How are mold allergies prevented?

Updated: Sep 18, 2017
  • Author: Shih-Wen Huang, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Answer

Total avoidance of airborne mold allergens is virtually impossible; however, minimizing exposure should be encouraged. Measures may include the following:

  • Remove the individual from the mold-infested area.

  • Reduce indoor humidity.

  • Remove mold stains on the walls, especially from wet surfaces.

  • Apply fungicidal agents for cleaning.

  • Remove carpet from cement floors.

  • Avoid raking leaves or hay.

  • Avoid exposure to outside air on foggy days.

  • Use an air cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and regularly maintain it.

In indoor settings, an effort should be made to reduce mold growth by decreasing excessive moisture. A dehumidifier or fan should be considered to improve circulation in a room or building.

An air cleaner with a HEPA filter may help remove floating mold spores indoors. Several studies indicate that, with proper education on how to maintain the machine, an air cleaner with a HEPA filter benefits patients, especially those with allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or allergic asthma.

One study indicated that an air-conditioning unit in an automobile can be a source of mold infestation when cars are left in hot environments. Patients are advised not to roll up the car windows until the air conditioning unit has been in full operation for 10 minutes.

Other pollution factors can always aggravate mold allergy symptoms. Cigarette smoking is especially harmful for susceptible individuals.


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