The leaves are starting to change in Toronto, and for those who suffer from mold allergies this is the time of year when symptoms worsen. Mold allergies can be seasonal and generally last from the spring to late fall, but the wet, decaying leaves can cause serious aggravation.
Mold allergies, like seasonal allergies, can develop at any time in someone’s life. There are some factors that can make a person more likely to develop them, such as poor indoor air quality, exposure to second-hand smoke and being around strong fumes, as this predisposes the body to releasing histamines to attack foreign particles like mold. When these factors are combined with a new mold exposure, the reaction can become more severe. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, while the height of mold season is in the fall, mold grows all year and can be a serious problem if the mold is also found in a home: allergy sufferers will constantly be feeling ill with a variety of symptoms.
In the winter, mold in the home can grow even faster than in the summer because the home is completely sealed up: windows are closed, there’s less airflow through the home and humidity from showering and cooking is trapped, creating moisture for the mold to thrive in. If allergy symptoms persist into the winter, it’s likely that the allergy is not only caused by the mold found in nature but in the home.
If possible, a referral to an allergist can determine if your symptoms are indeed an allergy to mold, and a mold inspection can determine where the mold is in the home. It is important to undergo a professional mold inspection especially in this case, because if the homeowner is allergic they won’t be able to attempt to remove the mold themselves due to the possibility of a dangerous reaction. A mold inspection can also determine the type of mold once samples are sent to a lab, which can inform homeowners whether the mold is merely an allergen or toxic.
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