Alternaria Mold and Asthma
Although primarily an outdoor fungi, alternaria can easily find its way
into buildings by way of open windows, or attach themselves onto humans
and animals and enter through doors, like other airborne molds. Mold spores
brought indoors can become affixed to dust mites, which are then inhaled
through the nose and mouth, breathed into the Eustachian tubes, the bronchial
passages and ultimately the lungs.
Alternaria is a major asthma-causing mold. Taking into account escalating
healthcare costs coupled with missed school and workdays due to illnesses
caused by fungi, our concern and attention to mold remediation should
come as no surprise.
The number of reported asthma cases has so risen that asthma is now recognized
as the most chronic respiratory disease of children in the U.S. However,
asthma is not limited to children. Adults, in ever-increasing numbers,
are also diagnosed with this illness. Mold is not a single contributor
to respiratory health problems, but when combined with poor air quality,
it can be significantly harmful to some people.
For Asthma Sufferers
In order to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, exposure to an allergen,
such as alternaria spores, is often the trigger. Although the exact cause
of asthma is still unknown, allergies are deemed to originate from two
factors: environment and genes. Since little can be done to change our
genes, the emphasis must be placed on changing the environment. In cases
whereby an environment contributing to asthma symptoms cannot be altered,
the use of a respirator is sometimes recommended, or symptoms can be treated
with various drugs available on the market today.
Treatments for Asthma
When removing alternaria and all other potential allergens and contaminants
from the air is not feasible, treatment of asthma is usually necessary.
Various pills can be found on the market, both over-the-counter and by
prescription. For annoying symptoms, such as a runny nose and watery eyes,
antihistamines can do the trick, but for severe symptoms, your doctor
may prescribe a cortisone medication to relieve inflammation of the tissues.
There are nasal sprays, inhalers and nebulizers used to dilate the bronchi.
Unfortunately, asthma is a progressive disease with no cure in sight.
How to Protect your Health
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can prevent many illnesses, including asthma.
A well-balanced diet and regular physical activity is a good start. Since
excess weight and extreme exercise puts a strain on the lungs and affects
breathing, caution should be exercised so as not to trigger an asthma
attack. The goal is to obtain proper training and an activity program
that respects your scope of tolerance. Severe asthma is called status
asthmaticus, and can cause death.
Since alternaria mold has its purpose in nature, our plan must not be
to totally eradicate it. However, if you suspect its presence in your
home, you should call a professional who will duly recommend mold remediation.