Due to some sneaky symptoms, many people may be suffering from mold allergies without even realizing it. Let’s take a closer look at this affliction and what can be done to alleviate it.
Dealing with mold can be difficult for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s a more widespread problem than most people would expect — spores thrive in homes with common issues, like leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, and cracked foundations.
Not only is mold relatively widespread, but it’s also an extremely pervasive substance — the outside air is also full of spores that can easily make their way indoors through an open window, doorway, or faulty ventilation system.
Another thing about mold that makes it especially tricky is that it affects different people in a wide variety of ways — symptoms specific to one person’s allergy can be completely different from those of the next.
These symptoms are also often somewhat generic in nature, which makes tracing an allergic reaction back to mold more difficult — they can easily be confused with seasonal allergies, sinus infections, or even just a common cold.
According to Mayo Clinic, Common symptoms of mold allergies include sneezing, headaches, runny nose, as well as itchy eyes, skin, and throat. People who suffer from asthma may also experience shortness of breath and wheezing. More severe cases can even cause memory problems, joint pain, and mood swings, including feelings of anger, anxiety, and aggression, as Mercola reports.
How to Tell When Mold Is the Problem
Tracing an allergic reaction back to mold often requires a bit of detective work. Pay attention to your symptoms — do they dissipate when you leave the house? Do you only feel them in one particular space or building?
Stay on the lookout for environmental factors that will put you at increased risk of mold exposure. Indoor humidity levels above 60% are ideal for mold, and will likely lead to infestation and proliferation.
Leaky pipes, water seepage and condensation, and poor ventilation are also issues that should be addressed immediately — basements, bathrooms, and kitchens are the spaces in homes that are usually most at risk.
How Does Mold Cause Allergic Reactions?
Achoo Allergy describes how there are a number of common molds that make up the usual suspects when it comes to allergies — Alternaria, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys are just a few of the strains that thrive in warm, dark, damp household environments.
What many people don’t realize is that it’s not the mold itself triggering the reaction — it’s actually the microscopic, airborne spores that come into contact with our skin and respiratory systems that are ultimately causing the problems.
Gear Up and Fight Back
The good news is that there are actually a number of ways to combat mold infestations in your home — most experts agree that a high-quality air purifier should do the trick when it comes to most strains of household mold.
Before you invest in a filter, you’ll want to make sure the filter in your purifier is HEPA certified — HEPA filters are required by the U.S. government to be capable of removing 99.97% of particles up to 0.3 microns in diameter.
Considering that most airborne spores range between one and five microns across, a certified HEPA filter should have no problem removing mold-based allergens from your home.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that when it comes to air filters, not all machines are created equal. The BiosGS2.0 from Rabbit Air employs a four-stage filtration system that doesn’t just tackle mold — it removes a variety of other irritants like pollen, dust mites, dander, and unwanted odors with ease.