post-title Update on Mold Allergy http://midwestallergy.net/wp-content/uploads/DeborahOrtegaCarr.jpg 2016-06-23 12:37:28 yes no Posted by

Update on Mold Allergy

Do you have a mold allergy? Mold is a part of the Fungi family of organisms. Fungi have a complex metabolism that differs from animals and plants. They secrete enzymes into their surroundings and absorb the breakdown products of these enzymes. The Fungi family includes molds, yeasts, mushrooms, bracket fungi, plant rusts smuts and puff […]

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Do you have a mold allergy?

Mold is a part of the Fungi family of organisms. Fungi have a complex metabolism that differs from animals and plants. They secrete enzymes into their surroundings and absorb the breakdown products of these enzymes. The Fungi family includes molds, yeasts, mushrooms, bracket fungi, plant rusts smuts and puff balls. Fungi also differ from plants and animals in the way they grow and reproduce. Fungi reproduce by making tiny spores that travel in the air. Mold spores contain the allergens that cause symptoms. Many of these spores are expelled after rain or during times of high humidity. These mold spores such as Cladosporium can be found in very high counts on humid summer days (from 2000 to 50,000 spores per cubic meter of air). Other spores such as Alternaria tend to be highest on dry windy days and range from 500 to 1000 spores per cubic meter. Peak levels of this mold allergen occur during late summer to fall. Mold spore allergens can be found year round in Ohio both inside and outside, but concentrations tend to be low in the winter.

June is mold allergy season. Although counts may be elevated in the spring and fall, mold spores will certainly be present on humid summer days. Recent local pollen and mold counts show molds top three species as Cladosporium, Alternaria and Undifferentiated Basidospores.

Molds are present in both indoor and outdoor air. Outdoor exposure to high concentrations of spores can cause health effects such as asthma attacks in association with thunderstorms. Indoor mold exposure and dampness are associated with an increased risk of developing asthma in young children. Adults with asthma have worsened control in high mold conditions. For mold allergy sufferers, reducing indoor exposure by reducing moisture, and removing mold contamination can decrease the risk of poor asthma control.

The term “toxic mold syndrome” was coined in a study of 65 patients who claimed they had nasal symptoms (62%,) headache (34%,) central nervous symptoms (25%), and fatigue (23%) after being exposed to indoor environments with high concentrations of Stachybotrys. The presumed mechanism for these and other symptom reports was exposure to indoor mycotoxins, toxins produced by the mold. After further study, the Institute of Medicine found insufficient evidence to support that Stachybotrys toxins caused these symptoms. Patients can however have significant allergy symptoms to damp, moldy environments and identifying allergic illness is very important when a patient is concerned about a severely moldy and potentially harmful exposure.

Finally researchers are studying what makes mold allergens so important in chronic illnesses. The first step is to identify what makes a mold allergen so unique. Some of the mold allergens are very similar to our own proteins that amplify an alarm system within our immune system. Mold allergens are immune system super stimulators. Understanding this process may lead to better asthma and allergy management.

Our doctors can help you with your mold allergy. For more information or to make an appointment, click here.

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