Mould. It's everywhere up here in Far North Queensland. Thriving because it's humid! For the first four months or so it didn't bother me that much. To see mould EVERYWHERE! My initial experience was discovering mould on our wooden pegs!!! Overnight!! What the?? Mould grows within hours?! Not months or whatever I previously thought?!
Mould is a collection of many different microscopic fungi and can grow both indoors and outdoors. Mould exists everywhere in nature to breakdown organic matter by consuming it. Mould needs 3 critical requirements to grow (food, oxygen and moisture), removing one of these will significantly inhibit mould growth. Mould can be identified by its musty odour.
I started sneezing in the mornings. Which later developed into sneezing episodes during the night. No doubt you realise, that you cannot sneeze with your eyes open. BUT! Do you realise you're not able to sneeze in your sleep?! Nights for me, for us, (poor husband gets woken up by sneezing episodes too!!) turned into wakeful sleepless nights. I also had a runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, generally feeling unwell. Long story short I have an allergy to mould! Eek! Not so exciting. It did cross my mind that we might have to relocate at some stage if I continue to loose this battle :(
Fortunately, we're winning! Listed below are a few simple steps we've taken to reduce mould in our home and help my body to cope. Ahhhh (sigh) no more sleepless nights. No more ridiculous sneezing and using up a box of tissues in a week! (Ok ok I might be exaggerating, just a little).
- Reduce humidity - keep relative humidity below 70%. Dehumidifiers work well. Ensure good ventilation. Increase air movement - reduce stagnant air - use a fan if you have to. Dry wet/damp items outside.
- Ventilation - prevents condensation from forming - keep windows and doors open.
- Light - mould hates sunlight! Open blinds and curtains throughout the day to maximise sunlight in the home. Expose mould prone areas and objects to the sunlight :).
- Tea Tree oil - excellent anti-mould agent. Our ultrasonic diffuser is virtually on constantly.
- Herbs - Albizia. Amazing. This herb is anti-allergic. Other beneficial herbs include oil of oregano, echinacea, horseradish, eyebright, elder flowers, nettle, garlic, rhodiola, licorice...
- Probiotics - an absolute must for anyone really, definitely anyone prone to mould allergies. A healthy gut flora can reduce mould sensitivity, improve gut health and strengthen the immune system - we don't want other invading pathogens like bacteria and viruses!
- Consume low-histamine foods.
- Clean with vinegar, bicarb soda and essential oils.