Fuzzy and nasty – that would be fungus, more commonly known as mold. It reproduces itself by releasing microscopic spores into the air, an occurrence that can cause significant health problems to people with mold sensitivities, respiratory conditions, or asthma. In order to ensure that your home is safe from mold and your body remains in good health, be knowledgeable about the facts regarding mold and asthma.

Clean mold and help prevent asthma.Mold is everywhere
You faithfully run the bathroom fan during and after every shower, and you clean the bathroom weekly. Nevertheless, mold exists regardless of your efforts. Both the harmless and toxic variety can be found virtually in any environment where moisture prevails - from the aftermath of running a bath or boiling water. (Learn about the different types of mold.)

Because mold spores are microscopic, they can work their way into your comfortable home through air conditioning units, windows, doors, and heating and ventilation systems. Mold spores thrive in damp basements, so they often set up shop there.

Mold can worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions
Asthma is a common condition whereby the airways of the lungs tighten, making it difficult to breathe. While asthma is hard enough to live with, mold in your home could be aggravating the problem. In fact, mold is a well-known trigger for asthma. A study in the British Medical Journal found a significant connection between a person’s sensitivity to mold and the severity of their asthma. Another study by the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies showed that indoor substances such as mold not only trigger asthma symptoms, but actually intensify them.

If you or a member of your household experiences a boost in the severity of wheezing and coughing, an amplified tightness during an asthma attack, or an increase in the frequency of attacks, it is recommended that you consider being tested by a physician in order to determine if mold allergy asthma is the culprit.

Mold allergy asthma symptoms
When it comes to mold and asthma, a diagnosis can be tricky. The challenge exists because mold allergy symptoms often mimic symptoms of other forms of illnesses, thereby causing occasional misdiagnosis. For example, respiratory problems including congestion, a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, or wheezing are also associated with the common cold. In addition to these symptoms, people living with mold allergies may suffer from low grade fever, watery or red eyes, and/or a scratchy throat.

While mold allergy asthmatic symptoms have a lot in common with other run-of-the-mill allergies, some particular clues can help determine whether mold is the cause. For instance, allergy-triggering pollens are at their highest level during the day. In contrast, mold spores are released at night, often hours after you have hit the sack.

Consequently, if you or family members are awakened during the night by respiratory problems such as congestion, a runny nose, coughing, or wheezing, mold spores may be responsible for the discomfort.

To confirm with 100% certainty that mold is the cause of your allergy, contact a medical professional to undergo a mold allergy test. Remember, asthma symptoms are serious and require prompt medical care.

Mold allergies can be prevented
Without question, the best way to alleviate mold allergy asthma is to initiate a good prevention plan. If you suspect the presence of fungus in your home, contact a professional mold testing service that can not only confirm and locate the mold, but should also be able to identify the species in order to determine its potential harmful effects.

In addition to professional mold testing, simple steps can be taken to make your home less hospitable to fungus spores.

  • Fix leaks, cracks, and areas of seepage.
  • Keep the shower curtain and bathroom tiles dry.
  • Do not allow water to build up anywhere in the house.
  • Always use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Monitor houseplants for mold growth in the soil.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier if your house indicates a high level of humidity.

If you are moving into a new home or apartment, it is recommended that qualified professionals be hired to test for the presence of potentially dangerous molds in your new living quarters. You owe it to yourself and your family to ensure that your home is a safe and healthy environment, free from mold and asthma attacks.

 

Written by Gary Martin
Gary Martin is a freelance writer specializing in health and allergy research for the Mold Removal Unit website.

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