Nobody is exceptionally excited to say, “Hello, hayfever,” when the time comes for the return of the spring season. Between pollen, floral blooms, and all other manner of outdoor irritants, let’s face it: you’re probably tempted to shut the doors and windows to keep it all from coming back inside with you.
But, typical springtime allergies aside, what else might be causing you upper respiratory distress? And how, exactly, can you tell the difference?
Make Way for Mold
As previously mentioned on our blog, mold does not die in cold weather; rather, it hibernates, its spores ready and waiting to come back with a vengeance at the first wave of renewed seasonal warmth.
Thus, as mold reawakens in spring, so too will your clients’, employees’, or residents’ mold allergies.
“Mold is a fungus that can be found both indoors and outside,” according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). “Outdoors, you can find it on rotting wood, damp leaves, and on grasses and grains. When a mold source is disturbed, it can send spores into the air where they can make their way into your sinuses and lungs.”
Inside, one might expect to find mold…
- Throughout the kitchen and bathroom in areas where moisture accumulates (i.e. sinks and showers)
- Around plumbing, particularly in spots that have been subject to leaks or cracks in pipes and appliances
- Within a humid or non-temperature-controlled basement/attic environment
Otherwise, we suggest also keeping a close eye on old produce or houseplants that have undergone overwatering, as they may also be conducive to mold spore proliferation.
Dealing with Dust Mites
It’s common enough to hear the words, “Ah, I’m allergic to dust,” uttered in response to excessive indoor sneezing and sniffling. But what even are dust allergies?
Simply put, “dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that generate some of the most common indoor substances — or allergens — that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in many people,” as explained by the American Lung Association.
And when mixed with other household allergens, one’s adverse physical response may only grow more severe. For example, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) warns that animal dander can mix with household dust, as well as pollen, thereby causing further problems in sensitive individuals.
When It’s Because of a Cold
“Colds and allergies produce many of the same symptoms: a runny nose, tiredness, and sometimes a sore throat,” Harvard Health Publishing explains. “But they have different causes — a virus causes colds, while allergies are an immune system response to trigger substances, known as allergens.”
Additionally, a cold may produce different, more severe physical symptoms than typical allergies might, such as a fever. Alternatively, the more watery and irritated one’s eyes become, the more likely it is that one is dealing with allergies as opposed to a virus-induced illness. That is, unlike with mold and dust, an individual’s subtle symptoms may actually be quite telling in terms of which ailment they’re currently facing.
The lingering questions remain then: What is in your air? How you can tell what allergens and fine particle matter are polluting your residential or commercial space? And furthermore, how does this information translate into action to fix the problem?
The answer to them all is with InstaScope technology: a state-of-the-art air sampling instrument, specially designed to equip inspectors, building managers, and sanitization professionals alike with revolutionary indoor air quality assessment.
The InstaScope offers innovative biofluorescent measurement technology, thereby offering the user the ability to capture and identify airborne particulate matter in real-time, as well as generate immediate and accurate reports. Capable of measuring and comparing the total biological load of airborne particles in a given space an unlimited number of times, this technology is invaluable in providing information that will help define the service industry as it pertains to mold inspection and indoor air quality.
To learn more about how the InstaScope can help you to provide your clients or colleagues with trusted IAQ information, contact DetectionTek today by calling 720-410-7030 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!