Your Body Selects Too: Know Your Allergies
Three hundred years ago in certain parts of Africa, if a man had a rash or a serious cough, it would have been thought to most likely be a spiritual attack. A hundred years ago, it would most likely be thought to be an infection and perhaps maybe still a spiritual attack. However, in the present day; a continuous sneeze, persistent itching and a whole lot of other illnesses can now be traced to a wide range of causes; from a simple bacterial infection to a complex and maybe untreatable viral infection to a whole lot of others causes. However, a vast majority of these simple illnesses can now be traced to a simple negative reaction by the body to something it does not like, simply called an Allergy.
An Allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction by the body to foreign substances that in similar amounts and circumstances may not affect other people and the substance that causes the allergic reaction is simply referred to as Allergen and an allergen may be a number of things; dust, fur, a particular type of food, bites from particular insects and certain drugs to mention a few. An allergen varies from person to person meaning that what causes an allergic reaction in Mr. A may not affect Mr. B at all and this is a major reason why it is very important to know ones specific allergens.
Some symptoms of allergies may include reddening of the eyes, mild and severe itching, runny nose, skin infections and even asthma attacks. Allergies may be deadly in some instances leading to conditions like anaphylactic shocks which may in turn lead to death. Allergies as simple as they may seem contribute a whole lot to worldwide deaths as a result of ignorance, carelessness and the lackadaisical attitude of majority towards their allergens.
The best way to handle allergies is to prevent them, a man should learn what is allergens are and avoid them. However, due to the imperfection of man and his inability to have a hundred percent control of his environment, allergens may not be totally avoidable therefore people should try to learn more about the nature of their allergies and their respective first aid treatments. For example, a man who gets breathing difficulties when exposed to dust or a damp environment should try as much as possible to avoid dusty environments and damp and moldy places as mold spores could irritate him and set up a toxic reaction in his system, he should also get face masks, inhalers and over the counter drugs for his condition just in case. Allergic symptoms may however persist in some cases; it would then be advisable to seek out a professional medical practitioner to confirm if it is really an allergy and how best to treat it.
Allergic reactions affect a high percentage of the population and the health system apart from providing cures can also help the society by the frequent enlightenment of the general masses in order to be more conscious of this individualistic natural selection process of the body and perhaps, they may reduce the hospital visits.
If you are affected by allergy, it might be due to a mold infestation in your house. Without much delay, you should immediately seek help from a professional mold inspection company. The Mold Facts is one of the best mold inspection company in Los Angeles serving Pasadena, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Valencia, Oxnard.<
Mold Allergies, Infections and Mold Exposure and Prevention Tips
If you don’t have an idea about what is Mold and how mold exposure can harm a person, this article is a must-read for you. The unwanted growths and patches of many colors and fuzzy smells on the walls of our houses inside and outside is MOLD. There are hundreds of species and types of molds that make us go through many bad experiences like health problems and property damage. You will find complete information on Mold related allergies and mold exposure and including symptoms and treatment.
What is MOLD?You ask, well the answer is it is a type of fungus that can grow in any place that holds even a little bit of moisture for a long time. Many unpleasant connotations of ‘Mold & Fungus’ includes damp basements, water leaks, musty odors, poisonous mushrooms and an athlete’s foot among many others.
But there are also some positive aspects of molds too. Mold is also responsible for the creation of many foods and penicillin. Without the Mold and fungi to break down things the world you see would be buried in waste and leaves and grass.
Mold causes many allergic reactions, and sometimes it kills people, too because of these allergies. You must know where Mold actually comes from and what it is capable of doing to a human body and your property if precautionary measures are not taken on time.
Where Mold actually comes from?
Mold as you actually know it is a type of fungus and some of the kinds of Mold are known as mildew. These fungus-like unwanted growths and patches are most commonly found in moist places indoors and outdoors alike.
In humid and damp environments, you can find mold thriving. Basements and shower stalls are where Mold can be easily found in almost all households. However, any area inside a house that is prone to moisture can harbor these smelly patches of many colors.
