Mildew and mold allergies can be tricky to self-diagnose simply because you come into constant contact with mold spores in many different ways. Mold spores are found indoors in damp places like basements, bathrooms and even potted plants. You will find them outdoors floating in the air and in piles of leaves and grass clippings. You will also find them foods we eat every day. Signs and symptoms of mold and mildew allergies can be like other allergy symptoms. They can be mild or severe, seasonal or year long.
Common mold and mildew allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes, itchy nose, or a tickle or dryness in the back of the throat that makes you cough or clear your throat more than normal.
Asthma sufferers may find their symptoms get worse when exposed to mold and mildew. Exposure can also bring on allergy-induced asthma symptoms in individuals who do not normally have asthma symptoms.
Identifying mold allergens is harder than identifying typical indoor or outdoor allergens because mold spores can be found just about everywhere. The most common outdoor molds can be found in and around window frames, in piles of leaves, old hay, bird droppings, and decaying vegetable matter.
Indoor molds are commonly found in bathrooms and basements, air conditioning units, newspapers, face creams, leather, wood, paper and rubber products. Mold spores can hide in carpet fibers and furniture, and grow on shower curtains and walls.
Forms of mold and fungus can also be found on the human body. You can find such elements on the skin's surface, sometimes colonizing on the allergic individual to form infections such as finger and toenail infections, thrush, vaginitis and bumpy skin.
Mold is commonly found in and on our foods. Not only as the mold we see on bread, but also hidden on the surface of food. When we ingest these mold spores, we can suffer the same symptoms as seen with outdoor and indoor mold exposure.
Mold-allergic individuals can also suffer severe reactions after ingesting molds, such as severe asthma attacks and other reactions including hives and swelling.
Suspect mold allergies if you have chronic or consistent allergy symptoms and you work in a factory, library, basement or on a farm; live in an old home, mobile home, basement apartment or in a wooded area; regularly drink alcoholic beverages and/or smoke; crave sweets or find yourself craving and eating large amounts of mold-containing foods.