Mold Allergies in Austin
Mold is simply a part of the natural environment and can be found both indoors and outdoors. Here in Austin, Texas mold allergies can be a problem for many people. This year has been very wet, following a drought period which has made the mold counts even greater than usual.
In 2017, the mold count in Austin grew to a height of 19,882 which is considered extremely high. This is the highest recorded mold count since July 11, 2012, when mold counts hit 27,262. The 2017 figure was the second-highest since 2009 when mold records began to be taken.
What is Mold Allergy?
Molds are fungi and are different from plants or animals. They reproduce be spreading seeds which are referred to as spores; these spores travel the air. While certain spores may spread in dry weather, others travel with the moisture in the air during high humidity. For this reason, the mold is usually in high figures during the rainy season.
When an individual inhales these spores, he or she may have an allergic reactions. Although fungi symptoms are common from summer to early fall, the fact that they (fungi) can grow in several places – both indoor and outdoor – and some people may experience allergic reactions throughout the year.
Symptoms of Mold Allergies
Mold allergy symptoms are comparable to the symptoms of most allergies. Some of these include.
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Cough and postnasal drip
- Itchy eyes, nose and throat
- Watery eyes
- Dry, scaly skin
Symptoms can vary from person to person and may range from mild to severe. Symptoms may be more pronounce seasonally. Flare-up’s, when a person spend a lot of time indoors may be an indicator of high concentrations of indoor mold growth.
How Doctors Diagnose Mold
To accurately diagnose mold, your doctor will review and assess your medical history. If they suspects you have a mold allergy, they might perform a skin or blood test to help in determining what exactly is causing the irritation.
How to Reduce Exposure to Outdoor Spores
- Try to put a limit on outdoor activities during the period of high mold counts. This may help reduce the number of spores or mold seeds you breathe in.
- Use a dust mask while cutting grass, picking leaves, or digging around plants. Mold grows on leaves and grass, gardening activities disturb mold spores and get them airborne for you to breathe.
How to Reduce Exposure to Indoor Spores
- You can use a central air condition system together with a HEPA filter. The HEPA filter can help you trap mold spores in every corner of your home.
- Minimize indoor humidity. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America,, air cleaners become ineffective if the indoor moisture content is excessive – At an indoor humidity rate of 50%, fungi can grow easily. However, using your air conditioner or a separate dehumidifier to keep humidity below 45% you can minimize the water content in the air and prevent mold growth