How Is Mold Allergy Treated
One of the most important ways to manage a mold allergy is to avoid mold. Reduce your exposure to mold as much as possible by avoiding damp places and things like piles of wet leaves. Make sure your bathroom has an exhaust fan or window you can open to limit dampness and beware of leaks in your roof, walls or pipes in your home.
Your provider might suggest immunotherapy to reduce your sensitivity to mold, commonly known as allergy shots.
Medications, like antihistamines or nasal steroids can give you relief from symptoms. If you have asthma, your provider may suggest a different medication, like inhaled steroids or mast cell stabilizers.
What Is The Outlook For People Who Have A Mold Allergy
Mold allergy cant be cured, but it can be managed with efforts to reduce your exposure to mold and with taking suggested medications if needed.
There are certain types of molds that are more dangerous to your health than others. These are molds that emit mycotoxins or cause infections, which can cause serious illness and even death.
Black Mold Symptoms And Health Effects
Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.
A mold infested room of an old building.
Mold in homes can be a costly and dangerous problem, particularly when infestations of toxic black mold occur. The symptoms and health effects of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning cover a wide range of health problems, but understanding the indicators can help keep you and your family safe.
Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans.
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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
- Bleeding in the brain
How Common Is Mold Allergy
According to some statistics, about 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with environmental allergies. About two-thirds of people with asthma also have environmental allergies. Many days of work are lost and more than 50% of people who have such allergies consider them to play a part in their quality of life.
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What Does Black Mold Exposure Treatment Look Like
Just like the diagnosis, the treatment of mold exposure differs from doctor to doctor. One thing most doctors will advise you to do is to test for and, if needed, remove any unhealthy mold conditions from your home. Even if the treatment will help in the short-term, it wont be effective over the long-term if your indoor environment isnt improved.
To treat the symptoms, doctors may suggest:
- Over-the-counter medication. Medicine that would decrease the airway inflammation and suppress the allergic reactions.
- Nasal sprays to deal with a runny or stuffy nose or rinses to clear your nasal passages from inhaled mold spores.
- Regular allergy medicine
A persons immune system has to be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe cases of allergies, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to provide relief from symptoms
Can Mold Cause A Sore Throat
Mold is often characterized as the omnipresent allergen. It hides in damp places and causes many people who suffer from allergies to ask questions like, Can mold cause a sore throat? Can mold cause your throat to swell? and even Can mold cause swallowing problems?
Unfortunately, the answer to the question like these is yes.
Mold grows anywhere there is moisture or high humidity levels. It comes in a range of colors and causes a range of side effects in individuals who have mold allergies. The good news is there are several ways to eradicate mold and to treat your mold-allergy symptoms.
If you have been asking yourself, Can mold cause a sore throat? then rest assured that we are here to help. Lets review why mold may be the culprit behind your sore throat, where mold could be hiding, and ways to treat mold allergies.
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How Can Mold Affect My Health
Many molds can cause health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants and,sometimes, toxins that may cause adverse reactions in humans. A reaction tomold depends on how much a person is exposed to, the age of the person and thepersons sensitivities or allergies. The same amount of mold may causehealth effects in one person, but not in another.
Exposure to mold can cause a variety of symptoms. Sensitive people who havetouched or inhaled mold or mold spores may have allergic reactions such as arunny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash and itching. Molds can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic tomolds, causing wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. A diseaselike pneumonia may also develop after exposure to mold, but this is uncommon.
Infectious diseases from molds can occur in people with weakened immunesystems, such as those who are immune-compromised or immune-suppressed fromdrug treatment. Some types of mold are known to cause infections inimmune-compromised people. Such infections can affect the skin, eyes, lungs orother organs. These are considered opportunistic infections that usually do notaffect healthy people.
How Mold Affects Salivary Glands
You may be wondering if mold affects salivary gland size or functioning. Exposure to mold in the home can cause infections that can cause swollen lymph nodes and when the lymph nodes in the neck area are swollen, people sometimes mistake those for swollen salivary glands. Lymph nodes and salivary glands are not the same things, however. Well explain what salivary glands are, how they might be affected by exposure to mold, and what to do if you think mold is making you ill.
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Severe Complications Caused By Toxic Black Mold
Most of the allergic reactions to toxic black mold, such as those similar to hay fever, can make peoples lives miserable but shouldnt be severe. However, there are specific conditions that could be worse. These are:
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: This is a persons allergic reaction to fungus that is present in the lungs. It commonly happens to individuals with cystic fibrosis or asthma.
- Allergic fungal sinusitis: This condition is caused when the body carries out an inflammatory response when it detects fungus in the sinuses.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: This is one of those rare conditions that happens when a person is exposed to mold spores that result in the lungs being inflamed. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is often triggered by dust as well.
- Mold-induced asthma: Individuals who are allergic to the presence of black mold can trigger an asthma attack when they breathe in mold spores. Thats why its important to have an emergency plan at the ready at all times.
How Long Does It Take For Black Mold To Kill You
Black mold, or Stachybotrys atra, has a reputation for being fatal. This is due to reports that black mold was related to infant deaths in the 1990s. Its also been linked to the idea of sick building syndrome and is often called toxic black mold.
But theres no solid evidence proving that black mold is toxic. Black mold, and mold in general, is not deadly.
Still, black mold can cause unwanted side effects, especially those in people who are sensitive to mold. This includes people who are young, old, or have compromised immune systems.
Visit a doctor if you have:
- persistent sinus and nasal congestion
- frequent headaches
- unexplained skin irritation
- more frequent asthma attacks
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if mold is causing your symptoms. Many side effects of mold exposure are similar to other conditions, like seasonal allergies. Some symptoms also take time to appear.
