Womens Health

Mold Allergy Prevention

Hay Fever Symptoms

Mold allergies are similar to other allergies caused by airborne allergens; in this case, airborne mold spores. The allergy occurs when the hapless victim breathes in mold spores. The symptoms are nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, cough, and sometimes asthma. Treatment is the same as for all other allergies that affect the upper respiratory system.

Take Precautions

While it probably won't be possible to eliminate all mold spores from your environment, it is possible to reduce the amount of contact you have with mold spores by taking some precautions. The less you breathe of the stuff, the better you'll feel.

Here are a few simple measures you can take to start breathing easier:

* Keep the windows closed at night while you're sleeping, to prevent breathing in mold. Nighttime is when the greatest number of airborne mold spores populate the air, and this is never truer than when the weather is moist and cool.

* If you can't get anyone to do your autumn scut work for you, wear a dust mask to cover your nose and mouth while raking leaves or working with compost piles. A mask can help shield you from the mold spores that are released into the air while doing these gardening chores.

* Don't go out just after it's rained, during fog, or when the weather is damp. If the published mold count is high, stay inside.

While you can't get rid of mold for good, there are tasks you can undertake to keep down the growth of mold in your home:

* Seek out and fix leaky pipes or groundwater seepage to get rid of dampness in your basement.

* Buy a dehumidifier and place it in any area of your home that seems damp or smells moldy. Make sure to give regular cleaning attention to the collection bucket and condensation coils of your dehumidifier.

* Make the splurge and use an air conditioner. Central air conditioning that comes with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attachment is your best bet at keeping down the mold spore count because it screens the little devils before they ever enter your home.

* The humidity in your home should remain below 50%.

* Change your furnace and air conditioner filters on a regular basis.

* Keep your bathroom well-ventilated and run a ventilation fan for half an hour after you shower or bathe to help dry out the air.

* Use a bleach solution to clean bathroom and basement walls at least once a month.

* Keep groundwater from draining into the foundation of your home by keeping the outside areas and rain gutters free of leaves and detritus.

* Wicker plant hangers and other planters made of natural fibers need to be kept very clean and dry so as not to become harbingers of mold.

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