Mold allergy is not the typical spring time allergy. It’s an allergy that’s based on the air borne fungal spores or fragments. Since the spores and fragments are very small, they have the ability to bypass the nose tract and reach the lungs. Being microscopic, the foreign particles may be very difficult to avoid and could be common in almost any home or building.
Origin of Molds
Molds grow in places where there are moisture and oxygen. In natural settings, they may thrive on rotting logs, vegetation, and places in shady areas. In the home, they could grow in damp basements, bathrooms, attics, closets, garages, or practically any place that has moisture. The prime locations for mold spores don’t necessarily end at the home. Commercial places such as greenhouses, old buildings, bakeries, and industrial factories are a favorite place for mold growth as well. Molds have a ubiquitous nature and it’s important that we understand how molds work and where they come from.
There are a number of allergenic fungi that cause allergic reactions in people. The Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Cephalosporium are commonly known fungi that fall under the Fungi Imperfecti group. These, specifically the Alternaria and Caldosporium are more prevalent outdoors than indoors. They are common during the autumn season, but sometimes they appear in the spring and summer. Indoors, Aspergillus and Penicillium are relatively persistent throughout the year with little effect from environmental factors.
Airborne isn’t the only way that molds can get into the body. Common foods such as mushrooms, dried fruits, and cheese allow molds to be transported into the body. These items carry various types of molds that produce the same type of symptoms found from the airborne form. What are the typical symptoms?
Symptoms of mold allergies are similar to the effects of seasonal allergies from pollen. Typical symptoms include watering of eyes, stuffy nose, wheezing, and asthma. Medical books will call this allergic rhinitis, which is normally associated with seasonal problems and hypersensitivity problems. Studies suggest that allergic rhinitis is similar to cold-like symptoms. The reaction to these molds is not always immediate. It can sometimes be delayed, depending on the severity. With the help of allergy medication, one can treat mold allergies as with other allergies.
A more dangerous form of allergen is “Toxic mold.” Toxic mold, or statchybotys, is a deadly form of allergen that can affect children in a negative way. The more common manifestation of this type is black mold. Black mold causes infants and children to suffer skin rashes and other lung damage that can result in death.
In the southern states, foam boards (wall insulation) with no allowance for air space have caused the walls to become wicks for water leaks and floods. As a result, mold spores easily proliferated throughout the house, leaving black mold. The symptoms of black mold allergy include coughing of blood, anemia, wheezing, bloody nose and nausea.
Allergy-causing molds can range from the simple ones found in nature to the dangerous molds created by man-made construction. The effects of these molds can have a severe effect, including mortality. By understanding the causes and effects of mold allergies, one can start pursuing preventative treatments.