Fall is beautiful with the crisp, fall mornings and the gorgeous colors of the changing leaves. As the leaves change, it is also often the time that those sensitive to mold will experience allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of Mold Allergies
The symptoms of mold allergies are the same as with any type of respiratory allergy: sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes/nose/throat, nasal congestion, cough or post nasal drainage, headache, rash, even asthma. A mold allergy can be year round or flare up in the fall or when the weather is damp or you are in a damp space.
Health conditions that may be mold related in addition to typical allergic rhinitis are irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis, and interstitial colitis. These conditions may improve after treatment for mold allergies, pollen, dust and food sensitivities.
The function of mold in nature is to digest organic matter like leaves, and return the leaves back to earth. For people who are sensitive to mold, the Washington D.C. region is a problem because the water level is high. A high water level encourages growth of mold in basements and damp environments and increases the symptoms of mold allergies.
Mold Allergy Testing and Treatment
Allergy testing and treatment for ragweed or mold allergies can be done easily using a needle free, non-invasive approach. Then we find the dilution which is the neutralizing dose and this is used in the treatment. The neutralizing dose becomes stronger with repetitive doses of serum. As the serum gets stronger, the patient gets relief as allergy symptoms subside over a period of months. Also, the home and work environment should be looked at to know what type of mold may be present.
What grows mold is moisture- in walls, carpet, basements, bathrooms, refrigerator drip pan, house plants, leaky pipes, dehumidifier pan, wherever water accumulates. You may not see it, but should inspect your living area and correct any moisture problems immediately. Replacing carpet with hardwood floors, fixing leaky pipes, using a vacuum with a hepa filter, changing your furnace filter, and having proper ventilation in bathrooms are all helpful in addressing mold allergies.
It is helpful to know specifically what you are dealing with. I may recommend the use of mold plates in your home or office to see where mold colonies grow. The mold plates are easy to order and set up in an area. You can test for 15 different molds that in the past I have found in homes by using culture plates. Testing is more reliable if the different molds are tested separately. Treatment is based on the findings.
Once you identify the moisture source it can be fixed, and a source of mold eliminated. There may be several different sources of mold and a patient can improve tremendously as we slowly identify and correct each mold problem over the course of months with mold allergy treatment.
If you are having symptoms, get tested for mold allergies now so you can enjoy the beauty of the fall season.
Autumn Frandsen N.D. is a Naturopathic Physician at National Integrated Health Associates, NIHA, serving Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. As a naturopath, her philosophy is to use the least invasive and effective method to bring balance to the body and restore health. Her areas of focus include Allergies, Environmental Medicine and Chemical Sensitivities, Homeopathy and Herbal Medicine, Heavy Metal Detoxification, Anti-Aging and Weight Loss.