What’s The Difference Between Mold Exposure, Allergies & A Cold?

Allergies and colds can really take the joy from life. Constantly coughing, sneezing and having to endure symptoms that make you feel less than your best is frustrating. However, what happens when you seem to get sick while being in certain places? If you’re not known to have any allergies or are the type to rarely get sick and your symptoms only seem to be present when you are in a certain building, it could be the effects of mold exposure. It can be hard enough to discern the difference between allergies and a cold as many of the symptoms are similar. Symptoms of mold exposure also share many of the same symptoms. So, how do you tell the difference between mold exposure, allergies and a cold?

Mold Exposure

Mold allergies can manifest differently in each person. What may be more severe in one person, may be less obvious in another. Common symptoms are very similar to allergies and colds and can include coughing, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose and itchy or watery eyes. Exposure to mold and its spores will cause these symptoms consistently throughout the year, noticeably within a certain environment. When the weather is damp or if you are standing close to a particular area that is more populated with mold spores, this can cause flare ups.

Allergy Or A Common Cold

A cold is caused by a virus that is contagious. It is usually spread from one person to another through coughs, sneezes, or shaking hands or other forms of physical contact. A cold generally lasts for a week or two before the immune system fights the infection, and the symptoms disappear. Colds have a tendency to be accompanied by body aches and pains, but these do not occur with allergies.

Allergies are caused by the reaction of the immune system to some substances in the environment. This can be dust or pollen of various types that cause histamine to be released by the body. Allergies can also cause coughing, sneezing, and nasal congestion, but is not contagious. Allergies can sometimes last for an entire season, but colds only last up to 14 days or less.

Other Common Winter Allergies

With the house closed up for the winter months, it is easy for certain things in the household air to cause winter allergies. These things include dust mites, cockroach droppings, indoor mold and dust, and animal dander. No matter how clean a home appears, there can be microorganisms floating around that are not visible to the naked eye. The best way to determine if an individual has had mold exposure, an allergy, or a common cold, is to visit a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. It is easy to speculate what the problem may actually be, but it is always best to be sure especially if taking an over the counter medication is being considered. The differences may be minimal, but they are important for good health and well being.

Knowing the difference between mold exposure, allergies and a cold can be the key to regaining your life and ridding yourself of troublesome symptoms. If you want to be sure if mold is the cause of your symptoms or not, the most accurate way to determine whether mold is actually affecting your health in a certain environment is by enlisting professionals to perform mold testing or a mold inspection.

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