5 Ways to Reduce Mold Allergies

Nov 07, 2022
5 Ways to Reduce Mold Allergies
Mold, unfortunately, is everywhere. If you have a mold allergy, you may struggle with avoiding the fungus and its spores. However, you can take action to minimize your exposure to mold and minimize your symptoms, too.

Mold is ubiquitous. You can find it almost anywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Even the mildew that collects in the crevices and corners of your shower is a type of mold. 

Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp or decaying environments. Mold produces tiny spores that become airborne and are easily inhaled. The most common types of mold that produce allergies are:

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium

If you develop an allergy to mold spores, you may develop watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and other classic allergy symptoms. If mold spores get into your lungs, they can trigger an asthma attack.

When you have any kind of allergy symptoms, expert allergist Lakshmi Reddy, MD diagnoses the specific substances that trigger your attacks at the Allergy and Asthma Institute in Duluth, Georgia. If she determines you’re allergic to mold, here are five ways you can minimize discomfort and attacks.

1. Hunt and destroy indoor mold

Mold can literally hide in your walls and flooring. Especially if you’ve had a flood or live in a damp area, mold may have found a number of breeding grounds. Mold loves to hang out in all kinds of unexpected areas, such as: 

  • Children’s toys
  • Sippy cups and thermoses
  • Under the sink
  • Sponge trays
  • Refrigerator drip trays
  • Washing machine gaskets
  • Products in your shower
  • In or under carpet, rugs, and welcome mats
  • Underneath wallpaper or drywall
  • Plumbing and ductwork
  • Dishes and cutlery
  • Indoor plants
  • Floor mats in cars
  • Garbage cans

Keep everything as dry as possible, which means running the dry cycle on your dishwasher and towel-drying the damp spots before storing. Also wipe up spills and dry after cleaning floors, walls, and furniture. 

If you spot mold (usually black or brown smears that look like dirt or tar), clean it with bleach or a disinfecting wipe. Then dry it. Avoid motorized cleaning brushes that may actually spread mold spores through the air.

2. Eliminate indoor dampness

Inspect under your sinks, near showers and tubs, and in your basement plumbing for signs of leaks. Repair them ASAP to avoid creating mold havens. Other steps include:

  • Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels under 50%
  • Don’t put carpet in bathrooms or basements
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Inspect houseplants for mold regularly

Also, keep your rain gutters clear of leaves, and check for signs of dampness on your house’s exterior that may attract mold. Of course, all these rules should be applied to any building you work in, too.

3. Increase air circulation indoors

One of the best ways to control mold at home or at work is by keeping the air circulating and filtered. For instance, HEPA filters can trap mold in air conditioner (AC) units before they enter your home or office. Take these steps:

  • Run your AC regularly with HEPA filters
  • Change AC filters frequently
  • Change furnace filters regularly
  • Open the windows on dry days when mold count is low
  • Use air purifiers

Consider vacuums with HEPA filters, too, to get rid of mold spores that have been tracked into environments through shoes or outer clothing.

4. Avoid going outdoors when mold counts are high

If you have pollen allergies, you probably already check your local pollen counts before venturing outdoors. Pollen counts usually account for mold, too. If you’re new to allergies, find pollen counts here

5. Be careful with yard work

Whether you work outdoors on a farm or construction site, or simply garden and do yard work at your home, you’re surrounded by mold. Take these steps to minimize exposure:

  • Wear an N95 mask
  • Wear a hat and gloves
  • Get rid of lawn clippings and old leaves quickly
  • Drain groundwater away from your house and garage

If your mold allergy is severe, however, you may need to modify your job responsibilities or delegate yard work to someone without a mold allergy.

6. Get allergy shots

As with other types of allergies, you can control mold allergy symptoms with medications. However, a series of allergy shots can reduce your immune system’s response to mold or even eliminate it entirely so you can live symptom-free.

Allergy shots work by introducing small, graduated doses of the allergen through injection. As your immune system learns to deal with the allergen in tiny amounts, you’re better able to fight and kill the allergen itself when exposed to it.

Keep your home and office free from mold but build up your ability to fight it by finding out if allergy shots work for you today. Phone our helpful team at 678-615-7878, or book an appointment online