While there are 100s of types of mold, only the spores of a few can cause allergic reactions. Allergies to mold can cause watery eyes, runny or stuffed noses, itching, headaches, and difficulty breathing. You can treat these reactions with over-the-counter antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays, or if they are severe, you can visit a doctor for a prescription treatment, and consult an allergist for an allergy shot.
Protecting Yourself From Mold
In order to protect yourself, you must first identify a mold problem. Start by searching for moisture in areas that have a damp or moldy smell, particularly basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Look for water stains or colored fuz around ceilings, walls, floors, windowsills, and pipes, look underneath and behind carpeting, furniture, and stored items, ad inspect kitchens, bathrooms, and basemetns for standing water and water stains.
Once you've identified the problem, fix any water problems and clean/remove wet materials, furnishings, or mold. clean up spills or flood within one day and let furniture dry in direct sunlight, dry all surfaces, and install a dehumidifier.
On Nantucket, especially in the humid summer months and months when flooding from storms is likely, it is important to be aware of the warning signs of mold, and use air conditioning, fans, or a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth.
This is a severe example of mold growth near a windowsill. Photo courtesy of: The Candida Diet