How can I diagnose a mold allergy?

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 by causing allergy symptoms, which can include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and postnasal drip. This type of allergy can also cause itchy eyes, and some people even develop an itchy throat and swollen sinuses.

The intensity of mold allergy symptoms varies from person to person. They can be mild, moderate or severe. Some people notice allergy symptoms only occasionally, while others suffer from allergies throughout the year. Those with asthma and mold allergies may find that their asthma attacks are triggered or made worse by exposure to mold. Your allergies can cause symptoms such as coughing and wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

It is possible for a person to believe they are allergic to mold spores when they actually have symptoms caused by an entirely different allergen. To know for sure, the person would have to visit a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis. One method of diagnosing a mold allergy involves a skin prick test. For this type of test, a medical professional applies a bit of the allergen that is suspected of 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 known as a radioallergosorbent test (RAST). For this test, a medical professional draws a blood sample from the patient and sends it to a laboratory for analysis. The medical laboratory looks for antibodies in the person's blood that may indicate an allergy to mold.

If a person has a mold allergy, the next step is to figure out how to treat it and get relief from uncomfortable symptoms; Treatment focuses on symptom relief because there is no cure for mold allergies. Medications are usually 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 over-the-counter decongestants and nasal sprays; in some cases, allergy shots may also be used.

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