Allergies can be caused by one or possibly a combination of many different things including an array of triggers such as food, medicine, environmental factors and inhalants. Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide.
Mold allergy symptoms vary from one person to another and range from mild to severe. Mold spores and very fine hyphal fragments trigger allergic reactions in about 20% of the adult population. The reactions are due to protein and polysaccharide components of molds. The smaller the spores and the finer the hyphal fragments the easier it is for them to penetrate deep into the respiratory tract. In humans mold allergy symptoms are of two types, the immediate hay-fever or asthma Type I and the delayed farmer’s lung Type III. Type I allergy occurs only in allergic individuals and may be caused by many types of molds including plant pathogens. Alternaria and Cladosporium spp., are two of the common molds causing seasonal mold allergies of this type.
Mold allergy symptoms can include sneezing, nasal congestion and itchy or watery eyes. People who suffer from Asthma may experience wheezing and shortness of breath. Some people may experience mold allergy symptoms all year round while in some others symptoms would flare up only during certain seasons of the year depending on what triggers the allergy or the amount of allergens present in the environment. Mold allergy symptoms are significant when the weather is damp, and when indoor or outdoor spaces have high mold spore concentrations.
People who are sensitive to mold can experience mold allergy symptoms both indoors and outdoors. For example in summer and fall several types of molds thrive on dead leaves and release spores into the air. On inhaling these spores, individuals who are sensitive to mold spores are likely to experience allergic reactions.
Controlling mold allergy means controlling your exposure to mold. That isn’t always easy outdoors. But you can limit exposure inside your home by controlling mold growth, cleaning up existing mold growth, and to some extent preventing outdoor mold from infiltrating indoors.
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Dr. Jackson Kung'u works for MBL, a laboratory that specializes in identification and enumeration of mold and bacteria commonly detected in air, fluids and bulk samples collected from homes, schools, offices, hospitals, industrial, agricultural, and other work environments. Jackson also provides a unique Mold Training Course on How to Recognize Indoor Mold, Develop Effective Sampling Strategies, Interpret Laboratory Results and how to Control Mold Growth.