Mold Allergy Treatment & Testing in New Orleans
Mold allergy treatment and testing in New Orleans is available in New Orleans. Dr. Reena Mehta is a board-certified allergist and immunologist in New Orleans. She specializes in indoor and outdoor mold allergies. Contact us today to schedule your visit!
“Dr. Mehta is thorough, kind, and empathetic. She’s also very patient and willing to answer any questions you may have. She has helped me greatly with allergy issues I’ve had my whole life that no one could ever treat.“
– Emily, January 2022
Mold Allergy Overview
Mold Allergy Symptoms
Mold Allergy Testing
Mold Allergy Treatment
Molds are fungal growths that release microscopic spores into the air. These spores are responsible for mold allergies in individuals that are allergic. There are roughly 1,000 known species of mold in the United States, but only a handful of mold species are associated with allergies, the most common being Alternara, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.
Mold exposure can occur outdoors or indoors, which is why it’s important to be mindful of your environment if you have a mold allergy or suspect that you have a mold allergy.
Outdoor mold allergies can be from mold found in damp, humid, and cool environments, and is especially prevalent in decaying plant matter, which is extremely common in Southern Louisiana. Outside, mold can be present in felled leaves, grass clippings, compost piles, uncut grass fields, and rotting or wet wood. Outdoor mold allergens are least prevalent in the short Louisiana winter and become more prevalent as temperatures warm again.
Indoor mold allergies is from mold growing in your basement, in your bathroom, in the cabinet under your sink, and in other damp areas of your home, school, or workplace, triggering allergic reactions that persist year-round.
Routine mold allergy symptoms are quite similar to seasonal allergy symptoms. Common mold allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy nose
- Itchy mouth and lips
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness
Though rare, it is possible for mold allergies to trigger more severe symptoms, including:
- Worsening eczema
- Swollen eyelids
- Upset stomach
Importantly, mold allergy symptoms can mimic symptoms of other allergic conditions, which is why proper allergy testing by a board-certified allergist is necessary to get to the bottom of your symptoms.
The skin prick technique involves applying liquid droplets of a concentrated mold spore extract to the surface of the forearm or upper back. Positive controls and negative controls are also applied to compare how the mold extract reacts. Your allergist will then make a tiny prick through each drop on the surface of your skin.
If you are allergic to mold, a raised and red bump, called a wheal, will appear within 15 to 20 minutes of the skin prick. The diameter of the wheal is compared to the controls to determine if you’re allergic.
Dr. Mehta may order other tests as needed if the skin prick technique is inconclusive or cannot be performed.
Mold Allergy Avoidance
- Stay indoors when mold counts are high
- Avoid uncut fields
- Avoid raking leaves
- Take a shower after coming indoors to wash off mold spores
- Change clothes after coming indoors to avoid spreading them throughout the house
- Regularly clean garbage cans and refrigerator drip pans
- Regularly clean your gutters and ensure drainage flows away from your home’s foundation
- Quickly clean up any spills or leaks to prevent mold from growing
Removing Mold from Your Home
If you have a mold allergy, there are also steps you should take to mold-proof your home and other interiors.
- Fix leaking faucets and pipes
- Reduce humidity in your home by using dehumidifiers or exhaust fans
- Open windows to dry out wet rooms, such as the bathroom after showering
- Remove carpeting in areas that tend to retain moisture, such as in your basement
- Clean mold off of walls using a vinegar solution
In addition to the above, Dr. Mehta can help you identify other sources of mold allergy in your home or in your place of work.
Mold Allergy Medications
Medications can be used to prevent mold allergy symptoms if taken prior to exposure, and they can also provide mold allergy relief when a reaction occurs. Antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays are commonly used to treat mold allergy symptoms. Dr. Mehta can help you identify which medications are right for you.
Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
Allergy shots may be an effective long-term mold allergy treatment. Allergy shots are often referred to as a ‘curative therapy’ because they can prevent future allergic reactions. Visit us at Uptown Allergy & Asthma to learn more about this option.
Mold Allergy Treatment in New Orleans
Call us anytime, M-F, 8am-5pm.
Saturday appointments available upon request.
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