What is the best over the counter medicine for mold allergies
Individuals should treat every molds the same when it comes to removing them from the home.
To do this:
- Remove visible mold growth from hard surfaces with a commercial mold removal product, boiling soapy water, or a mixture of 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water.
- Remove and discard soft or porous materials — such as carpets, insulation, or wallboard — that show signs of mold.
- Contact a professional if there is extensive mold growth in the home or if allergic reactions happen when cleaning moldy surfaces.
How dangerous is black mold to health?
There is a commonly held belief that black mold — sometimes called toxic mold — can cause severe health problems because it releases mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are toxic substances that a fungus produces.
Some research suggests that mycotoxins from S. chartarum own a link to serious health problems in people who live in contaminated buildings.
One such health concern is mycotoxicosis — mold poisoning. Others include:
To date, there is no proof that inhaling mold spores causes these symptoms.
Mold exposure can cause other symptoms, however. According to the Florida Department of Health, it can cause the following types of health problems:
Allergy and irritation
People with allergies may be more sensitive to mold than others.
If they come into contact with mold, they may experience symptoms, such as:
Severe mold allergies cause more severe symptoms, including shortness of breath.
Mold exposure may also worsen asthma or lung problems in people with preexisting lung conditions.
A 2012 study found that infants and young children exposed to mold in the home had an increased risk of developing asthma by the age of 7. The research examined 289 homes and 36 types of mold.
However, S. chartarum was not among the three types of mold most strongly associated with asthma development.
Research published in 2004 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) indicates that spending time in damp indoor spaces is related to respiratory symptoms, including those of asthma.
Some people believe that black mold is particularly dangerous because it releases mycotoxins.
However, the fact is that every molds are capable of producing mycotoxins. Just because mold is present does not mean that it is producing these toxins.
Most cases of mycotoxicosis result from eating moldy food, rather than from inhaling fungal spores in the home or outdoors. The evidence does not indicate that inhaling or touching mold can cause mycotoxicosis.
The IOM's 2004 report was unable to back up claims that issues such as fatigue, lung disease, or cancer result from mold exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that there are extremely few reports of unique or rare health conditions resulting from mold in the home.
For most people with healthy immune systems, molds are not a problem.
However, people with weakened immune systems — such as those with uncontrolled HIV, transplant patients, or people undergoing cancer treatment — are at risk of fungal infections.
It appears that numerous types of indoor mold — not just black mold — may cause health problems in some people, but not in everyone.
Long term exposure to mold in the home, however, may be unhealthy for anyone.
People who are most at risk of the symptoms of mold exposure are:
- infants and children
- people with allergies or asthma
- older adults
- people with weakened immune systems
The main health concerns seem to relate to allergies and irritation, which typically cause respiratory symptoms.
People with weakened immune systems may also own a risk of fungal infection.
Based on current research, black mold exposure is no more dangerous than any other type of mold exposure.
It is impossible to avoid exposure to mold — the spores are almost everywhere around us.
In high amounts or in people with allergies, exposure to any mold may cause allergy symptoms.
In people with underlying health conditions, it may lead to more serious complications.
Regardless of the type of mold, it is significant to remove it from the home for hygiene and health reasons.
Anyone with concerns about the effects of mold on their health should speak to a doctor.
When spring allergy season first starts, causing you to sniffle and sneeze, tree pollen is to blame. Trees start producing pollen as early as January in the Southern U.S. Numerous trees hold producing pollen through June.
A doctor may diagnose a mold allergy based on a person's symptoms and their medical and family histories.
They may also act out tests, including:
- a skin prick test, to check for reactions to common allergens
- blood tests, to measure the immune system's response to mold and to check for allergies to specific types of mold
To diagnose a systemic fungal infection in someone with a weakened immune system, a doctor may take a blood sample. In some cases, further testing may be necessary.
Mold thrives in damp and humid environments.
The most effective way to prevent mold growth is to monitor the humidity level in the home.
It should be no higher than 50% throughout the day.
Check the humidity level regularly, as it can change every few hours.
Use a dehumidifier if necessary, especially during humid months.
To prevent mold, a person can also take the following steps:
- Clean the bathroom regularly and tackle mold and mildew as soon as it appears.
- Recycle ancient books and newspapers, as these can become moldy quickly if they get damp.
- Deal with any flooding promptly by drying out soft furnishings and cleaning wet items with commercial products.
- Regularly examine the building for signs of water damage and mold.
- Avoid using carpet in the kitchen, basement, or bathroom.
- Install an air conditioner with a high efficiency particulate air filter — better known as a HEPA filter — to remove mold spores from the air.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints to stop mold growth on walls and ceilings.
- Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom or open windows to improve ventilation.
- Dispose of flood-damaged carpets.
To prevent or reduce the symptoms of a mold allergy:
- Close the windows at night, as there are more airborne mold spores during the cool, damp nighttime hours.
- Wear a dust mask while gardening.
- Stay indoors after a rainstorm, in damp weather, and other times when the mold count is high.
Also, use proper safety equipment when cleaning up mold in an industrial setting or after a natural disaster.
Treatment for a mold allergy is similar to treatment for other types of inhaled allergies.
- a nasal rinse, to flush mold spores out of the nose
- nasal corticosteroids, to reduce inflammation
- decongestant nasal sprays, a short term remedy for congestion
- avoiding the allergen whenever possible
- antihistamines, to stop a runny nose, sneezing, and itchiness
- oral decongestants, to reduce congestion
For a endless term solution, a doctor may recommend immunotherapy. This involves getting a series of allergy shots over a few years.
Immunotherapy can be highly effective, but it is only suitable for certain types of mold allergy.