Mold Allergy

What is a Mold Allergy?

Mold is commonly found outside and it grows on fallen trees, leaves and various other surfaces. Many people also have mold growing inside their house, especially in the basement, bathroom and other areas of the home that are damp.

Mold is considered a fungi and when people who are allergic to mold breathe in mold spores, they have an allergic reaction. This type of response occurs when a person’s immune system reacts and unleashes substances in the body that cause allergy symptoms. Mold allergies are normally not dangerous, but exposure to mold can cause some individuals to develop more serious conditions, such as mold-induced asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

What are the Symptoms of a Mold Allergy?

Mold allergy symptoms are similar to other types of allergic reactions and they include a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes that itch and a rash. People who have asthma may also have asthmatic symptoms, which include wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest and breathing problems.

Foods that have a tendency to quickly grow mold can also aggravate allergies and cause symptoms. These foods include cheeses, breads, soured milk and mushrooms. Individuals should avoid smelling these foods if there is a possibility that they are moldy. The inhalation of mold spores through the nose can also cause mold allergy symptoms.

How is a Mold Allergy Treated?

Staying away from mold and removing it from the home is the best way to prevent recurring mold allergy symptoms. There are medications available that can help individuals prevent the symptoms and these include nasal corticosteroids, which are usually in the form of a nasal spray.

Oral decongestants and decongestant nasal sprays can both help relieve a stuffy nose and congestion. Individuals who have symptoms of sneezing and itching can take an antihistamine medication. Allergy shots can help the symptoms of some forms of mold. Squeezing a salt water solution into the nose with a bulb syringe can also help to keep mold spores rinsed out of the nose.

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Last Reviewed:
October 07, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017