Solutions for Mold Allergy
My sons and I all seem to
be sensitive to mold, which I think is fairly common in people who have
CTDs and related conditions (mitral valve prolapse, asthma, migraines,
irritable bowel, TMJ, etc.)
My younger son has had a minor
sensitivity to mold for awhile, but last winter he developed a severe
mold allergy along with multiple chemical sensitivities. He would get
headaches and frequently itch all over, especially whenever he went in
a used bookstore, a thrift shop, near anything dusty or was when he was
in any place with visible mold or aged items. He even started itching
at school and had to be home schooled for awhile. I had similar problems,
but my son had it the worst.
His problems started after
taking the antibiotic amoxicillin for a sinus infection. Interestingly,
amoxicillin is a form of penicillin, which is made from mold.
The good news is that the sinus infection went away from the antibiotic,
but I think having a twice a day dose of mold from the amoxicillin for
a week left him hypersensitive to mold for a while.
two years later:
My son had seemed to be getting less and less sensitive to
mold over the last couple of years since I wrote this page,
but he recently had to take amoxicillin for ear infections
the first time again in a couple of years. And guess what?
His mold allergy returned. So now we are two for two:
infections => Amoxicillin => Mold Allergy Flare Up
to read an old book from the library for a school assignment
shortly after the course of antibiotics. He ended up coming
home with a bad headache, presumably from mold on the book.
him back on the diet outlined in this section, got him a newer
book and now he seems to be getting less sensitive to mold
again. But I'm even more convinced now that the course of
amoxicillin was a trigger for his mold allergy.
Luckily, we were able to help
him overcome most of his allergies through modifying his environment and
changing his diet. He still gets headaches in used bookstores and Goodwill
shops, and has some lingering chemical sensitivities,
but he continues to improve over time and for the most part he has returned
to a normal life. We were really worried about him for awhile as he seemed
to be reacting to almost everything in sight. However, after seeing a
number of doctors, reading a lot of books and researching everything we
could on the Internet, we found quite a few measures to take to help him
get back to normal. I've listed these below. (The diet changes we found
helpful are in the next section on Mold Allergies
- how diet changes might help.)
Up Mold and Mildew in the Home
- We cleaned up any visible
mold in the house and got rid of anything and everything old we
could part with, even if it didn't have visible mold.
- I gave away my used book
books that I had bought second hand and any book I had bought new that
was over ten years old was given away. For the few books that I wanted
to keep that were out of print and irreplaceable, I moved these to sealed
boxes in the garage.
- We stopped buying organic
fruit and veggies. While I like the idea of buying organic produce,
it does tend to get moldier faster than produce treated with commercial
fungicides. So when my son had the mold allergy problems, I had to pick
the lesser of two evils and go with eliminating the mold versus avoiding
fungicides. After he got over the mold issues, I went back to organic
- We had a little dark
spots on our hardwood floors that I never thought too much about
until we started actively seeking out mold issues. Then I hired a contractor
to open up the walls around the floor where the dark spots were. We
found out that we had a leak on the roofline where our garage was connected
to the house. The contractor opened up the walls and there was quite
a bit of mold within the walls we were not able to see. The dark spots
on the floor were just the tip of the ice berg. The contractor opened
up all of the walls until there were no more signs of mold, bleached
everything and then patched it all up.
- We got rid of the fruit
bowl on the dining room table.
I try not to buy any fruit that needs ripening any more and just keep
all of the fruit and veggies in the fridge. I noticed my son would get
itchy just going near the fruit bowl when his allergies were at their
worst, especially when it was filled with organic fruit.
- I cleaned and bleached
out the refrigerator and the recycling bucket.
- I had a crock pot with a
poor design that I think caused it too release too much moisture into
the air. It was a Rival brand. I think they make the plastic lids too
light (probably to save money) but it allows a lot of steam to escape
and add a lot of moisture to the house. I switched to a Proctor Silex
brand crock pot with a better fitting lid. I was pleasantly surprised
to find out how much drier it kept the kitchen.
- We heavily bleached the
tiles and any visible mold in the bathrooms.
- We threw out all of the
bed pillows in the house and replaced them with new hypoallergenic
- We replaced my son's
mattress and took down his drapes, just leaving a shade up in his
- We bought air purifiers
for multiple rooms, especially my son's room.
- We bought a dehumidifier
for the house from Sears.
- We threw out any rugs
or pillows that were old.
- We removed the rugs and
fabric toilet sets out of the bathrooms.
- We washed all of the
drapes in the house.
- I started storing the
hay for our pet guinea pigs in the garage.
- I threw away any nonwashable
heat packs. We had found moist heat packs very helpful for fibromyalgia,
but in hindsight I think they did more harm than good by creating perfect
environments within the packs and in places on our skin that the packs
came in contact with for yeast and mold to proliferate.
- I increased the temperature
in which I washed clothes to be as hot as possible.
When my son's allergies were at their worst, I didn't buy him any clothes
that were cold water wash only.
- I put a fan on in the
bathroom where we shower.
- I took the towels down
each day after we showered and washed them right away.
- We had all of the floors
- We bleached all around
our windows. My husband even took out the panes to bleach in the
tracks where the windows rested. He started feeling itchy after doing
this himself, so we think this may have been a big source of mold.
- We had a structural engineer
look at our house because during the rainy season water would collect
in the crawlspace. He advised us to get attachments to the downspouts
so that rain flowing down from the gutters was deposited farther
away from the house out into the lawn.
- As a long term solution,
I hired a contractor to put a pump in the crawl space of our house
to prevent any standing water from accumulating under the house
after it would rain. Eventually we also had our aging water pipes
and drain lines replaced. The air in our house seemed fresher and
less musty after the new pipes were installed. So I suspect the old
pipes had some leaks and corresponding moldy spots inside the walls
that we never detected.
- I stopped using a steamer
appliance as I
think it allowed too much moisture to get into the air. Now I steam
veggies in a steamer basket on the stove so I can use the exhaust fan.
While getting rid of mold in
the home is important, we also found it extremely helpful to change my
son's diet. I think this is a highly overlooked factor in dealing with
Also see Allergic
to mold? Diet changes might help.