Mold Allergy May Be Making You Sneeze

Mold Allergy May Be Making You Sneeze

Many people suffer with mold allergy and don''t even know it.

There are thousands of types of molds, and they are everywhere! Here''s a child''s experiment to try: take a piece of bread and sprinkle some water on it. Put it in a plastic bag but don''t squeeze out all the air. Leave it in a warm dry place and watch the molds grow. Your bread may be quite colorful as several different types may grow in one place. This will take several days to a week, and it works faster on bread without preservatives.

Molds do us a service in the world by breaking down organic matter, but they also can cause allergic reactions. The symptoms are similar to pollen allergy:

- sneezing

- runny nose

- itchy, watery eyes

- coughing

Some people can also experience symptoms of mold allergy by eating cheese made with fungi (like bleu cheese). Sometimes mushrooms, dried fruit, soy sauce, vinegar and food made with yeast cause symptoms also.

Mold "seeds" are called spores and they spread by floating in the air. They fly in and through your house regularly, and once they land on a warm damp spot they will grow and eat whatever they find there. The spores are what usually cause your symptoms.

Outdoors, molds begin growing in the spring and die off at the first frost. They love moist and shady areas like compost piles and leaf litter. In the US south where I live, they also grow on the outside wall of the house so pressure washing is a big business here as people try to get rid of it. You can cut down on the amount of mold in your yard by raking up the leaves and grass clippings and putting them in a compost pile in the corner furthest from the house. Molds love warm moist environments, and at home that means the bathroom and basement. Moisture control in your house is the key to mold control. Be sure to air out the bathroom after showers, and fix any leaky faucets throughout the house. Mold also can grow in your refrigerator drip tray or even inside the fridge on old food. If you haven''t cleaned your fridge out lately, it might be time to start.

Mold, like pollen, is always everywhere, but you can reduce your mold allergy symptoms by reducing your exposure through these few simple measures.

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