Dealing With Mold Allergies

Topic Overview

Mold may be the cause of allergies that get worse in damp weather. Mold produces spores that move, like pollen, in outdoor air during warmer months. During winter months, indoor molds can also be a problem. To avoid exposure to mold spores:

  • Remove extra leaves, grass clippings, and compost from areas close to your house.
  • Fix leaking roofs and any other places where water leaks inside the house.
  • Store firewood outside the house.
  • Seal off or avoid damp areas, such as crawl spaces or basements, and avoid items that have been stored in damp places. Try using a dehumidifier to control mold growth in these areas or during damp seasons.
  • When using an air conditioner or a humidifier, replace cooling system filters every 3 months.

To reduce mold growth:

  • Clean bathtubs, shower stalls, and curtains at least once a month with a disinfectant or liquid bleach.
  • Clean humidifiers or vaporizers once a day with a vinegar mixture and once a week with a bleach mixture to reduce mold. Avoid using them if you have dust allergies because dust mites survive better where there is higher humidity.
  • Clean bathroom and kitchen surfaces frequently with bleach.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised April 29, 2011

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