Mold is a type of fungus that grows in moist areas, both indoors and outdoors. For someone with a mold allergy, exposure to mold can cause the immune system to overreact resulting in uncomfortable symptoms.
The good news is that even if you have a mold allergy, mold is not likely to kill you. The bad news, however, is that it can make you extremely uncomfortable and potentially cause long term health problems such as asthma.
So… how do you know if mold is making you sick?
What are your symptoms-
Allergic reactions to mold are similar to those of other allergies and include symptoms like headache, sneezing, runny nose, throat irritation, itchy watery eyes, cough/congestion, skin rashes, and hives.
What are the conditions-
While mold is available year round, it’s more prominent during warm, humid conditions and is often found in wet or damp areas. If you have experienced any type of recent flooding, the conditions are ideal for mold growth which can happen very quickly. Any damp area within a home or commercial building should be properly cleaned and dried immediately.
Have you been tested-
Doctors can perform blood tests to look for antibodies in your immune system after exposure to mold. Skin tests are also available which include pricking or scratching the surface of the skin to identify mold allergies.
Many people can be exposed to mold with no effect, while many others can suffer significantly from its exposure. If you believe you or a family member may have a mold sensitivity or allergy, take precautions within your home by preventing the growth of mold.
– dry all wet areas immediately
– monitor indoor humidity levels and maintain sufficient air flow
– ensure proper slope and gutter drainage
– consider investing in mold resistant home products