Every year, more than 50 million people in the United States battle with allergies.
Allergens are in the air we breathe and the food we eat. It can be tough to figure out precisely what you are allergic to with so many allergy possibilities.
Sometimes you can figure out a food allergy by tracking what you eat. But how do you figure out if you're allergic to mold?
Taking a mold allergy test is a quick, accurate way to determine if you or a family member has a mold allergy. You don't need a referral from a specialist or insurance either.
Here is everything that you need to know about mold allergies and mold allergy testing.
What Are Mold Allergies?
Mold can grow just about anywhere, the spores get carried with the wind outdoors or with indoor airflow, and everyone breathes or eats mold from time to time.
But people with mold allergies will have a different reaction than others. If you have a mold allergy, you will experience a variety of different symptoms as a reaction to the mold.
Risk Factors for Mold Allergies
There are several work or lifestyle factors that can contribute to a risk of mold allergies. Knowing the causes may help you make changes to prevent some levels of mold exposure.
As with many ailments, genetics plays a role. If your family suffers from allergies or asthma, you are more likely to have an allergic reaction to mold. External factors can increase your risk as well, however.
Living in a humid environment is a common mold risk factor. Homes with humidity of 50% or higher are more likely to have issues with mold. Homes with poor ventilation are may also build up the humidity that mold thrives on.
The place you spend the second most amount of time at can cause allergies as well. Mold in the workplace can grow in buildings with damp areas.
If you work in a field like farming, furniture repair, or carpentry, you may have an increased risk of a mold allergy. It is difficult to avoid all forms of mold at all times.
Causes of Mold Allergies
There are many different types of mold, but only some of them are known to cause allergies. Some of the types that are common include:
It is possible to be allergic to just one type or several types of mold. You won't always feel the allergies right away, either. It can take some time before they appear.
These factors make it difficult to determine if you have a mold allergy, so testing is the most accurate way to find out.
Symptoms of Mold Allergies
If you have a mold allergy, your immune system will respond to let you know when you've been exposed to mold. Common symptoms will feel the same as symptoms of seasonal or pet allergies. These include:
- Runny nose
- Cough and congestion
- Itchy throat, ears, nose, or nose
- Dry skin
Some people experience other symptoms as well. Testing is the only way to be sure that what you feel is an allergic reaction.
Lab Tests for Mold Allergies
The best way to prevent mold allergic reactions is to avoid triggers. Allergy shots can also treat your immune system's response to mold. However, the first step is determining if you have allergies and what kind they are.
Undergoing a lab test is a convenient, accurate way to figure out if you have a mold allergy. And you don't need to be passed from specialist to specialist, either. You can take charge of your health by ordering your own mold allergy test at Ulta Lab Tests.
You can order the Allergy Panel 11, Mold Group test online at Ulta Lab Tests to test for the five common forms of mold. Then, head to a local authorized patient service center to have your blood sample drawn. You'll be able to see your results online within a few business days.
Once you have your results, you can check out all the provided resources to learn more about your specific allergies. You can also share them with your healthcare provider so you can come up with a plan together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mold allergies can be tough to diagnose. If you have an allergy to a food, you often feel the effects immediately. Mold can be a tricky foe, so here are some things to know.
How common is mold?
Mold is extremely common indoors and outdoors. It can grow in areas with moisture, like doors or windows. It can also grow on porous surfaces such as paper, cardboard, or wood products.
How can you reduce mold in the home?
Test the humidity in your home and ensure it is not higher than 30%-50%. To lower humidity, you can use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Provide more ventilation to the home and repair any leaks that may be adding moisture.
How do you know if you're allergic to mold?
First, recall if you have been exposed to mold recently. You may have a mold allergy if you have symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, or itchy eyes. Taking a lab test can confirm your suspicions.
What are mold allergies?
Mold allergies occur when an individual's immune system overreacts to mold spores, triggering allergic symptoms. These allergies are caused by inhaling or coming into contact with mold spores present in the environment.
What are the common symptoms of mold allergies?
Common symptoms of mold allergies include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy throat or ears, postnasal drip, coughing, wheezing, sinus congestion, sinus headaches, difficulty breathing (in severe cases), asthma flare-ups, skin irritation or rashes (less common).
How do mold allergies develop?
Mold allergies develop when an individual's immune system mistakenly identifies mold spores as harmful substances, triggering the production of antibodies. When exposed to mold spores, the immune system releases histamine and other chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
How can I test for mold allergies?
Mold allergy testing can be performed through blood tests. Ulta Lab Tests also offers mold allergy testing to help identify mold allergens causing your symptoms.
What types of mold commonly cause allergies?
Some common types of mold that cause allergies include Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium. These molds can be found both indoors and outdoors, and their spores are easily carried by the wind.
How can I prevent mold growth in my home?
To prevent mold growth in your home, maintain optimal humidity levels (30%-50%), ensure proper ventilation, promptly repair leaks and water damage, minimize condensation, dry wet materials quickly, and keep your HVAC system well-maintained.
How can I treat mold allergy symptoms?
Mold allergy symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and leukotriene modifiers. Immunotherapy (allergy shots or tablets) may also be recommended for long-term treatment. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized treatment advice.
Can mold allergies cause long-term health problems?
Mold allergies can cause long-term health problems if left untreated, including chronic sinus infections, worsening of asthma symptoms, and, in rare cases, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (a lung condition caused by an allergic reaction to Aspergillus mold). Addressing mold allergies and minimizing mold exposure is essential for maintaining good health.
How can I identify mold in my home?
Mold in your home may appear as discolored or fuzzy patches on walls, ceilings, or other surfaces. It can also produce a musty or damp odor. If you suspect mold growth in your home, consult a professional mold inspector to assess and remediate the situation.
Can mold allergies be cured?
While mold allergies cannot be completely cured, they can be effectively managed by minimizing mold exposure, addressing mold growth in your home, and using appropriate treatments, such as medications and immunotherapy, as a healthcare professional recommends. Proper management can significantly reduce mold allergy symptoms, improving overall well-being.
How long does mold allergy testing take?
Once you order your test, you can set up an appointment for a blood draw. Test results can come back within a few business days.
Mold Allergy Test Options
Mold allergy testing is the best way to find out if you have allergies. Constant sniffling and sneezing can become unbearable. Determining what type of allergies you have is the first step to feeling better.
Select a mold allergy lab test here online, order, and get tested. You'll be saying goodbye to constant sneezes in no time!
Ulta Lab Tests offers tests that are highly accurate and reliable, so you can make informed decisions about your health.
- Secure and confidential results
- No insurance referral is needed
- Affordable pricing
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Order your allergy test for mold today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.
Take control of your health today with Ulta Lab Tests.