A mold allergy can be misdiagnosed as being an allergy to a scent or a food. The most common allergy to mold manifests itself as asthma, but people who do have an allergy to mold or mildew can also have watery eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose, a cough or a skin rash. If a person already has asthma, mild exposure to mold can bring on an attack, where as a person without asthma may not even be bothered by it. Small amounts of mold, such as that on a shower curtain, are not serious and will not cause a mold allergy.
If you are exposed to large amounts of mold or mildew, you should take steps to get rid of the source of mold. Some kinds of mold produce mycotoxins and the symptoms of this is much more severe than a mold allergy. Black mold, for example, results from heavy water damage, such as in a flood. You can usually smell the mildew in a home when you first enter it, but for those living there they are so used to it that they don’t recognize it as the cause of their mildew allergy.
Moisture and warmth are the two conditions under which mold spores grow at a rapid pace. Even though you may take extra care with cleaning, if some of the water seeps into cracks and crevices, mold can grow in very tiny places and this could be the cause of your mold allergies. Just because you can’t see the mold or mildew doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Sometimes, you can smell it before you see it and it is them you realize that what you thought was sinus problems could be a mold allergy instead.
To keep your mold allergy to a minimum, you can make sure that you control the level of humidity in your home. The normal level should be below 40% and by using air-conditioners and dehumidifiers you can help prevent mold and mildew from developing. Under ideal circumstances, you should remove carpeting from the bedrooms of your home, or at least from the room of anyone that has a mold or mildew allergy. Foam rubber pillows and mattresses are also breeding grounds for mold and because they are dark, closets are also likely places where you can find mold.
When someone in your home has a mold allergy, it does mean you have to make sure you dry everything before you put it away. Boots and shoes should be thoroughly dried before you put them in the closet and you should use bathroom cleaning products designed to kill mold. An exhaust fan in the kitchen will help moisture from cooking to build up and you should empty the garbage container before it starts to smell. All of these tasks are normal things you can do on a daily basis to help prevent another outbreak of a mold allergy.