Is Your Summer Cold Really Mold Allergies?
Summer is a time to be carefree, escape daily stressors and spend time with family. Often that includes vacations, whether it’s weekend or weeks-long trips to the shore, escapes to a lake house, or traipsing to the pool to cool off. But these fun trips can turn sour for those who suffer from summer mold allergies. Often hidden due to lack of regular exposure, these allergies become prevalent in spots like shore and lake houses and hotels, where mold flourishes.
Mold can linger in any number of places and proliferates especially during the summer months, when the warm, humid air creates an inviting environment for these unwanted fungi. Shore and lake homes, hotels and even summer camps can have particularly bad mold problems since they have such a hospitable environment. Mold can be found in mattresses, bathrooms and even air conditioning units, worsening air quality.
Primary residences, removed from these environments, don’t typically have these problems, since they are occupied year-round and have proper ventilation. That can make going on vacation tricky for those with mold allergies.
There are approximately 1,000 different species of mold in the United States, and when they become airborne, they can wreak havoc on those allergic to them. Mold allergies can lead to cold-like symptoms, which can put a major damper on summer vacations and activities. Common symptoms include sneezing, itching, congestion and nasal discharge, and dry, scaling skin.
The experts at Allergy & Asthma Specialists can diagnose summer mold allergies and help determine the best form of treatment. In order to reduce reactions, they recommend dehumidifying damp spaces; cleaning bathroom tile and grout frequently; using an exhaust fan in bathrooms to reduce moisture build up; using airtight covers on mattresses and pillows; replacing air conditioning filters regularly and inspecting units for mold; and removing carpet that has gotten repeatedly wet.
Beyond these measures, certain other steps can be taken to reduce mold, such as using a mold inhibiting paint. Even storing certain items like wool or leather properly can decrease mold build up. Also be sure to remove natural debris around the home, like leaves, and ensure proper drainage on the property.
Mold symptoms will likely peak during summer, but symptoms can last through the fall, as foliage changes, making some of the most enjoyable times of the year trying ones for those who suffer from mold allergies. While avoidance of mold is the best solution, allergists, like those at Allergy & Asthma Specialists, can determine a proper treatment plan. Skin tests can be given to determine allergies, and antihistamines and nasal steroids can be prescribed when appropriate.
Don’t let summer mold allergies dampen your summer. Take proper precautions and see an allergist to ensure your summer goes swimmingly.
To schedule a visit with the board certified allergists/immunologists of A&AS at one of the eight convenient locations, call 1-800-86COUGH, extension 2.