||Information for patients with allergy and related
in the Southwest
Environment and allergic disease
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- Mold spores are much smaller than pollen grains, allowing many of them to bypass the
normal filtering function of the nose effectively. Inhalation of mold spores into
the lung is a common cause of asthma attacks in people who are allergic to molds. In
some patients with chronic sinusitis an allergic reaction to mold overgrowth in the nasal
sinuses can cause a condition termed allergic
- Mold spores come from soil and decaying vegetation, and are ubiquitous. Mold
counts increase near irrigated farm land, golf courses, artificial lakes and high water
- In the semi-arid southwest, atmospheric mold spore counts are generally lower than in
regions that have a higher rainfall.
- Mold growth and spore counts increase with increased rainfall and high humidity, after
the summer rains and in the fall. Dry and cold conditions tend to inhibit mold
- In houses with evaporative cooling and old carpets, mold can be a problem. Growth
of mold in houses increases after a plumbing leak or roof leak onto carpet.
- Many types of mold are found in soil and house dust. The most common types
in the southwest include Alternaria, Cladosporium, and Helminthosporium.
- The supposed connection between chronic symptoms and "toxic mold" is highly
controversial and has not been scientifically established. Symptoms claimed to be
from "toxic mold" are different from the usual symtoms of mold allergy.
For additional information on control of indoor mold, see AAAAI tips
on indoor allergens, and the AAAAI article on mold
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Disclaimer: This site is for educational
purposes only. Any information that you have found in this web site is not
intended to replace medical care or advice given to you by your own physicians. You should
consider consulting your local medical library and other web sites for additional
Comments and suggestions welcome! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Content Owner: Michael J. Schumacher, MB, FRACP, The
University of Arizona