As you know, mold spores are found everywhere and in every corner of the world with different names and species. But the moist places are where you can find it growing actively. The Mold can become the source of many potential problems other than being unsightly and smelly. If we follow the definition of ‘Mold’ it damages the things and materials it grows on, putting in danger the structural integrity.
Just for the sake of human health mold from all places must be eliminated. Places from schools, homes to businesses must do all they can to prevent Mold from growing and causing problems to the health by stopping the mold exposure. It is essential to take care of human health, quality of like and structural integrity by preventing mold from growing in busy places.
Small places are easily cleanable by the homeowners. But areas where access is not easy and massive places like businesses and schools need experts and tools and techniques to remove the Mold altogether.
Know the Fungus and Mold:
There are more than three hundred thousand Mold and fungi species. Fungi are also defined as plants with no roots, leaves, and flowers. It is also found in spoiled foods, and many other foods are made with the help of a fungus or Mold, these foods are cheese, yeast.
Reproduction in fungi is seen by means of spores which can spread through the air. These spores land and if the place where the land is moist, then they start growing actively in these damp places. Even when there is no moisture, these spores have the ability to remain dormant even in dry conditions.
Outdoors, fungi are everywhere and breaking down the organic matter. The fungi consist of many types of spores that differ on the basis of the material it grows on. The growth of the spores is also affected by the season and weather. At the meantime, you can find these spores indoors, and they enter through doors and windows or land on clothing and shoes that you wear to go out.
Now let’s talk about ‘Mold.’ Mold is a type of fungus. The wet places in homes give the opportunity to mold spores to grow and spread. Even little leakages of water can lead to Mold to increase and cause damage to the health of the occupants of the place. Water leaks through basement walls and air conditioners can provide the best suitable environment to mold spores to grow. Just like different fungi are found on various materials, Mold is also found in different types in different places. Like, you will see “Yellow Slime” on hardwood and never on a tiled shower enclosure.<
Testing Mold Exposure:
Different tests are performed between indoor and outdoor conditions that can tell if there is mold presence inside the houses or buildings. Molds release spores indoors too, and these tests are able to compare the indoors and outdoors conditions for a positive or negative result. You will find out if there is Mold inside your home even when it is not visible or in closed and inaccessible areas of the house.
The presence of mold spores is not always the cause of any human illness. But the test may help in the identification of the presence of the mold spores at a particular moment in time. These tests cannot tell the exact time when a human is exposed to the mold spores. And at times even presence of the spores does not mean exposure: it is because if they are present in the air, it does not mean these spores are also inhaled.
Different species of Mold are found in indoors and moist places:
When you clean the Mold from an area or building identification is not very important. But this information about the mold spore may or may not come in handy during the treatment of health effects caused by mold exposure.
Many allergic reactions and infection involve fever-like symptoms which makes you miserable for some time but are not really life-threatening. However, there are specific allergic reactions and conditions caused by Mold, which can be more severe; these include:
Health Effects Caused by Mold Exposure:
As we know, Mold can quickly grow in damp and moist indoor environments. People who spend their most of time in places like these environments complain about having health problems. These health problems include respiratory effects and headaches and many other physical symptoms.
Mold is responsible for producing allergens (allergy-causing substances) that are irritating for sensitive individuals. Moreover, there are molds that produce substances or spores that are harming to health such as mycotoxins. But, Mold itself is not a toxic or a poisonous thing.
In a study by IOM (The Institute of Medicine) found that a person will most of the time never get allergic or show any changes in health after staying in a damp indoor place for a long time. But experts also pointed out the chances of getting respiratory illness: cough, asthma symptoms, wheeze, and nose and throat symptoms. The study also found little evidence against the claims like shortness of breath and asthma problems in people who never had such issues.
The study also found no evidence or symptoms of shortness of breath in healthy children’s after staying in damp indoor places for a long time.
