The “Three D’s” of Avoiding Mold Spores
Darkness, Dampness, and Drafts are the three D’s to remember in the war against mold spores. Conditions which favor growth of molds are low level light, humidity and lack of ventilation.
These microscopic organisms can be found indoors and out. They are a necessary part of our environment and are responsible for decaying other organisms that have died. Outdoor levels peak in the late summer and fall months.
Mold “season” is less clear-cut than the various pollen seasons because they are present year round with fluctuations in levels based on the conditions. The most accurate way to diagnose mold allergies is with the allergy skin tests.
When the diagnosis has been made, the first line of treatment is avoidance. Exposure to mold spores is affected by a variety of conditions outside the home including: very well shaded yard with little direct light; dense vegetation; and standing water. Inside the home, the following conditions are an invitation for trouble: carpet in the bathroom, water leaks or flooding into the home, vegetation (such as Christmas trees or flowers) sitting in water and potted plants. Mold infestation in a wall or ceiling will usually leave a color on the surface.
The mold-allergic patient may benefit from keeping humidity between 30-50% by using dehumidifiers.
However, if avoidance and medications do not completely relieve symptoms, there is still hope. Immunotherapy can be an effective treatment in lowering the body¹s sensitivity to a specific allergen, by introducing that allergen into the body in tiny amounts over a period of time.