Mold Allergies

Mold allergies can cause respiratory symptoms and aggravate asthma

Mold spores in molds and fungi spread through the air and enter the respiratory system, causing mold allergies in some people. Mold occurs outdoors and indoors. Seasonal mold allergies usually occur from mid-summer to early autumn, but can occur year round.

Mold allergies are treatable, and our Austin allergists have the expertise and experience to both diagnose and treat mold allergies to give you relief.

Symptoms range from mild to severe

Most people who have mold allergies experience respiratory symptoms.

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Postnasal drip
  • Eye, nose and/or throat irritation
  • Watery eyes
  • Scaly, dry skin

Mold allergies may also trigger or aggravate asthma symptoms.

Factors that increase your risk for mold allergies

If you have other family members who have allergies or asthma, this increases your risk for developing mold allergies. In addition, there are certain environmental factors that not only increase your risk for developing allergies, but also for aggravating your existing symptoms.

Exposures to high mold levels in your home or workplace increase your risk. This can occur when the building has a humidity level higher than 50% or when there is excess moisture inside due to leaks, water or flood damage. In addition, mold growth occurs in spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens with poor ventilation.

If you work in certain industries, you may also have a higher risk for mold allergies. Examples include dairies, farms, wineries, bakeries and greenhouses as well as jobs in the logging, carpentry or woodworking industries.

Complications

Most people with mold allergies will experience respiratory symptoms, but some people may develop more serious conditions. Our Austin allergists are fully equipped to care for and treat complications such as allergic fungal sinusitis or allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. People who have compromised immune systems are also more prone to skin infections or infections of the mucous membranes.

Diagnosis and treatment

Our Austin allergists start the diagnostic process by taking a thorough history. Depending on your history and symptoms, they may suggest allergy testing to determine if mold allergies are causing your problems. After examining the test results, our physicians may suggest allergy shots to relieve your mold allergies.

There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to mold allergens to prevent mold allergies or reduce the aggravation caused by existing mold allergies.

  • Avoid the outdoors when mold counts are high. Wear a mask for chores such as raking leaves, mowing the lawn or working with plants.
  • Avoid opening windows and doors in your home, workplace or car to keep outdoor allergens from getting inside.
  • Use your air conditioner and keep your indoor air humidity below 50%.

For more tips from our Austin allergists, go to Preventing Mold Growth.
Our Austin allergists can provide you and your family with relief from mold allergies. Contact us today.

Fall 2015 Allergy Outlook on KXAN

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Fall begins September 23rd, but fall allergens have gotten a head start in Central Texas. Four major types of pollen affect the area during each autumn season. Dr. Douglas Barstow with Austin Allergy and Asthma Associates predicts will be a heightened pollen year for fall elm.

 

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