Diagnosing mold allergy?

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Mold allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to mold spores, causing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Diagnosis can be made through skin or blood tests, and treatment focuses on symptom relief with medications such as nasal corticosteroids and antihistamines.

When a person has a mold allergy, their immune system is particularly sensitive to mold spores. In fact, your immune system sees mold spores as threats and overreacts causing allergy symptoms, which can include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and post-nasal drip. This type of allergy can also cause itchy eyes, and some people may even develop itchy throat and inflammation of the sinuses.

The intensity of mold allergy symptoms varies from person to person. They can be mild, moderate or severe. Some people only notice allergy symptoms occasionally, while others suffer from allergies all year round. Those who have asthma and mold allergies may find that their asthma attacks are triggered or worsened by mold exposure. Their allergies can lead to symptoms such as coughing and wheezing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.

It is possible for a person to believe they are allergic to mold spores when in reality they have symptoms caused by an entirely different allergen. To know for sure, the person should visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. One method of diagnosing a mold allergy involves a skin test. For this type of test, a doctor applies a little bit of an allergen that is suspected to be causing the symptoms to the patient’s skin, usually on the arm or back.

A blood test can also be used to diagnose a mold allergy. This type of blood test is referred to as a radioallergosorbent test (RAST). For this test, a doctor takes a sample of the patient’s blood and sends it to a laboratory for testing. The medical lab checks the person’s blood for antibodies that could indicate a mold allergy.

If a person has a mold allergy, the next step is to figure out how to treat it and get relief from the bothersome symptoms; treatment focuses on symptom relief because there is no cure for mold allergies. Typically, medications are used to control symptoms. They include prescription nasal corticosteroids, which are nasal sprays that are said to be very effective. Antihistamines, taken by mouth, block the release of histamine; the immune system releases histamine in response to exposure to an allergen, and blocking it can provide temporary relief of symptoms. Other treatments include decongestants and over-the-counter nasal sprays; in some cases, allergy shots may also be used.

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