Atlanta Allergy & Asthma News

Are You Allergic to Mold?

Updated on Friday, October 6, 2023

Mold is everywhere — it can be found outdoors, in your home, and in buildings you visit. The fungus likes damp environments and produces spores that can become airborne. It needs four things to grow: air, water, food, and appropriate temperature.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

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. High mold levels can also exacerbate asthma symptoms in asthmatics sensitive to mold.

Common mold allergy symptoms may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, mouth, and lips

How to Know if Mold Is Causing Your Symptoms

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.

When Are Mold Levels High?

Mold spores are microscopic and cannot be seen except under a microscope. They can be found in soil, piles of cut grass and leaves, and decomposing wood. Because mold grows year-round, mold allergies are not as seasonal as other allergens. However, outdoor mold levels tend to be higher in the late spring through early fall when the weather is warm and moist. 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.

Atlanta Mold Activity

In addition to reporting the daily pollen count, The Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Pollen Department also reports the mold activity in the air. The daily mold activity levels (low, moderate, high, extremely high) are reported separately from the daily pollen count and do not impact the numerical pollen count.

Learn more about the Atlanta Allergy Pollen Count. We are pleased to provide this service to the community. We hope this is a tool to help our patients track and control their allergic symptoms.

Schedule an Appointment

If you think airborne mold spores may be contributing to your allergy symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of the board-certified allergists at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma.