Molds are microscopic organisms found everywhere, indoors and out. These molds reproduce through spores spread by air, water, or insects. People with mold allergy develop runny or itchy noses, itchy skin or rash, watery or itchy eyes, and in more severe cases, breathing problems. According to some studies, in the US about 1 in 5 people have been diagnosed with environmental allergies, and mold is considered an environmental allergen. And two-thirds of people with asthma also have environmental allergies. Generally, mold allergies are not life-threatening but they can make you uncomfortable. Currently, there’s no way to cure mold allergies. The best way to manage the allergy is to avoid mold.
This article covers all the significant topics related to the mold allergy test such as the test cost, causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and how to get tested for a mold allergy test.
- Mold allergies
- What causes mold allergy?
- Risk factors
- Types of mold allergies
- Symptoms of mold allergy
- Mold allergy test
- Treatment for mold allergy
- Provider locations
For our readers who are interested in knowing the mold allergy test cost beforehand, we begin with that section.
How much does the mold allergy test cost?
Mold allergy test costs range from $136 to $199 in different labs and facilities across the US. Prior appointment isn’t required. You can order tests online by comparing the price or visiting the nearest lab during lab business hours. You will get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days after completing the procedure. Apart from this, doctor consultation is available for any kind of further treatment or medical advice.
The table below shows the mold allergy test provider and their prices. You can know more and book the test by clicking on the “Book Now” button.
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Mold allergy test cost with insurance
Many insurance companies in the U.S. cover all the vital tests like the mold allergy test. However, the coverage provided by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare varies widely. Most of the health insurance policies cover mold allergy test costs only once or twice a year and when your physician orders more than twice in a year, you should pay the test cost out of pocket. So, you are recommended to check if your health insurance policy covers the mold allergy test cost.
Our mold allergy testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance policy. However, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details viz the name of the test, code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
Molds are a type of fungus that is present almost everywhere in the world. Molds that grow inside the house prefer dark and damp places and they can be harmful to some people. Generally, normal amounts of mold in the environment do not pose a substantial health risk to healthy people.
When a person has a mold allergy, their immune system overreacts when they breathe in mold spores. Normally, mold allergies are not seasonal like other allergies. People with this allergy may have more symptoms from midsummer to early fall. However, they can experience symptoms any time they’re exposed to mold spores, especially if they live in an area that tends to get a lot of rain.
What causes mold allergy?
Allergies occur when your immune system is sensitive to outside substances (mold spores). The primary allergen in the mold is the mold spore. These spores make their way into the air and can make their way into your nose and can trigger an allergic reaction. If a person inhales airborne mold spores, their body recognizes them as foreign invaders and develops allergy-causing antibodies to fight them. And these spores are also linked to allergic rhinitis and asthma.
You can also be allergic to molds in foods. Certain food allergies are related to mold include mushrooms, fermented foods, certain types of cheese, some wines, and food products that contain vinegar.
Various factors can make you more likely to develop a mold allergy or worsen the symptoms. However, the effects are usually worse for certain groups of people who have compromised immune systems due to illness or medication. The risk factors for developing a mold allergy may include:
- Having a family/personal history of allergies
- Having a respiratory condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma
- Living in a house with high humidity (having indoor humidity higher than 50% can increase mold in the house)
- Living in a house with poor ventilation
- Being exposed to mold over a long period (due to your job)
Types of mold allergies
There are different types of molds and some types are more common in the air. Only certain kinds of mold cause allergies. When you are allergic to one type of mold, it doesn’t mean that you will be allergic to another. Some of the common molds that cause allergy may include Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and penicillium. Additionally, aspergillus can also cause infections known as aspergillosis. And there are also toxic molds that can cause very serious illnesses. Stachybotrys is an example of a toxic mold, which is also known as the black mold.
Symptoms of mold allergy
The symptoms of mold allergy resemble those of other types of respiratory allergies. Symptoms may include:
- Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
- Watery eyes
- Dry, scaly skin
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Skin rash
- Sore throat
Symptoms of mold allergy may vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. You may also have year-round symptoms or symptoms that flare up only during certain times. And it’s also possible to notice symptoms when the weather is damp or when you are in indoor/outdoor spaces that have high concentrations of mold.
Initially, you may mistake your mold allergies for a cold or sinus infection, as the symptoms can mimic each other. If your allergies are compounded by asthma, your asthma symptoms may get worse when you’re exposed to mold. And you may also experience wheezing and other signs of an asthma attack.
Mold allergy test
Doctors diagnose mold allergy based on your symptoms, physical examination, and diagnostic testing. They may recommend both or one of the following tests:
- Blood test – This blood test is also called the radioallergosorbent test. It measures your immune system’s response to mold by measuring the number of certain antibodies, known as immunoglobulin E or IgE antibodies.
- Skin prick test – This skin test involves scratching your skin with needles that have mold extracts on them. If you are allergic to molds, you will develop a raised bump or hive at the test location on your skin.
Treatment for mold allergy
The best way to manage the allergy is to avoid exposure to triggers. As molds are common, you can’t completely avoid them. So, try to reduce your mold exposure as much as possible by avoiding damp places & things like piles of wet leaves. Mold allergy can be treated. Treatment for this allergy is similar to treatment for other types of inhaled allergies. It may include:
- Antihistamines to stop sneezing, a runny nose, and itchiness
- Decongestant nasal sprays for congestion
- Nasal corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- Nasal rinse to flush spores out of the nose
Doctors may suggest immunotherapy to reduce your sensitivity to mold, commonly known as allergy shots. Though immunotherapy is highly effective, it is suitable only for certain types of mold allergy. And when you have asthma, your doctor may suggest a different medication, like inhaled steroids or mast cell stabilizers.
Various preventive measures can help reduce mold exposure. And you may take the following steps to prevent mold:
- Prevent outdoor molds from entering the house by keeping doors and windows closed. And use air conditioning equipped with allergen-grade air filters.
- Remove sources of dampness in basements like pipe leaks or groundwater seepage.
- Use a dehumidifier in any area that smells musty or damp. Keep the humidity levels below 50% and make sure to check the humidity level regularly, as it can change every few hours.
- Install an air conditioner with a high-efficiency particulate air filter also known as HEPA filter, they remove mold spores from the air.
- Make sure adequate ventilation of moist areas.
- Ensure your bathroom has an exhaust fan or window, so you can open it to limit dampness. And beware of leaks in the roof, walls, or pipes in your home.
- Don’t carpet the kitchen, basement, or bathroom.
- Get rid of flood-damaged carpets.
- Try to limit indoor houseplants, and make sure those that are present are free of mold on leaves and in potting soil.
- Recycle or toss old books and newspapers as they can become moldy quickly if they get damp.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints to stop mold growth on ceilings and walls.
Additionally, to prevent or reduce the symptoms you can close the windows at night, as there are more airborne mold spores during the nighttime hours. And wear a dust mask while gardening. And try to stay indoors after a rainstorm, in damp weather.
A mold allergy test can be done in any of the following locations by visiting the lab near you. To know the mold allergy test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you with a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order any time before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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