When asked about how they are feeling in the hot weather, people will often say, “It’s not the heat that bothers me, it’s the humidity.” This is because high humidity inhibits a person’s ability to sweat, consequently keeping the body from doing that thing that cools it down. But for mold allergy suffers, there are additional concerns that arise during hot, humid weather because those conditions create a breeding ground for mold spores, especially in the home.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), there are “roughly 1,000 species of mold in the United States — many of which aren’t visible to the naked eye.” WebMD also states that an estimated 5% of Americans suffer from mold allergies.
How do you know if you have a mold allergy? Here is a list of symptoms from the ACAAI, which as you can see, are very similar to those of pollen allergies:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Irritated eyes
- Itchy throat
- Inducing or worsening asthma
Now while you can’t do much about humidity, you can take precautions against exposure to mold for yourself and your home. Mayo Clinic offers the following tips for keeping you and your family safe:
- Stay indoors when the weather is especially damp or when the mold count is high.
- Close windows at night because there are greater amounts of airborne mold spores during the cooler and damper part of the day.
- Clean garbage cans and refrigerators often.
- Wear a mask when cleaning moldy areas (bleach works well for cleaning mold) or if you are working outside in damp conditions.
- Make sure that all bathrooms with showers or bathtubs are properly ventilated.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms where mold can easily grow, such as bathrooms and basements.
- Use a dehumidifier, but make sure to clean it regularly.
- Turn on your air conditioning, especially one with a HEPA filter, and clean it regularly.
- Have your furnace cleaned regularly.
- Don’t leave paper items like books in damp places.
For an interactive tour of the areas of your home that can house mold, visit the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Mold House Tour.
If you think that you may be suffering from mold allergies, schedule an appointment with CT Sinus Center to find out for sure. Our expert physicians will take the time to sit down with you and discuss your symptoms before using up-to-date diagnostic techniques to see what is causing your suffering. Once they have determined what it is, they will create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs. That plan may include antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, Montelukast or allergy shots. Or you may be eligible for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will provide permanent relief from your suffering:
- Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
- Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow