What Does A Mold Allergy Look Like
What Are the Symptoms of a Mold Allergy? The symptoms of mold allergy are very similar to the symptoms of other allergies, such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion and dry, scaling skin. Mold spores get into your nose and cause hay fever symptoms. They also can reach the lungs and trigger asthma.
Can Black Mold Cause Skin Problems
Mold reproduces by creating tiny spores that are carried through the air. When you breathe in these spores, they can trigger an allergic reaction, meaning your immune system overreacts. This overreaction leads to the production of antibodies, inflammation, and a variety of nonspecific symptoms that can include a rash.
Less Common Black Mold Health Issues
While we know these health problems are less likely to result from exposure to mold, they can happen, or at least some people believe these symptoms may occur as a result of black mold exposure. We dont know how common they are, just that they are not as common as other symptoms listed above. Less common health problems sometimes caused by exposure to black mold include:
- Pulmonary hemorrhage , which can be fatal
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Where Is Mold Found In A Home
A research study found that Stachybotrys preferred a very high relative humidity within wallsapproximately 97%which indicates that relative humidity could be an important risk factor . For black mold, you may consider smaller microclimates that may harbor such humidity levels: sweating pipes, under sink cabinets, front loading washing machines, standing water, roof leaks, damp cars, windows with condensation, etc. Generally, common places to check for mold growth include the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
However, humidity alone is not the only requirement for mold growthmold requires nutrients to grow. Any environment that has nutrients like cellulose or other organic matter can harbor mold if the humidity level is right. To further enable mold growth, an environment that has poor air flow and minimal disruption is ideal. For example, you can find mold on wallpaper, furniture, drywall, overly-packed bookshelves or overstuffed closets.
Controlling Mold In The Bedroom
Keep in mind that its nearly impossible to keep mold spores from entering your home. Microscopic spores can come in through open airways, windows, and vents, or latch onto clothing and pets. Therefore, the best approach to preventing mold is to make sure your bedroom environment doesnt support its growth.
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Testing For Mould In Your Home
Where mould is visible, it is generally not considered necessary to test for it in the home. However, not all mould is visible, as contamination may be in cavities or the ceiling. Generally, if you can see or smell mould, you need to clean up and remove the mould immediately, as mould can damage surfaces it grows on.
If you suspect mould contamination but cannot find the source of the problem, or if you have already taken measures to prevent mould from growing and you are still having problems, you could employ an occupational hygienist or environmental health and safety professional. For a fee, these professionals can provide specialist mould testing and consultancy services.
Can Mold Affect You Mentally
People who suffer from toxic-mold based illnesses may endure depression, anxiety, lack of focus, and brain fog, with some reporting insomnia. These cognitive and psychiatric symptoms may be present with or without the physical symptoms of mold exposure which can include difficulty breathing, fatigue, and headache.
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Rental Properties With Mould Issues
When a rental property has mould, the owner should fix any mould caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, but the tenant should ensure that extractor fans are used when available and the home is aired regularly where possible.
Sometimes, the cause of the mould growth may be due to a building fault that may not be easily rectified.
If as a tenant, you have taken measures to make sure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner.
Information on mould in rental properties is available on Consumer Affairs Victorias website.
Tenants seeking further advice on their rights can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria on .
What To Tell Your Doctor
If you have symptoms, and youve been exposed to mold at work, on a trip or at home, you should consult your doctor immediately, Dr. Ibrahim says. Tell your provider all that you can about the mold and the location.
Be sure to mention all symptoms you may have, no matter how trivial they may seem. There are no insignificant symptoms when youre being evaluated for a new problem, Dr. Ibrahim says. Pay close attention to symptoms that are only present or worsen at home or other public areas where mold is common.
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What Are Symptoms And Signs Of Mold Exposure
Molds produce irritating substances that may act as allergy-causing substances in sensitive individuals. Furthermore, some molds produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, but mold itself is not poisonous or toxic. The term “toxic mold,” therefore, refers to the fact that certain kinds of mold can produce mycotoxins. The conditions under which some molds produce toxins are not understood, and the presence of mold, even a mold that is capable of producing toxins, does not always imply that toxins are being produced or that a health risk or problem is present. Mold may not cause any health problems, or it may lead to allergy or other symptoms in people, including adults and children, who are sensitive to molds.
