Seasonal Allergy or Mold Allergy, What’s The Difference?
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, then you already know the feeling. Your eyes are watery, nose is running, and you can’t stop sneezing. Along with your itchy throat and congestion, you know you’re dealing with miserable seasonal allergy flare-ups. But did you know that these symptoms could also be caused by mold and not by your seasonal allergies? Here at Baxter Restoration, we’re looking deeper into what the difference is between a seasonal allergy and a mold allergy.
1. Similar Symptoms, Different Sources
Depending on where you live, seasonal allergies most commonly start around late winter or spring. They are often triggered by pollen. It might be easy to overlook a mold allergy, due to similar symptoms as seasonal allergies.
If you breath in miniscule, airborne mold spores and you have a mold allergy, your overly sensitive immune system overreacts. You may experience symptoms such as: coughing, postnasal drip, watery eyes, itchy nose and throat, amongst other things. In some cases, mold allergy can trigger an asthmatic episode, causing issues with breathing and restricting airways. Mold allergies will vary depending on the person, and can range from mild to severe.
2. Have you been exposed to mold?
Mold is extremely common, both inside and outside of your home. Although there are many different types of mold, only certain kinds will cause a mold allergy.
If you work in an environment that exposes you to mold and are suffering from allergy symptoms, you may want to investigate further before assuming it is just seasonal. Some jobs with higher mold exposure include: carpentry and furniture repair, construction sites, antique shops, farming, working in a greenhouse, baking, dairy work, winemaking, and logging.
Even doing yard work can expose you to mold that you may confuse with it being seasonal. Did you know that uncut yards and piles of damp leaves are prime for places for mold to grow? If you do yard work and are prone to allergies, make sure you shower once you come inside to remove any mold spores that are on your hair or skin.
If you live in an environment that has high humidity or has been exposed to excess moisture, you may want to talk to your doctor about mold allergies. Having a digital thermostat in your home can help you keep track of how much humidity is inside. Anything higher than 50 percent increases your chances to mold exposure in your home.
3. How to Prevent a Mold Allergy
Preventing a mold allergy from flaring up means being proactive with mold in your home. Living in a home with poor ventilation is a risk factor for a mold allergy. The most vulnerable places for mold to grow in your home are bathrooms, kitchens, and basements due to having damp areas. Mold can grow anywhere where conditions allow it to flourish. If your home has had flood damage, leaky pipes, or dampness due to rainstorms, you can develop or worsen a mold allergy.
A few ideas to remove sources of humidity and dampness to reduce mold growth include:
· Clean up any standing water as soon as you can
· Use your bathroom fan when you take hot showers
· Any mold surfaces should be washed and disinfected thoroughly
· Contemplate carpet placement in your house and whether it should be removed (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements)
· Use a dehumidifier and aim to keep your humidity levels in your home under 50 percent
· Toss anything you’re not using that can become moldy, such as old magazines and newspapers
If you are not sure if your allergy symptoms are seasonal or due to a mold allergy, talk to your doctor right away.
Baxter Restoration puts family first, and your health is our top priority. If you need help assessing water damage or need mold removal in your home, feel free to get an estimate, we are here for you!