How Best to Know if You Have a Fungal Allergy: Not All Tests Are Created Equal
If you suffer from a reoccurring sinus infection and suspect that it is not seasonal allergies or a bacterial infection causing the symptoms, you may want to be tested for mold allergies. However, not all allergy tests are equal when it comes to testing for fungal allergies, and more importantly, test whether or not you are genetically predisposed to be fungal allergic.
A 1999 Mayo Clinic Study found that there is a genetic trait that causes a fungal allergy for 16% of the population, other popular reports indicate this number may be as high as 28%. If you are one of these people, your chronic sinus problems and other related unexplained problems have a 93% chance of being caused by mold.
The diagnosis of fungal hypersensitivity syndrome rests on three criteria: an identified heavily contaminated source, appropriate symptoms temporarily related to exposure, and high serum IgG antibody levels to molds. IgE antibodies are usually not involved and skin tests are, therefore, usually negative.
Specific IgG antibody levels to molds are helpful in supporting the diagnosis of fungal hypersensitivity. Everyone is exposed to some molds and, therefore, some antibody to mold is found in nearly everyone. But the levels are low. Individuals exposed to heavily moldy environments make great amounts of antibody. In mold hypersensitivity patients it is common to find molds present in several categories on the IgG test. The IgG test is known as a Delayed Mold Reaction Test because unlike the IgE test where results are immediate and visible by skin test, the results are delayed.
Why Isn’t Diagnosis More Common?
The diagnosis of fungal hypersensitivity is difficult for most physicians because mycology (a branch of biology dealing with fungi) is not a strong subject in medical school. Life threatening fungal infections in the immune compromised patient are usually treated by oncologists with help from infectious disease specialists. In the majority of the population, fungal hypersensitivity and colonization occurs in healthy individuals who have been exposed to excessive fungal contamination in their homes or work places. They experience symptoms usually attributed to an upper respiratory infection, chronic sinus infection or flu. As time goes by and symptoms persist, and healing via antibiotics and steroids are not successful, the patient may come to realize the basic problem is heavy fungal exposure from having read about someone else’s affliction in a blog or article.
The potential consequences of ignoring mold exposure include heightened or prolonged symptoms and suffering, continued loss of productivity, additional medical intervention which includes visits, procedures and medicines, and which in turn leads to expenses and co-pays exceeding insurance deductibles, or worse, catastrophic expenses for those without insurance.
It is up to you to take the next steps in finding a physician to recognize the problem and know how to help you with it. The first and best step is taking an IgG test. Do your homework before your visit with the doctor. Seek a doctor in your area who is knowledgeable of mold related illness. Check the Internet; also see www.sinusitiswellness.com and look for the Distributors section to see if there is a provider in your area.
Mold Removal Changes the Sinus Health Equation
If you suspect mold sensitivity or fungal allergy and cannot afford an IgG test or Physician visit, we suggest starting with the Mold Screening Test Kit 10 Pack to determine if your home has unhealthy levels of mold. You can test your environment to determine if mold is present, where it is, and the severity of the mold problem. Once it is determined you have a mold problem, we recommend the Breathe Easy Kit and Environmental Kit. These are much less expensive than even a Doctor’s office visit and work to remove mold from your nose and environment. You can begin to remove mold from your body and home/work environment so you can feel better faster for a reasonable price without hiring an expensive Certified Indoor Environmentalist or scheduling a Doctor’s visit, which can all add up quickly. Rinsing your nose for two minutes a day will help with the immediate symptoms, but cannot counteract breathing in spores for 24 hours. It is important to use the entire system to reach desired results.
We are available to advise how these products work by phone, Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM at 1-888-404-8958, or you can read further information at www.sinusitiswellness.com.