Ways & How

Symptoms to Mold Allergy—How to Tell if Allergy Symptom is from Mold

Symptoms to Mold Allergy—How to Tell if Allergy Symptom is from Mold

Molds are small organisms that can be found in many places, both indoors and outdoors. Their spores float in the air, which is why anyone can easily inhale them. They are often found in damp environments. While most people breathe in mold spores every day and do not have an allergic reaction, some may experience an allergic reaction and symptoms to mold allergy. If you are not sure if mold is causing your allergic reactions, here are the ways on how to tell if allergy symptom is from mold:

  1. Learn the symptoms of mold allergy. They include wheezing, runny or stuffy nose, rashes or hives, itchy and watery eyes, itchy nose and lips, and sneezing. It can also trigger asthma symptoms like chest tightness and shortness of breath. Unfortunately, these symptoms are not specific to a mold allergy. Diagnostic tests are necessary to determine whether mold or other allergies are causing the symptoms. However, knowing the symptoms is the first step toward this goal.

  2. Visit an allergologist or immunologist.

    They specialize in allergies, so they can help you determine if you are experiencing symptoms of mold allergy. In order to confirm the symptoms, an allergologist may order some tests and conduct a physical examination. An immunoloigist will ask you what symptoms you are experiencing, what triggers them, and when and where you experience them. You will also be asked about any medications that you are currently taking, as well as any health problems that you may have and any exposure to molds at home or at work. You also need to know if you have a history of allergies in your family.

  3. Keep a record of allergy symptoms. Since your doctor will definitely ask about your symptoms, it is advisable to write down the allergy symptoms you have been experiencing for the past two weeks before seeing your doctor. You can organize it by symptom, the date and time you experienced it, how long it lasted, the place where you experienced the symptom, what you were doing, the medication that you used to relieve the symptom, how long it took to take effect, and the specific effect of the drug.

  4. Undergo a skin prick test. Your doctor may recommend one to diagnose your symptoms and determine whether they are due to mold allergy. With a skin prick test, diluted amounts of suspected allergens found in your area are applied on your skin using small needles. Common sites for this procedure include the skin on your back and arms. If you are allergic to that substance, you will develop a hive or raised bump on the site where the allergen was injected.

  5. Undergo blood tests for molds. Another diagnostic procedure is the radioallergosorbent test or RAST. It is a blood test that measures the response of your immune system to molds by measuring the IgE antibodies in your bloodstream. Another blood test is memory lymphocyte immunostimulation assay test or MELISA, which adds the allergens to your blood sample to determine the presence of an allergic reaction. It can detect allergies not just to molds but also to other toxins and chemicals.

Knowing the symptoms to mold allergy is important if you want to learn how to tell if allergy symptom is from mold. Although the symptoms are similar to reactions to other allergens, blood tests and skin tests can help differentiate the cause. You should also keep a record of your symptoms so that you can easily tell your doctor about them and help with the diagnosis.


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