In landscaping, mulches can inhibit weed growth, improve soil structure and enhance the appearance of your home and lawn. Mulch can also cause problems, including triggering allergies in 5 to 10 percent of the population.
Mulch can consist of tree bark, grass clippings, wood chips, peat moss and other organic products. When these organic compounds are exposed to heat, it can encourage the growth of spore-releasing fungi. It is these fungi that cause allergic reactions to mulch.
A person with allergies to mulch can experience nasal congestion and sneezing and eyes that water and itch. If you are allergic to mulch, your lungs could also fill in a reaction that can feel much like an asthma attack, according to Ohio State University.
Treatment for allergies to mulch begins with avoiding the mold spores that cause the issue. This means wearing a pollen mask when working with mulch in your yard or avoiding contact with it all together. Medications like antihistamines can provide relief for allergy symptoms, according to the Cleveland Clinic. In severe cases, a person could require hospitalization.
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