If you’re allergy symptoms get worse in damp weather, you may be allergic to mold.
Mold allergies can flare all year long. Indoor mold can be a problem in winter months, because mold will grow in your house where there is enough moisture, like on basement walls, in crawl spaces, on damp carpet, or behind bathroom tile.
Mold is a fungus that breaks down plant or animal matter, like leaves, dirt, wood, and food. Mold is found indoors and outdoors. We are all exposed to mold spores. With mold allergies, mold spores can trigger reactions like allergic rhinitis or asthma. Molds can also produce volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s, which is the musty odor that can irritate eyes, nose, and throat.
Coughing, wheezing, runny nose, or irritated eyes and throat are all signs of mold allergy. Mold allergies can also trigger an asthma attack, with symptoms like wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. An allergist can diagnose mold allergy with a skin test or a blood test.
Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack open a window in the kitchen when you are cooking, or in the bathroom when you are bathing.
Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers inside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.
Wash mold off hard surfaces with soap and water, or use a mix of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to kill mold. When cleaning mold, always wear a filtered face mask so you won’t inhale mold spores.
How do you get rid of mold? Share your comments with us!
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