Many claims of other symptoms like irritation, cancer, lung disease, and skin problems were rejected. But other health effects let them to a conclusion of making damp indoor places a subject to discuss for a public health problem.
These other health effects by mold exposure and that cause illness in humans are:
- Runny nose,
- Redness of the eyes,
- Watery eyes,
- Itchy eyes,
- Rash or skin irritation.
Asthma attacks can happen to people who are already suffering through the disease if they are exposed to mold spores. Like study said there is no hard evidence, but still people complain and report symptoms like irritation in airways, eyes and skin. Let’s take an example of a type of Mold known as “Black Mold” Stachybotrys, and many other mold types which release harmful toxins in air such as, mycotoxins which leads to the irritation of airways and skin in people who have weak immune system against such allergic reactions.
Some people might develop even severe allergic reactions that may lead to high fevers and difficulty in breathing. This kind of responses are not so common, and that is why not everyone should worry about it. If you have previous health conditions and you believe you are exposed to such toxins, then get in touch with a specialist doctor as soon as possible.
Hypersensitive pneumonitis is also reported to as the result of long-term exposure to Mold affected areas. Vulnerable people with this particular kind of immunological condition are the target of mold toxin, which has an effect similar to pneumonia. But conclusive evidence is yet to be found.
Allergies and Asthma problems related to Mold:
There are countless studies with different and varying conclusions. It is near impossible to check and do extensive research on each mold type, spores and toxins or smokes they give off by the destruction of the material they are active on. Because so many things are present at a time in a damp indoor place with Mold and spores that sometimes-considering Mold as the cause for respiratory allergies and asthma.
It is hard to assess if the illness is caused by the Mold and spores or by some other reason. But it is possible to treat people with symptoms that show asthma or respiratory problems. A process of elimination is used to determine the exact cause of such illness or allergic reactions. Before considering Mold the cause of asthma attacks or respiratory problems, patients must go through an evaluation to check pre-existing health problems and illness that just happens to coincide with exposure to mold and mold spores. And once all other possible causes are eliminated then finally, the patient is assessed for any possibility of illness induced by Mold.
- Diagnosis: A medical diagnosis is required to decide whether the patient is suffering from asthma, infection or allergic reaction. There are many methods to diagnose the disease process. These diagnoses can sometimes never tell what triggered the actual allergic reaction, infection or asthma problem. Sometimes when patients are tested for mold allergies, the results come out as positive, but the people under the experiment show no symptoms. But treatment procedure remains the same even if the trigger is caused by Mold or something else.
- Environmental Assessment: To find out why an individual developed symptom similar to mold environmental assessment can also be done to check if the affected person is exposed to Mold at a given location only and no other triggers. Some respiratory conditions may develop:
- Sinus Infection,
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis,
- Recurring cold-like symptoms.
What is Hypersensitivity pneumonitis?
It is a lung disease and best known as “Farmer’s lung,” because of the association with the tremendous amount of exposure to the fungi and found in grain and feed. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is also associated with the bird droppings and exposure to the toxins released by Mold or Mold in homes and damp places.
If Mold causes more damage, then for treatment, removal from such places that expose to Mold and put a high risk on a person’s health is necessary.
There is no doubt that removing people from damp places solves the problems for many. And in some cases, it is also seen that people developed symptoms when put in damp places and got better when they were removed from such places.
Infections that are not caused by Mold:
The risk of respiratory infections and Bronchitis is increased because of spending time in buildings affected by dampness and Mold, but yet to be proved. There are many other fungal infections, but actually, they are not a result of direct exposure to any kind of Mold or its emissions.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: People who suffer from this are actually those who have a history of illnesses like asthma, immune deficiency, or cystic fibrosis, and it is not caused by aspergillosis fungus found in indoors and outdoors.
- Thrush and athlete’s foot: These are also some of the infection that is not related to any presence of Mold.
