus. Most of the time we associate a runny nose with a cold, though, so we spend more time thinking “flu season” than “mold” as we shop for more tissues.
Saline sprays are a great tool for families struggling with runny noses. This over-the-counter medication is a simple saltwater solution that helps your body flush out the irritants causing the production of mucus, making it ideal for washing out mold spore particles. It also provides relief from the irritation, dryness, and congestion that like to pair up with runny noses.
Irritated, Puffy Eyes
Those with allergies to anything know that puffy eyes are a good sign that something irritating is in the air. When your body releases histamine, the chemical hormone responsible for telling your body an allergen is present and starting the reaction process, one result is inflammation around the affected area. Unfortunately, sometimes that area is the eyes, leaving them puffy, irritated, and itchy.
Treating puffy eyes can be difficult, especially for children. One of the best ways to help ease the symptoms of eye irritation is to use antihistamine eye drops, but not all children are able to handle eye medications just yet. If you or your kids aren’t inclined to go for these drops, a cold washcloth can help decrease the swelling and provide some relief. It’s important to not rub your eyes, as that can only make the irritation worse.
Dry, Itchy Skin
Just like the cause of irritated eyes, histamine can also cause your skin to react to allergens that are present. If your reaction is severe, your body might react to the presence of mold with hives. Most people who experience skin irritation from mold exposure will feel overly itchy at home or notice inflammation on their skin after scratching it.
If your skin is currently inflamed after some itching, a cold washcloth will also do its part to bring down the irritation and relieve some of the itch. Another way to help with the sensation is to moisturize the area with lotions or an anti-itch cream. It’s still important not to scratch the area so that you don’t make your skin more raw and more inflamed.
Coughing or Difficulty Breathing
Coughing is a sign that your body is starting to kick up its defense systems after mold spores have made their way into your throat and lungs. The harsh reaction is an attempt to get the foreign bodies out and give your lungs a break. High spore counts inside make it difficult for your body to recover without unaffected air, so coughing fits or difficulty breathing become an issue for those affected.
Drinking plenty of water and even trying a spoonful of honey can help with the irritation and pain at the back of your throat after a coughing spell. Cough drops don’t cure a cough, but they do encourage salivation that further lubricates your irritated throat. Some even have things like honey or lemon that not only feel better, but help you recover as well.
While humidifiers can make it easier for you to breathe, adding moisture to the air when you know mold is at the heart of the problem is counterintuitive. If mold is the only allergy affecting you, opening the windows of your home for fresh air is a great alternative.
Increasingly Frequent Asthma Attacks
If you or your family members are diagnosed with asthma, mold is a real cause for concern. There are many irritants that can cause an asthma attack and mold spores are no exception. A tight chest, coughing and wheezing, feeling like you have no air, and whistling or rattling sounds in the breath are all signs of an asthma attack occurring and signals that treatment is necessary.
A family physician needs to diagnose you or your family member with asthma and is likely to subscribe a quick-response medication like an inhaler. If symptoms persist, it’s important to take the asthma attack sufferer somewhere for emergency care and not return them to the home with mold if possible.
Diagnosing the Issue
Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of mold allergies overlap with symptoms of all kinds of allergies, like reactions to family pets or high pollen counts—and even dry air. If you or your family members are experiencing these issues more often indoors than outside, it is a sign that the issue is coming from inside the house. Ruling our allergens like food or pets is important to do as you also search your home for signs of mold in places like under sinks, behind appliances, or in basements.
If you find mold in your home, quick cleanings can help get rid of the surface issue. Opening windows and drying the home thoroughly can also provide some relief. It is important to know that mold also grows beneath some surfaces, so further action may be necessary.
Getting rid of mold in your home is the only way how to treat mold allergy symptoms long-term. Once you’ve spotted mold in the house, understanding what kind of mold is growing in your living space will help a team of remediation specialists not just remove what’s there, but also inform you how to prevent it and protect your family in the future.
Our experts at Mold Only are proud to offer straight and to-the-point mold testing services, as well as remediation options for households struggling with mold growth. We’re happy to help you and your family breathe easy indoors again!