Allergic reactions to mold are the most common health effects of mold and are therefore the greatest health risk related to mold. Allergic reactions may happen immediately or develop after a period following exposure. Both growing mold and mold spores may lead to allergic reactions. Symptoms and signs of mold allergy may include
Mold or mold spores may cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and are allergic to mold. Even in some non-allergic individuals, mold can cause symptoms of irritation in the eyes, skin, and airways. For example, the “black mold”Stachybotrys, along with some other types of mold, produces toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause irritation of the skin and airways in susceptible individuals.
What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Black mold, also known as toxic black mold or Stachubotrys, can cause many serious heath problems if found inside a home. There are numerous negative health effects from mold exposure, such as mental impairment, breathing problems, internal organ damage, and in some cases, even death. The symptoms of black mold exposure can be separated into different groups depending upon the area affected by mold presence.
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Black Mold And Toxicity
When you read about molds, you may definitely want to know about black mold, as it is frequently singled out as the biggest culprit. Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold is a greenish-black mold. It was thought to be the reason behind a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis among infants living in a water-damaged environment in Cleveland, Ohio. However, there is not much research to prove the association between acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants and exposure to molds, specifically stachybotrys chartarum.15 The guidelines from federal organizations suggest that mold growth, regardless of the type, should be controlled in an appropriate manner.16
How Does Mold Affect Your Gut
Digestive problems related to mold exposure are not as common as some other mold sickness symptoms, like allergic reactions and respiratory problems, but exposure to household mold can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding in the intestinal tract, intestinal cramping, and the.
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How Black Mold Effects Cats And Dogs
Black mold may cause similar symptoms in dogs and cats as it does us. Some pets will be more affected than others, just like it is in humans. Symptoms generally fall under three categories and include respiratory distress, an allergic reaction, and toxic reactions. Some pets will be more affected than others, just like it is with humans.
Respiratory distress symptoms could include:
- Constant sneezing or coughing
- Neurological problems which could include odd behavior or loss of function
Black mold exposure could be life-threatening to our cats and dogs, if not addressed quickly. One case study from 2007 describes a pair of cats that died of a pulmonary hemorrhage following exposure to black mold in their home. While this is unlikely to be a normal situation for most pet owners, it does reiterate the need to be aware of potential exposure to pets and correct underlying issues as quickly as possible.
If your four-legged family member is showing signs of illness, take them to your family vet or find a veterinarian near you. If the Veterinarian diagnoses your pet with black mold poisoning or exposure, the first thing to do is correct or remove underlying mold problems in your home and treat your pet. Exposure to other family members is likely happening as well, so addressing any potential concerns within the home should be made a top priority.
Diagnosing Digestive Problems From Mold Exposure
If youre having gastrointestinal problems, see your primary care physician. Let your doctor know if youve been exposed to mold or think your symptoms might be caused by mold exposure. Make sure to let your doctor know if youre experiencing any other symptoms of mold exposure, like coughing, sneezing, headaches, sore throats, shortness of breath, rashes or hives.
Because so many things can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, including viruses, parasites, food poisoning, ulcers, food allergies and sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease, it can take some time for a doctor to figure out whats causing your gastrointestinal problems and whether or not its due to mold exposure. Your doctor may order some tests to help make a diagnosis, such as blood tests, an upper GI x-ray , a CT scan, an abdominal ultrasound, an endoscopy and/or colonoscopy , and laboratory analysis of a stool sample. You may be referred to a gastroenterologist, a doctor specializing in digestive problems, for some of these tests or for treatment of certain gastrointestinal conditions.
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Treating Black Mold Poisoning
If you suspect youre suffering from symptoms associated with black mold exposure or poisoning, there are some things you can do to improve your health.
In conclusion, the best way to avoid the negative effects of black mold poisoning is to minimize your black mold exposure.
You can do this by preventing its growth in the first place. If its too late to prevent it and you suspect theres black mold already in your home, dont wait to book removal, completed quickly and efficiently by the industry experts.
Black mold, typically green or black, in your home, can be extremely hazardous to your health.
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Numbness In The Extremities
Patients who have been exposed to black mold for several months could notice numbness in their extremities. Tingling sensations may occur in the hands and feet, and some individuals might have pain or a burning sensation in the affected areas. Doctors will begin investigating this numbness by asking the patient questions about their health history. They will want to know about any underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and it can be helpful for the patient to describe the specific location and nature of the pain. The doctor will ask how long the pain has lasted and whether anything makes it worse or better. A general physical examination will be performed, and the patient will also have a neurological exam to test his or her reflexes, sensation, and motor function. Blood tests, ultrasounds, MRI scans, and nerve conduction studies may be recommended. Over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain relievers may be beneficial in managing pain that is present, and treatment for underlying conditions and vitamin deficiencies could reduce the numbness the patient experiences. This symptom may improve once the patient is no longer exposed to black mold.
