If your head is about to explode from sneezing or nasal congestion, and you have an itchy nose or ears, and watery eyes, take note: the air in the Philadelphia region is thick with allergy-inducing mold spores.
The amount of spores in the air is sufficient to cause misery for about 30 percent of individuals in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area who have allergies and/or allergic asthma, according to the Asthma Center, which takes daily measurements of allergens in the air.
Mold spore levels have nearly doubled in recent days while pollen has remained relatively low, the center reports. Cladosporium is the predominant mold, but the center says it is seeing unusually high levels of Aspergillus-Penicillium, which can cause serious reactions for those with asthma, nasal polyps, sinus disease, cystic fibrosis or other immune disorders, the center said.
Since last week, Donald Dvorin, the center allergist and the region’s certified pollen counter for the National Allergy Bureau, reported there were extreme outdoor mold counts for several consecutive days. Nearly 9,000 mold spores per cubic meter of air in 24 hours were reported.
While there is no “peak season” for mold spores, the highest levels tend to occur from midsummer through the late fall. Snow knocks down the count in winter, the center reported.