Mold Allergy Symptoms


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stachybotrysHow to deal with a mold allergy?

So I never had any allergies before, and recently began receiving some of the symptoms such as eruptions on the eyelids and a lot of sneezing and a runny nose. I discovered one of my old bags that had been hung from a hook on the door had mold in it. I used it last about as a month ago so I’m not sure where the mold came from.   I’m pretty sure that when I ever leave my house, I feel better. It sucks. The mold could be randomly somewhere where I can not see it – please help!  I live in a studio apartment and I fear that this could seriously damage my health, how can I cope?  I’m even starting to have some chest pains that I do not really know how to fix this problem. Thank you very much.

Best Answer:

Mold needs two things to grow:

  1. The organic matter, of which every home has a much of it.
  2. High levels of humidity. Mold needs to least 60% relative humidity to grow.

If you feel you have an allergy to mold then it is probably not all mold species but a particular type. When you develop a hypersensitivity to a mold, then you will experience allergy symptoms when exposed to it. This is especially true if the mold is growing somewhere in the house such as a damp wall, the air conditioning coil box or perhaps a refrigerator drip pan.

First look around the cupboard and the whole apartment for sources of moisture. Check for damp walls, leaking pipes, mineral stains in the ceiling sheet rock from a roof leak, holes in siding and around window frames. Since you live in an apartment complex, there is also a chance that moisture is being caused by a leak in an adjacent unit, so ask around and see if your neighbors have mold problems. If no leaks are obvious then it may be growing in a place out of sight such as those listed above. Have a heating and air conditioning professional check your unit for mold in the coil box, check under sinks for a mold smell, clean your refrigerator drip pan and check all other hidden areas where moisture may be hiding. You could even purchase an inexpensive hygrometer and check the humidity levels around the house. Relative humidity (RH) readings should be below 60%. If the RH level is above 60%, then you should rent or purchase a dehumidifier to control humidity in the house. As soon as you lower and maintain moisture levels relative between 40-50%, then molds may dry out and release spores into the air. Unfortunately a dead or alive mold spore can make you ill so you will still need to remove excess dust including possible mold spores from the indoor environment.

Consider purchasing a HEPA (high efficient particle air) vacuum cleaner and air purifier and use regularly until symptoms get better. If you continue having a moldy smell indoors, then you may also consider hiring a mold contractor to remediate the problem. Be sure and check at least three of their references before proceeding.

About the Author:
The Sick House Center provides resources and information about Sick House Syndrome and other indoor pollution issues. Read about Mold Solutions for the indoor environment at the Sick House Center.

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