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Bad Mold Vs Good Mold
Wondering whether some molds can be of any good like good bacteria? Yes. They are not bad always. Because of their pharmacological activity, some of the mycotoxins are useful as antibiotics.17 Under correct conditions, some molds are also used in the production of cheese. But, you cannot eat the fungi that grow on the cheese at home. They may result in allergic reactions. Outdoors, molds are considered to be a good thing. However, inside your home, if they find a sustainable food source to grow they become dangerous.
What About Tiny Mold Toxins Aka Mycotoxins
As mentioned above, though the Stachybotrys spores may be sticky and not easily airborne, there are other airborne contaminants to worry about: tiny fragments of mold and special toxins called mycotoxins. These contaminants may cause illness in those who are exposed, with mycotoxins being the most concerning.
You can think about mycotoxins as the molds defense: they are used for protection from environmental threats. Mycotoxins are minute organic compounds as small as 0.03 microns. These tiny molecules can stick to particles already floating through the air. Studies have found Stachybotrys mycotoxins on mold fragments that have broken off from a mold colony after it has been disturbed . This can be harmfulairborne particles less than 1.0 microns are easily breathed into the respiratory system, where they can cause irritation and potential allergic reactions. If this occurs, mycotoxins could accumulate onto local tissue and ultimately enter the bloodstream. The study by Brasel cited above showed that trichothecenes could be measured in the blood of people exposed to an indoor environment that had Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys creates a class of mycotoxins referred to as trichothecenes. Trichothecenes have been widely studied and have been proven to be detrimental to the health of humans, animals and plants. In fact, trichothecenes have been investigated for the purpose of biological warfare needless to say, they are not something to which you want to be exposed.
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What Are Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds
Another source of irritation from mold exposure comes from substances knownas microbial volatile organic compounds . These compounds are producedthrough fungal metabolism and are released directly into the air, often givingoff strong or unpleasant odors. Exposure to mVOCs from molds can irritate theeyes and respiratory system and has been linked to symptoms such as headaches,dizziness, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea. The effects of mVOCs are notcompletely understood and research is still in the early stages.
Black Mold Exposure Can Damage Your Circulatory System
Black mold spores can be inhaled, consumed, or absorbed through a persons skin or eyes. When mycotoxins find their way into the bloodstream, mycotoxins have the potential to cause serious damage.
Symptoms of circulatory system damage from black mold include:
- Irregular heartbeat
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What Happens When You Breathe In Mold Spores
The human immune system is designed to react when foreign contaminants enter the body this is exactly what can happen when you breathe in mold spores. People who are asthmatic or allergic to mold may experience a more severe reaction than those who are not, but anyone can experience adverse symptoms after too much exposure to mold.
Mold spores can enter your airways through your nose and mouth, and they may irritate your exposed eyes and skin as well. Once the spores have made their way into your body, your immune system will try to get rid of them by eliciting a series of physical responses from you, such as coughing or sneezing. The intensity of these responses is mostly based on how sensitive you are to mold.
The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Redness and dry skin
- Asthma attack
Fortunately, mold exposure symptoms typically only last as long as the mold spores are present in your body. Once youve cleared away the mold in your home, bathed and circulated fresh, clean air throughout your respiratory system, the side effects should lessen within a day or two.
Mold Was In My Hvac System
That said, I want to take a look at how mold/fungus may have contributed to my dementia. It was indeed present in my home. Aspergillius. Cladisprium. Pennicilium. Basidiospores. All airborne mold spores.
Several years before my husband or I showed any signs of dementia, it was brought to our attention that our HVAC system was producing mold in significant amounts. After reading up on mold, and how it can cause a whole host of health-related problems, we had a whole new HVAC system installed. Including all new duct work.
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Common Black Mold Health Issues
Keep in mind that not everyone exposed to black mold will get sick and those that do become ill as a result of exposure to mold may not develop all of these symptoms. You should also know that black mold is not the only type of mold that can cause health problems. Exposure to any type of mold can make you sick.
Common health problems caused by exposure to black mold include:
- Asthma attacks or the development of asthma in people not previously diagnosed with the disease
- Itchy rash or hives
Some of these health problems may become chronic, not going away even after youve gotten medical treatment and are no longer exposed to mold in your home. Most of the time, mold-related health problems resolve when those two things happen, but occasionally they do not. Here you can read more about long-term health problems caused by exposure to mold.