What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Mold?

Nick Mann

Many people occasionally experience an allergic reaction to mold, which is a type of fungus. Mold can grow on a variety of things including food, wood and leaves. It can also form in homes and buildings, wherever there is a damp area such as a basement or bathroom. Although it plays an integral role in nature, people may have anywhere from a mild to severe allergic reaction to mold. Some common signs of a mold allergy include a skin rash, nasal problems, eye irritation and coughing.

Moldy bread.
Moldy bread.

Experiencing a skin rash is one of the more common signs of an allergic reaction to mold. When this occurs, red patches will show up in random places on a person's body. These patches often look similar to eczema and are quite itchy, which will cause the individual a considerable amount of discomfort. This type of skin rash is especially troublesome because it will spread if scratched. To make it worse, scratching can lead to infection and further health problems as a result.

Rashes may be the result of an allergic reaction.
Rashes may be the result of an allergic reaction.

Nasal problems are another symptom, and occur because of contact with mold spores. When this happens, the nose will either become stuffed up or runny. As a result, breathing can become increasingly difficult and sometimes this leads to asthma-like symptoms. In some cases where the mold is toxic, it can lead to worsened respiratory problems where the person struggles for air. If this occurs, it's critical that the allergy sufferer seek immediate medical attention.

In many cases, a person who is allergic to mold will experience an runny or stuffy nose upon coming in contact with mold.
In many cases, a person who is allergic to mold will experience an runny or stuffy nose upon coming in contact with mold.

Eye irritation is another symptom that isn't usually quite as severe as nasal problems, but can still lead to some discomfort. This allergic reaction to mold can make a person's eyes tear up and redden. The eyes often become itchy and inflamed as well. In more severe cases, an individual may also develop dark circles around the eyes and even distorted vision.

Bouts of coughing are a symptom of an allergic reaction to mold.
Bouts of coughing are a symptom of an allergic reaction to mold.

An additional sign of an allergic reaction to mold is bouts of coughing. When mold spores become airborne, they can infiltrate a person's airway, which usually results in a dry type of cough. While a mild cough isn't usually a cause for concern, any type of severe, prolonged cough can be dangerous. In this case, medical attention should be sought right away.

Damp environments, such as basements, encourage mold growth.
Damp environments, such as basements, encourage mold growth.

If these signs of an allergic reaction to mold persist, there are some measures one can take to reduce or eliminate the problem. One helpful strategy is placing a dehumidifier in damp locations within a home. In addition, keeping windows closed at night while sleeping should also prevent outdoor mold from coming inside.

An allergic reaction to mold can cause a person's eyes to develop dark circles.
An allergic reaction to mold can cause a person's eyes to develop dark circles.

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