Mould allergies could be more common than you think

Every day the average adult takes 20,000 breaths, moving 11,000 litres of air in and out of their lungs.1

Good air quality is crucial for us to stay healthy, especially for vulnerable groups like the elderly, babies and children, as well as people who have respiratory or allergic diseases. Unfortunately, our homes and other indoor environments are often poorly ventilated causing humidity to rise.2 This creates ideal conditions for the black mould that forms on our window sills and frames, and in our fridges and attics. Outside the mushrooms and fungi that grow in the wild can also produce mould spores that may trigger an allergic reaction.3

What causes mould allergy?

Mould is fungi. They thrive in damp and musty places like warm bathrooms and kitchens, piles of rotting leaves, compost heaps, grass cuttings and garden sheds. Mould is different from plants or animals in how it reproduces and grows. It releases spores into the air and it is these spores that can cause allergic reactions.3

What are the symptoms of mould allergies?

Mould spores get into your nose and cause hayfever symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny nose. They can also reach the lungs and trigger asthma making you wheezy. Sometimes the reaction is quick, sometimes you can have delayed symptoms leading to nasal congestion or worsening asthma over time. In a damp, mouldy environment, such as a wood or a basement, your symptoms may be more obvious. However it is possible to experience these symptoms and be unaware of the presence of mould and as such not recognise it as a trigger.3

When is mould allergy season?

Mushroom toadstool spores season runs from September to December but common fungus and mould spores season runs for longer – contributing to year-round symptoms. Our calendar below can help you identify your what could trigger your allergy.

How can I avoid mould?

 

Reduce your exposure to mould spores outside

  • Avoid building where hay or grain is stored 3
  • Avoid damp and musty buildings 3
  • Wear a dust mask when cutting grass, digging around plants, turning compost or  raking and picking up leaves 3
  • Avoid walking in the woods in mild, damp conditions or among rotting leaves 3

Reduce your exposure to mould spores inside

  • Keep your home dry and well ventilated 4
  • When showering or cooking, keep internal doors closed to prevent damp air from spreading through the house and always use extractor fans 4
  • Do not dry clothes indoors, store clothes in damp cupboards, or pack them to tightly in wardrobes 4
  • Deal with any condensation or damp quickly 4
  • Do not bring in damp wood for a fire and avoid burning wood inside that’s been kept in a damp shed 3
  • Discard spoiling food promptly to help minimise mould growth and keep problem areas such as refrigerator seals clean and dry 3
  • Keep houseplants to a minimum and change the soil regularly 3

What will give me relief from a mould allergy?

Mould allergy symptoms are perennial and very similar to hayfever symptoms.3

Zirtek Allergy Relief offers a once daily relief from sneezing, a runny, blocked up nose and itchy, watery eyes. So you can get on with your day.

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References
  1. https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/25379/item_9_-_manchester_public_health_annual_report_2018 Page 5
  2. https://www.allergyuk.org/about/latest-news/688-allergy-uk-celebrates-clean-air-day-why-clean-air-matters  
  1. https://www.allergyuk.org/information-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/320-improving-your-indoor-air-quality#download_access Mould Allergy Factsheet    
  2. https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/a/allergies/.hse.ie/eng/health/az/a/allergies/