Mold and mildew allergies occur when the immune system erroneously responds to mold spores, causing symptoms that include itchy eyes, sneezing and fatigue. Allergy medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, can help relieve mold allergy symptoms, but may cause unwanted side effects that include dry mouth and sedation. While there is no known cure for mold and mildew allergies, natural remedies may help alleviate symptoms while reducing the overall stress on your immune system.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Foods that are fermented or contain mold may worsen symptoms in a small portion of sensitive individuals. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, fermented foods, such as:
- red wine
- can trigger the release of histamine by constricting blood vessels
- resulting in increased allergy symptoms (http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=16&cont=58 'inline-reference::Asthma
- Allergy Foundation of America: Mold Allergy')
Actual allergic reactions to fungi in foods are rare and aren't necessarily more likely to occur in people with mold and mildew allergy. Foods high in sugar may promote overgrowth of Candida yeast in the body, which can interfere with digestion and immune function.
Herbs And Supplements
Garlic for Sinus Infections
Herbs with anti-fungal properties can help ease symptoms of mold and mildew allergies. Garlic is one of the most well known anti-fungal herbs available. According to the National Institutes of Health, garlic contains the compound ajeone, which inhibits the growth of Candida and Aspergillus fungi 2. Other herbs with anti-fungal effects include pau d’arco, oregano oil and tea tree oil. Nutritional supplements, including vitamin C and selenium, may also help lessen allergy symptoms by strengthening the immune system.
Over-the-counter supplements can cause dangerous side effects and interactions with other herbs and medications. To prevent negative reactions, ask your doctor before taking an herbal or nutritional supplement.
- Herbs with anti-fungal properties can help ease symptoms of mold and mildew allergies.
- Over-the-counter supplements can cause dangerous side effects and interactions with other herbs and medications.
Prevention is the best treatment for mold and mildew allergies. Decreasing exposure to mold spores in your home environment is an important factor in treating allergic reactions.
To control humidity levels, use a dehumidifier in damp rooms, including bathrooms and basements. Keep vents and fans clean, and consider buying an air cleaner with a HEPA filter to help remove mold spores from the air. Keep gutters clear of debris and address leaks within 48 hours to prevent extensive water damage and mold growth.
Keep an eye on the local allergen forecast, and avoid outdoor activities when mold spore counts are highest. Wear a mask when raking leaves or doing yard work, and keep windows closed in your home and car to prevent additional mold spore exposure.
- Prevention is the best treatment for mold and mildew allergies.
- Keep an eye on the local allergen forecast, and avoid outdoor activities when mold spore counts are highest.
Garlic for Sinus Infections
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Eye Bags & Allergies
Mushrooms & Skin Rashes
Allergic Reaction: It Looks Like I Have a Black Eye
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Mold Allergy
- National Institutes of Health: Antifungal activity of ajoene derived from garlic.
- Amirhosein Ghaffarianhoseini, Husam AlWaer, Hossein Omrany, Ali Ghaffarianhoseini, Chaham Alalouch, Derek Clements-Croome & John Tookey (2018) Sick building syndrome: are we doing enough?. Architectural Science Review,61:3, 99-121.
- American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Mold Allergy. Reviewed April 23, 2018.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fungal Diseases. Reviewed May 6, 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mold. Basic Facts. Reviewed December 20, 2017
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Mold Allergy. Reviewed October 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Molds in the Environment. Rreviewed December 20, 2017.
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Mold Allergy
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mold, Basic Facts
- Rudert A, Portnoy J.Mold allergy: is it real and what do we do about it?Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2017 Aug;13(8):823-835. doi: 10.1080/1744666X.2017.1324298. Epub 2017 May 17.
Based in Las Vegas, Tracii Hanes is a freelance writer specializing in health and psychology with over seven years of professional experience. She got her start as a news reporter and has since focused exclusively on freelance writing, contributing to websites like Wellsphere, Education Portal and more. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication arts from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.