Other problems caused by Mold:
Apart from allergens, Mold can cause other health effects to vulnerable people. For example, Mold can become the cause of skin and mucus membrane infections. However, other than people with a special kind of immune deficiency against Mold, it causes no systematic infections to people.
Prevention from Mold and places affected by Mold:
There are many guidelines and techniques to remove Mold and keep your places dry to stop any mold activity inside your house of any other building space.
Some of the prevention tips from Mold are:
- Eliminating any source of dampness: Keep this in mind if you don’t control or put an end to the source, because of which Mold exists, you will never get rid of mold problems. Make sure to repair any pipe leaks and groundwater seepage in basements of houses and other buildings.
- Always use dehumidifiers: By using dehumidifiers always keep the levels of humidity in places of your house that smells musty and damp below 50 per cent. Always clean condensations coils and collection bucket.
- Use air conditioners: Try using a central air conditioning system with high-quality HEPA filter attachment, and air conditioners in such Mold affected places. The HEPA filter can successfully trap the mold spores present in outside air before the air is circulated inside your house.
- Changing the furnace filter: Make sure to change the air conditioning filters and furnace filters regularly. Use services to inspect the forced air heating ducts, and if possible clean them.
- Ventilation in all bathrooms: Keep all of your washrooms ventilated. Keep running the ventilating fan during and after the bath or shower to instantly dry the air. Open a window or door during a shower if there are no ventilating fans.
- Don’t carpet in damp places: never ever use carpets in damp places because they can keep the moisture on them for long enough to give the opportunity to Mold to grow. So, never use carpets in bathrooms or basements.
- Always keep the groundwater drainage away from your house: This is important and always insure and promote groundwater drainage away from the house you live in. Similar is the guidelines for schools and big buildings.
- Keep plants containers dry: If you have plants in your house and building for which you want to take steps to prevent from mold attack. Make sure you keep all the plant containers dry all the time. Clean them regularly so that Mold can never get any chance of activity indoors.
- Recycle and toss old newspapers and books: Never keep old books and old newspapers for a long time indoors. Because in moist conditions these books and newspapers will become a source of Mold related problems. Mold will find its way to these books and newspaper, and the material will start to degenerate. Always recycle or toss away all these unused and unwanted paper and books.
How Can Fun Guy Mold Inspectors Help You?
Fun Guy Mold Inspections follow a very expert approach we make sure to provide quality and value by removing the Mold for you. We make sure to remove Mold from each and every corner and closed place so that no future mold-related problems occur. We inspect by using a third-party expert. They can point out any areas left and clear the site after the work is completed for and construction and other uses.
We are a certified mold inspection company with expert mold inspectors. We can help you in testing for mold allergens and other Mold related health problems like asthma and biological particulates that Trigger Allergy Symptoms. Inspect for Environmental Conditions that Lead to Mold Growth, Allergy and Asthma-related symptoms.
Allergy Test Today > > Call 888.470.0470.
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The Moldy Times, By funguyinspections.com
guideline from ASHRAE gives facility managers and building operating staff a strong foundation on which to improve the performance of all buildings. “Modern air conditioning systems protect the health, comfort and productivity of building occupants,” ASHRAE Presidential Member Bill Harrison Attention all Facility Managers and Building Operators, Updated 04-09-2012.
Allergy tests are different types of tests that are used to find out whether or not a person is allergic to a certain substance, toxin, food, or medication. We call this substance responsible for the allergy an allergen.
Types of allergy tests
Skin testing is the most effective method of diagnosing allergic diseases. They are simple to perform, quick and effective. The skin contains some cells involved in the allergic processes, the same as those located in the nostrils or in the lung (Langerhans cells).
These cells can therefore also react with allergens, the substances that precipitate an allergic reaction. Therefore, skin testing is intended to reproduce a local reaction with the possible allergy-causing agent.
Different skin testing techniques available
It is the most reliable method for the diagnosis of respiratory allergy. These allergens are usually prepared in commercial extracts (prepared by laboratories) and dispensed in a dropper bottle.
