Warm mid Mo weather brings an unwanted guest

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COLUMBIA - The warmer-than-usual winter weather is conducive to mold, which is giving some people a longer allergy season. 

"For patients who have allergies to mold, it's harder for them because the weather hasn't allowed for everything to frost over, which doesn't allow the mold to grow," said Cindy A. Rose, Allergy Family Nurse Practitioner for the University of Missouri Health System. 

She said the warm temperatures make a breeding ground for mold spores to multiply and get worse. Cold weather kills those spores so they can't multiply. 

However, she also said non-allergic rhinitis can also occur. This is simply when people have allergy-like symptoms because of frequent temperature changes, as Columbia has seen recently. 

She said, regardless of the reason, this season has brought more activity than usual to her office. 

"Usually there's kind of a lull right now because it's gotten cold outside, so people aren't having as many symptoms. This year it's been pretty steady. Certainly seeing more patients who have symptoms, she said. "Some of my patients are noticing they're symptoms haven't stopped this year."

Rose has some things people can do at home to prevent or knock out their extended symptoms: 

 1. Clean visible mold

2. Nasal rinse to get mold spores trapped in nasal passages

3. Take over-the-counter antihistamines

4. Take showers/baths at night to wash mold spores off body

5. Wash sheets once a week in hot water for the same reason