Fall ‘color’ can trigger mold allergies

DALLAS – November 2016 – Autumn can be a wonderful time for walking in the woods and taking in the beauty of nature but for children with asthma, kicking up leaves could also kick up mold allergies.

“Although relatively rare, about 2 percent of children with asthma have an allergic reaction to fungus called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA),” says UT Southwestern Medical Center Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Dr. Min Lee, a specialist in allergies and asthma. “These children often present with worsening asthma symptoms and other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and bloody sputum.”

Mold is found all around us, but is especially prevalent in decaying leaves and other decaying vegetation, and mold spores are easily dispersed in dry and windy weather, says Dr. Lee, also with Children’s Health in Dallas.

Children and adults with mold-triggered asthma should avoid activities like playing in leaves, raking leaves, and turning compost piles, another common source of mold. If these activities can’t be avoided, wear an N95 mask, which can be easily purchased in hardware or home improvement stores.

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