Mold Allergy

Also known as: penicillin allergy, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosi

What is mold allergy?

Molds are fungi that grow well in warm, dark, damp and humid areas. They reproduce and spread by forming spores- these can survive in places that would not normally allow molds to grow. Molds may be found indoors and outdoors.
An allergy is an overreaction of the body’s normal defense system (immune system) that helps to fight infections. When a child’s body overreacts to a substance that’s normally harmless, like mold spores, it’s called mold allergy.

What causes mold allergy? 

The most common types of indoor molds are penicillium (penicillin), cladosporium, alternaria and aspergillus.

What are the symptoms of mold allergy? 

Children who are sensitive to molds usually have year round mild to severe symptoms that include sneezing, stuffy nose, cough, post nasal drip, itchy and watery eyes, dry skin, breathing problems, coughing and chest tightness are possible symptoms of mold allergy. Symptoms usually intensify during the summer.

What are mold allergy care options? 

Decreasing indoor exposure by controlling temperature and humidity with good ventilation/air conditioning, for example with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter . Removing mold from hard surfaces using bleach is also helpful. When outdoors, avoiding areas like compost piles, cut grass and wooded areas will lessen symptoms.  
Medications to treat mold allergy symptoms including nasal corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants and desensitization (allergy shots).

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 1:54:58 PM

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