Mold allergies are difficult to control. The ragweed people are only miserable in the late Summer and the tree and grass sufferers are usually only affected in the Spring. Those allergic to mold are exposed all year long – whether inside a building or outdoors. We all know where mold hides out – basements, laundry rooms, garages, bathrooms, tool sheds, patios, pool houses, etc. With hot, wet and humid weather, mold grows the most with their seeds or “spores” becoming airborne and loving to hang out inside our nose. Inflammation of the nasal passage leads to a runny, itchy nose called “allergic rhinitis”. Mold spores also get inhaled straight through to your lungs and can cause wheezing and asthma. Sometimes the symptoms are delayed and then worsen over time. Mold doesn’t die in the freezing winter – instead it becomes dormant or “goes to sleep” waking up again with the warmer weather. Mold allergies are not curable, but they are able to be controlled. Outside, mold spores tend to be highest between 5am-10am so stay indoors at those times when the counts are high. Stay away from composting piles which are moldy and any other piles of deteriorating and damp substances. Cutting grass and gardening will disturb mold spores so wear a dust mask. Inside, add a HEPA filter to your central air, keep indoor humidity to below 35% if possible (below 45% is acceptable), be aggressive cleaning rooms that get damp in your home (kitchen, bathrooms, etc), fix any leaks and increase airflow between your rooms with wide open doors, fans and moving some furniture if necessary. As a Primary Care Physician, I look for mold allergies with a simple blood test and then work individually with my patients to educate them about how to control their home, work and outdoor environments. We also devise a personalized plan for them to use products – natural, organic, pharmaceutical – if their symptoms are interfering with their lives. Those patients that have severe and refractory mold allergies, I refer to an Allergist whom I stay in close contact with in order to follow and continue their recommendations for my patient’s ongoing care. Figuring out what’s going on with you specifically and then devising a personalized strategy means spending more than the usual allotted 10 minutes with a patient. I’m fortunate to be able to spend an hour with every patient in my MDVIP practice – preventative health and primary care with concierge style features and an affordable price tag. A complimentary meet and greet is encouraged! So “put your mold on hold” this summer and consider taking care of your most important asset – YOU.     #drvickibralow #bellavistaPhiladelphia