How to Live With an Allergy to Mildew
People have to live with an allergy to mildew when their body becomes extra sensitive to spores of mold and mildew. Allergic reactions can occur indoors as well as outdoors after inhaling the spores. As always, prevention is the best cure but medication may be required depending on the severity of the mildew allergy.
Look for the symptoms.If any of the following describe your condition, you may be allergic to mildew.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Dry and ticklish throat (cause a lot of coughing).
- Excessive sneezing.
- Eyes getting itchy or watery.
- Hypersensitive reactions when exposed to light.
- Itchiness on your ears or the roof of your mouth.
- Itchy, runny or dripping nose.
- Nasal congestion or rhinitis.
- Rashes, bumps and hives on your skin.
- Symptoms similar to asthma, dermatitis, hay fever or urticaria.
Take the following indoor preventive measures to avoid mold and mildew in your home.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels low.
- Install exhaust fans in your bathroom and basement to decrease dampness and humidity levels.
- Avoid carpets. You can choose hardwood or tiles floors instead.
- Watch out for any blockages and leaks in drainage and have them repaired right away. Water that has been standing still for a long time is likely to cause mildew development.
- Don't leave old piles of magazines and newspapers lying about.
- Don't leave piles of unburned wood near the fireplace or in the basement. Don't store wood in your home for long durations because mold and mildew grow on wood easily.
- Use a vacuum cleaner that has high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
- Use air conditioners and air purifiers that can clean mildew spores out of the air in your home.
- Add windows to light up dark and damp areas of your home.
Take the following preventive measures when going outdoors.
- Check your local forecast and avoid outdoor activities during peak mildew seasons. Many regions count high mildew measurements during the months of July, August and September.
- Avoid going out during damp, dry, foggy or windy weather conditions.
- Wear a filter mask to prevent inhalation of mold and mildew spores.
- Avoid tasks that can disturb mildew spores from a settled surface and become airborne. Such tasks include lawn mowing, raking leaves, leaf blowing and other garden activities.
- Wear clothes that will prevent mildew spores from clinging.
Take medication if your allergic reactions worsen.
- Antihistamines and decongestants are usually very effective in providing quick relief for mildew allergy. They can be taken through the mouth and also come in the form of eye drops and nasal sprays. Some antihistamines and decongestants with high dosage may require prescription but lower dosages are commonly available on the pharmacy shelf or over the counter after consultation with a pharmacist. If your symptoms are severe, it may take up to 30 minutes to see effects after the medication is taken.
- Corticosteroids and leukotriene blockers can be used for people who live with an allergy to mildew that is of extreme level. These medications prevent inflammations by reducing the body's sensitivity to mold and mildew. Corticosteroids and leukotriene are available in the form of nasal sprays, mouth inhalers and eye drops but usually require prescription.
- If the floor or other parts of your home are constructed from wood it is recommended to get all exposed wood polished or covered using paint or wallpaper. Protecting wooden surfaces will prevent growth of mold and mildew.
- Bleach is excellent for cleaning mildew. It not only removes mildew easily but also prevents build up of mildew in future.
- Never take corticosteroids or leukotriene without approval from a doctor.
- Asthma patients may see their health worsen if they are allergic to mildew due to increased difficulty in breathing. People without asthma may also suffer from an asthma attack if exposed to mildew.
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