So the doctors have just told you and your parents that you are allergic to mold. So now what should you do? You hate feeling sick all the time, but you're not even sure what mold is. So how can you avoid it? And what can you and your parents do to make it easier for you to live and breathe in your home?
What is Mold?
Molds are fungi, and they can grow just about anywhere where they have warmth and water. Some molds like growing outside, while others -- such as penicillium -- prefer to be indoors. Unfortunately, your house has many areas -- like your bathrooms and your basement -- that are just perfect for growing mold. But don't worry. Only a few molds are actually considered harmful to humans.
Can I See the Mold?
Sometimes, it is easy to find mold. You might smell a musty odor or see dark spots growing in your basement and know right away that is mold. But mold isn't always that easy to find. For one thing, did you know that mold comes in many different colors? It can actually be blue or orange or many other colors.
And sometimes mold hides. For example, take a look at the walls of your house. They look solid, but behind those walls are pipes, wood and other building materials. And if one of those pipes develops a slow leak behind your walls, it could be creating a perfect environment for the growth of mold. So if you have a mold allergy, your parents may decide to have a mold remediation expert come in to look for mold that may be hiding out of sight in your home. And if this service does discover mold in your house, it will then use special treatments to rid your home of the fungi that had been causing you to feel ill.
Why Does Mold Make You Feel Sick?
If you have an allergy to mold, it can cause you to have the following symptoms:
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Sneezing and coughing
- Runny nose or congestion
And if you have asthma, mold could trigger an attack, which could cause you to experience tightness in your chest and problems breathing.
Treatment for Mold Allergy
The best way to deal with your allergy is to get rid of as much of the mold in your home as possible. Your allergy doctor may also recommend immunotherapy. With this treatment, you will receive shots containing small doses of mold, which should eventually help your body to build up its own natural immunity.
What Your Family Can Do to Control Mold
While you can't get rid of all mold, you can try to keep it under control. Here are a few ways your family can reduce mold in your house:
- Clean your bathrooms with products designed to kill mold.
- Have leaking pipes repaired quickly.
- Always make sure that if carpeting gets wet that it is dried thoroughly.
- Have your home inspected by a mold abatement specialist if there is a noticeable musty odor in your home.
- Don't use carpets in bathrooms.
- Ask your parents to keep the humidity level in your home at about 40 to 60 percent. They may need to purchase a dehumidifier.
If your home has a severe mold problem and you have to hire a professional mold removal service to remediate the issue, it's possible that you and your family will have to leave your house while the cleanup work is being done. While the workers are cleaning your home, mold spores may get disturbed and enter the air, which could trigger your allergies.