It is important to distinguish cold symptoms with mold allergy. A differential diagnosis can be performed. Mold allergy can be coped with lifestyle changes, antihistamines, and decongestant and allergy shots. Better to seek professional advice before taking medicines.
How To Cope With Mold Allergy?
The best way to cope with mold allergy is to avoid exposure to allergens. There is a saying “prevention is better than cure.” This not only helps in avoiding an emergency situation, but also helps you to cope with mold allergy. In case of mold allergy, the following measures can be of great help in coping with the symptoms:
Lifestyle Changes: Wearing a mask is a good way to cope with mold allergy. It is difficult to avoid exposure of the body to molds, try to wear a mask whenever you are going especially when going in the backyards, farms, or greener places. These are the places where chances of having molds are higher. Moisture and humidity are the best places for the growth of molds; try to control moisture and humidity by using dehumidifiers and air conditioners. Discard the curtains, carpeting, wallpaper or other items which have signs of mold. Do not store clothes and other textiles in the damp areas which can become a storage unit for mold allergy. Using sprays of grape seed extract, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda in the affected area can help you in removing molds. Vinegar may produce an unpleasant smell, so you can opt for other available options. Molds in the dry area require professional help for elimination. 1: 20 ratio of bleach and water in a spray well bottle is an effective anti-mold remedy.
Nasal Medications: People suffering from mold allergy produce nasal symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose. Nasal steroids such as ciclesonide, fluticasone, mometasone, triamcinolone, and budesonide can be helpful in coping with nasal inflammation. These medications can have side effects such as nosebleeds and nasal dryness on a long-term basis. These are the first-line treatment for people suffering from nasal allergies.
Antihistamines: Histamines, a chemical is released in response to the allergen which produces itching, sneezing, and runny nose. Antihistamines are the medications helps in relieving the symptoms caused by an allergic reaction. Certain histamines are known to produce sedative effects which impairs work in school and office and also results in dry mouth. Modern antihistamines lack these sedative effects and dryness. It can be taken as oral tabs or nasal sprays. Some of the commonly used antihistamines are loratadine, fexofenadine, azelastine, olopatadine, and fexofenadine.
Decongestants: These agents are very important to reduce nasal congestion. Both oral and nasal sprays are available in the market. Decongestants have many side effects such as blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, heart pounding (palpitations) and nervousness. Oxymetazoline is commonly used decongestant.
Immunotherapy: Allergy shots are useful in certain types of mold allergy symptoms.
Montelukast is an effective medication which blocks the release of immune system chemicals. It is not an effective agent as inhaled corticosteroids in treating a mold allergy.
The fungal spores of molds can be seen in the month of July to early fall. Your physician can help you in identifying the exact cause of the symptoms body is experiencing. Differential diagnosis is performed to identify the culprit by doing an allergy test. Skin prick test and blood tests are beneficial in doing the differential diagnosis. Skin prick test involves using small amounts of the suspected allergen in arm with tiny punctures. If the treated area produces hives and redness then mold allergy is confirmed.
Another way to confirm mold allergy is a radioallergosorbent test. This test involves the collection of blood samples and measuring the number of antibodies in the bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. If confirmed, further analysis is performed to identify the specific molds producing the symptoms of the allergy. Once the differential diagnosis is confirmed adequate measure should be taken to prevent and cope with the symptoms in the mold season.
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