High Alert For Moldy Midwest

Mold matters for those with allergies and asthma

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) During allergy and asthma season, high mold counts indicate big problems for allergy and asthma sufferers. This summer, the midwest is nowhere to be for these patients.

Many websites inform U.S. citizens about the mold counts. There is an 866 number to call as well. Everday, mold counts can be attained by calling 866-4-POLLEN (866-476-5536).

"Stay indoors during the mold season."

Joseph Leija, M.D., allergist who performs the official allergy count for the Midwest for the National Allergy Bureau reports current daily count of 59,000. The danger threshold is 50,000, so the midwest is almost 20 percent above this standard. Midwesterners can expect to have runny noses, scratchy throats, fatigue and headaches due to this abnormally high mold count.

Dr. Leija says that with the count so dangerously high, it can also exacerbate chronic conditions like heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders and asthma.

There has also been a series of flooding in this area, and Dr. Leija warns that there could be toxic levels of mold in the homes that have become flooded. Additionally, some sewer system have been backed up and are adding to the health risks. Hygrometers, devices that measure humidity, are around $40 and can be used to assess the damp conditions inside the home.

The country's heartland also suffered an historic amount of snowfall this winter and the summer has given a record-breaking number of days of rainfall. The heat has also been impressive.

Dr. Leija’s tips for protecting health today include:

  • Stay inside and keep outdoor activities to a minimum
  • Run the air conditioning because it removes humidity
  • Rinse inside your nose with a saline solution
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity and get plenty of rest
  • Talk to your allergist about changing prescribed allergy medication.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 4, 2011
Last Updated:
September 7, 2011