We have exciting news! The Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Pollen Department will now be reporting the mold activity in the air along with the daily pollen count that measures pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. The daily mold activity levels (low, moderate, high, extremely high) will be reported separately from the daily pollen count and do not impact the numerical pollen count.
People with a mold allergy will experience symptoms similar to those caused by other airborne allergens like pollen and dust. If you are allergic to mold your immune system will be overly sensitive to specific spores and in turn will trigger symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose, mouth, and lips. High mold levels can also exacerbate asthma symptoms in asthmatics sensitive to mold.
Molds are fungi whose spores float through the air we all breathe. However, only some people will react when exposed to specific mold spores. The most common allergy-causing molds include Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium. The best way to know if mold is causing your symptoms is with an allergy skin test.
Molds can be found outdoors, in your home, and in other buildings you visit. Mold spores are microscopic and cannot be seen except under a microscope. Outdoor mold levels tend to be higher in the late spring through early fall when the weather is warm and moist. They can be found in soil, piles of cut grass and leaves, and decomposing wood. In southern climates like here in Georgia, mold spores are present year-round.
Inside, mold levels will increase due to moisture in the air and from leaks and standing water. More information on controlling mold in your home.
We are pleased to provide this additional service to the community. We hope this is yet another tool to help our patients track and control their allergic symptoms.