Mold Counts On The Rise In The Ozarks

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – If you suffer from mold allergies, you’re probably not going to get a break any time soon.

After all the wet weather in the past couple weeks, the Springfield–Greene County Health department says mold counts have been high.

The health department tracks allergens every day, from when things first start to bloom to the fall’s first frost.

When the sun comes out and it’s windy after a period of heavy rain, the air’s bound to have more molds. 

At 7:30 every morning, Lab Specialist Machelle Petit goes up to the roof and pulls a special piece of tape out of a machine. That special piece of tape captures allergens.

“I place that on a slide and stain it and then we read it,” Petit said. “So when we say that the pollen and mold counts are high, we can be on a microscope for 2-2.5 hours. When those counts start getting lower, half an hour we might be done.”

Petit then puts this information online.

“If they [members of the public] are tracking it on their own calendar, see maybe what’s happening over the years and maybe see a pattern and see what’s causing their allergies to kick in.”

CoxHealth Allergist Minh-Thu le says complaints of symptoms from patients increase every allergy season.

She recommends nasal steroids and over-the counter medications and she says folks should make sure to change their filters each month.

“Some non-medicine ways that people tend to like to do are a neti-pot or a squeeze bottle that you can just put some saline in, some salt and baking soda and some distilled water,” Le said.

Some patients find certain medications all of a sudden stop working, or still don’t provide the relief they need.

In that case, le says you have options.

“We see most of those people come into our clinic and then we offer them immunotherapy or allergy shots and that kind of gets to the root cause of the problem, where we can de-sensitize you to the things you’re allergic to and then you’re not allergic to them anymore,” Le said.

The health department says with warm weather on the way next week, mold counts will likely increase.

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