What is the pathophysiology of mold-related allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis?

Updated: Dec 02, 2020
  • Author: Shih-Wen Huang, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Allergic rhinitis and/or allergic conjunctivitis are common problems in both children and adults. Allergic rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis is usually a perennial problem, with seasonal fluctuation of symptoms in regions such as the southern part of the United States, where humidity and temperatures are high.

Many indoor fungal allergens (eg, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cephalosporium, Curvularia, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Helminthosporium, Hormodendrum, Mucor, Penicillium, Phoma, Pullularia, Rhizopus, and Stemphylium species) can cause allergic symptoms. They are the result of type 1 (IgE-mediated) hypersensitivity reactions.

Patients should have detectable IgE antibody to provoke mast-cell activation with fungal exposure. Studies also indicated the close association of mold allergy with prolonged coldlike symptoms in winter, sinusitis, and the presence of adenoid hypertrophy in children. [10]   

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