Mould allergy – Immune system and chronic fungal infections
Mould allergy! Attention! Risk!
Moulds grow in humid places. Black spots in the shower, behind the bedroom closet or under rubber seals are almost unmistakable signs of fungal moulds They can spread through the air in the form of spores and are small enough they get to the nose and lungs when inhaled. Some people who had developed sensitisation – allergy can react and develop symptoms:runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and even an asthma attack. Some species of mould also release toxins and may be responsible for other symptoms like headaches, fatigue. Some moulds don’t cause any harm (if there is no allergic sensitisation to them). There are tests that help to diagnose allergy to moulds on one hand and environmental tests to determine if the apartment or house is contaminated with dangerous species of fungus and needs special cleaning by professionals.
Mould is everywhere even in Space in the International Space Station
Mould grows in units called mycelium and reproduce through the formation of spores. Airborne, spores can trigger allergic reactions in sensitised individuals.
In the UK in the outdoor can be found in late winter, and peaking in late summer to autumn (August to November). In warmer climates, mould spores may be found throughout the year.
While indoor moulds can be found all the year round. Indoor mould levels are higher when outdoor mould levels are higher. Therefore, a common source of indoor mould is from the outside environment, or from other indoor mould contamination.
The key element in decreasing exposure is humidity control alongside with preventing mould growth in warm conditions on surfaces rich in nutrients – wet wood.
London Allergy and Immunology Centre offers consultations with allergy and immunology specialists, who perform specific IgE blood tests or skin prick tests when mould allergy is suspected.
Our Immunology, dermatology and ENT specialists can help to diagnose and treat cases of chronic fungal infection of skin and mucosa.
It is known that some species of mould can have toxic effects. Especially people may notice general non-allergic symptoms (headache etc) in damp dwellings or after flooding or leak, that go away completely when they stay at their friends or in a hotel and return on re-exposure and usually is experienced by other members of the family.
In these situations identifying location of mould and effective remediation with anti-fungal spays and cleaning solutions can be beneficial.
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