The Link between Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis and a Mold Allergy
There are a number of allergens that can cause seasonal allergic rhinitis. Most of these identified allergens are airborne, such as the pollen that is blown about from trees, plants and grasses. Another type of airborne allergen, mold spores, is the seasonal culprit of mold allergies. This type of allergy is generally found from spring to early fall, with a peak in the late summer months, although other types of mold can cause symptoms nearly year-round. The allergens that cause mold allergies are generally found in humid climates, and moist areas like rotted logs and compost piles. They can also be found indoors in damp basements or closets, or even lurking in your shower stall. Fresh food storage areas are also a popular hangout for mold spores, as well as house plants and certain pieces of furniture.
Why do Mold Allergies Occur?
If you suffer from a mold allergy, your immune system has incorrectly identified mold spores as a substance that is harmful to your body. The response of your immune system is to produce antibodies called immunoglobulin that will create chemicals that will ward off these potentially damaging substances. The result is symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and itching. In the case of a mold allergy, the mold spores are airborne and inhaled into the body through the respiratory tract. This is why nasal congestion and coughs are common complaints of mold allergy sufferers. The incidence of symptoms from a mold allergy will be dependent on the abundance of the allergen and the ability of the air currents to spread the spores. These factors can be affected by changes in weather patterns throughout the day, making mold counts somewhat ineffective in determining the severity of the allergen exposure.
Treating Mold Allergies
Because mold allergies are airborne, they will most often result in the symptoms of rhinitis, which will include nasal congestion, watery eyes and coughing. The best treatment for rhinitis is generally an over-the-counter antihistamine, decongestant or nasal spray to treat the inflammation and congestion. If over-the-counter medications are not effective in treating your mold allergy symptoms, it is a good idea to see your doctor for possible prescription relief for your mold allergy. There are a number of medicines that your doctor can recommend to treat your mold allergies through the use of prescription antihistamines and steroidal nasal sprays that will reduce the inflammation in your sinus passages. Allergies to molds and other airborne allergens can cause seasonal or even year-round rhinitis, depending on which allergens affect you. The good news is that there are many options in treating these allergies to allow you more symptom-free days and a higher quality of life.