It is like the previous one but using natural extracts, not commercialized.
They are usually performed when looking for a specific allergy to a substance already suspected.
Used to determine the cause of contact dermatitis.
Provocative or controlled exposure tests
This involves administering the suspected drug or food in increasing quantities to see if it actually causes an allergy.
This consists of the administration of allergens in the form of drops to see if there is conjunctivitis associated with them.
Study of specific IgE in the blood
This is the reference test for quantifying the degree of sensitivity to a certain allergen.
What is the Prick Test?
The Prick Test consists of applying drops of different extracts of the allergens suspected of causing the patient’s allergy to the forearms. After putting the drop on, it is pricked into the skin with a lancet (a small tip) so that only a small part of the drop penetrates into the skin. In this way, a papule (a slightly swollen and red area) will be produced at the site of the suspected allergen. The Prick Test can be performed at any age. The results of this allergy test in dark skin are more difficult to visualize and assess.
Before starting a Prick Test, the patient should be informed about the technique, banishing the general fear that all allergy tests are performed by needle pricks.
This allergy test is a variant of the Prick Test. It is called Prick by prick or prick-prick and is performed using natural products directly, not commercially available extracts. It is a very common test for patients with food allergy. This is why sometimes the allergist asks the patient to bring a sample of certain foods (raw and/or cooked) to the next appointment for this test.
What are intradermal tests?
These tests are called intracutaneous, better known as intradermal (ID) tests. The allergen is administered into the outer layers of the skin using a needle such as an insulin needle. The advantage of the intradermal injection is that it is more reproducible and more sensitive.
Intradermal allergy tests are more likely to be used when they are being done to find out if the patient is allergic to something specific, such as bee venom or drugs in the beta-lactam family, such as penicillin, cephalosporins, carbapenems, etc. They are usually done when the Prick Test performed is negative. Sometimes they require a late reading, at 24 and 48 hours, depending on the patient’s previous history.
What are epicutaneous tests?
The epicutaneous diagnostic tests, or patch tests, are the only specific tests to identify the substances that cause allergic contact dermatitis.
What is a provocation or controlled exposure test?
Provocation type allergy tests are performed when the diagnosis has not been reached with skin tests or blood tests. They serve to confirm that a medication, which may be important to use in the future, is well tolerated. They are never performed with the intention of causing a serious adverse reaction.
They involve the administration of increasing doses of a drug given by mouth, or injected into a vein, or injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously, with an interval of 1 hour between doses. It is done with great caution and under the strict control of health personnel.
Controlled exposure tests, in addition to medication, can be performed with food. It consists of administering the suspected food, initially in a small amount and then with larger amounts, always under medical control, to act quickly if necessary. It is used as a decisive diagnosis and also to determine food tolerance.
How is a conjunctival provocation done?
This consists of introducing a drop of the suspected allergen into one of the conjunctivae (in one of the eyes) at different concentrations, and comparing it with the other conjunctiva after 15 minutes.
The conjunctival provocation test is indicated to confirm the diagnosis of certainty that conjunctivitis is actually due to an allergy and for patients who are candidates for treatment by allergen-specific immunotherapy. It is a test of exposure to a specific allergen, prepared by diluting the allergen in question in water.
Are these procedures risky?
Allergy testing procedures do have risks. That is why it is important that all procedures are performed under strict medical supervision.
During the test, allergic reactions such as the one that caused the consultation may occur; to a lesser, equal or greater extent. Allergic reactions can occur in:
The skin, with hives, swelling of the lips or eyelids.
In the airways, with nasal congestion and difficulty in breathing.
In the eyes, with conjunctivitis.
In the digestive system, with vomiting and diarrhea.
In the heart, with palpitations, dizziness due to decreased blood pressure or anaphylactic shock, a very serious situation that requires rapid medical action to avoid death, which can occur in exceptional cases.
These reactions can appear immediately or after a few hours. The patient must remain under observation in the hospital for the necessary time.