Your best bet is to see a doctor, even if youre unsure your symptoms are related to mold. They can help you find relief.
The best way to treat mold exposure symptoms is to reduce exposure. Follow these tips:
- Avoid contact with moldy items or surfaces.
- Avoid damp rooms, like basements.
- Remove mold from the home by cleaning surfaces and drying damp areas.
- Increase ventilation by using a fan or opening windows.
- Reduce indoor humidity with a dehumidifier.
The length of time it takes for mold to leave your body will depend on your level of previous exposure.
- a musty, earthy odor
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Checking Your Home For Signs Of Mold
It is always beneficial to have a mold inspection completed if you think your illness could be caused by exposure to mold in the home. It may also help your physician quickly determine the cause of your symptoms. An experienced professional can thoroughly examine your home to see if mold is present and come up with a plan for further testing and/or remediation, if necessary.
In addition, mold removal may be able to reduce or eliminate your symptoms of tingling and numbness, so be sure to schedule a free in-home consultation with an experienced mold removal company in your area. They can look for signs of mold in your home and perform a clean and convenient removal, if needed. Let a professional evaluation provide you with expert advice at no-cost. Follow this link to find qualified mold removal professionals in your community. If you do need to have mold removed, be sure to ask your physician if it is safe for you to remain in your home during the removal process.
Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity
While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.
People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.
Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.
Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.
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How Can I Check For Mold
Its best to hire a professional to help you identify and remove mold, especially if youre allergic or vulnerable to it.
You should also consider hiring help if the mold covers more than 10 square feet or if its hidden behind wallpaper, ceiling tiles, or other areas.
Here are some steps for identifying and removing mold.
Measurement Of Fungal Products In The Patient’s Environment
Structural fungal materials
- Sampling of both indoor and outdoor air for mold spores provides a measure of potential exposures and can be useful in certain clinical conditions, but it has many shortcomings.
- Bulk, surface, and within-wall cavity measurement or molds or mycotoxins, although having potential relevance for other purposes, cannot be used to assess exposure.
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Quick Read With Spring Comes Mold
- Your bathroom, kitchen or basement are probably crawling in it right about now.
- Mold is not only gross to look atit can cause infections and allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to mold or have a compromised immune system.
- The best way to avoid mold issues to prevent it from thriving in your home.
At the tail end of a long rainy season, the Pacific Northwest is rewarded with cherry blossoms, camellias and magnolias in bloom. Its not all beautiful flowers, bright green grass and magical-looking moss, though. Rainy season also creates the perfect environment for moldsometimes lots of itto invade our homes.
Mold thrives in moist environments, such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements. And its more likely to come out during Seattles fall, winter and early spring months when its wet out and there is a more dramatic temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors, explains Brandon Kemperman, an occupational health and safety specialist for Environmental Health & Safety at the University of Washington. When its chilly and damp outside and toasty inside, condensation can form on surfaces in your homeespecially if there isnt adequate ventilationthat are ideal breeding grounds for mold.
Not only is mold less appealing to the eye than spring blooms, it also can destroy your belongings and may contribute to nagging allergy symptoms in some people.
Understanding The Health Problems Associated With Black Mold
While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce mycotoxins, the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous. However, that doesnt mean that certain types of toxic molds cant cause serious health problems. In fact, there are reports that Stachybotrys chartarum causes memory loss in adults in acute pulmonary hemorrhaging among infants. The sooner you have your home or business tested for black mold , the sooner the mold will be removed, and the less likely you will be to suffer from the following health problems.
Respiratory Difficulties People living in homes or working in businesses with toxic mold are exposed mainly through breathing in mold spores and mycotoxins in the air. Exposure to black mold can cause minor respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Long-term exposure can lead to more serious difficulties, including pulmonary edema and pulmonary hemorrhage .
Circulatory Difficulties The mycotoxins produced by black mold can be breathed in, ingested, or absorbed through a persons skin. After prolonged exposure, these mycotoxins find their way into the persons bloodstream. The circulatory difficulties stemming from black mold exposure include irregular heartbeat, heart inflammation, internal bleeding, and blood clots. If your doctor has diagnosed any such circulatory problems, schedule a mold inspection today.
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Coughing And Shortness Of Breath
The irritation and inflammation caused by mold often lead to frequent coughing that is otherwise unexplained.
The throat and lungs are irritated continuously when repeatedly exposed to mycotoxins. If the issue isnt addressed, this coughing can develop into more severe conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
The same inflammation that causes irritated, constricted airways that lead to wheezing and coughing can eventually lead to shortness of breath.
This gives a feeling of tightness in the chest. It may feel like you are unable to take in a full breath.
How To Treat Skin Rashes Caused By Toxic Mold Exposure
If a person has experienced an infection as a result of a rash caused by toxic mold exposure, oral antibiotics can be used to clear up the infection. However, in some cases, if the infection is too severe or doesn’t seem to respond to the oral antibiotics, a more intensive treatment like hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics is required.
If the rash has not yet caused an infection, antihistamines can be used to halt or decrease allergic responses. Antihistamines like Benadryl and Allegra can be bought over-the-counter. Antihistamine creams are also an option, and can be applied directly to the rash to relieve itching. Additionally, cool bath with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal is a simple home remedy believed to relieve itching and discomfort.
Eliminate The Source Of Mold
Mold can grow anywhere there is dampness. To reduce the risk of mold in your home or office, fix water leaks. Use fans to circulate the air and dry the area. Clean susceptible areas like bathrooms often and use ventilation fans to decrease the humidity in your home. When cleaning, make sure that you wear a mask to prevent the inhalation of mold spores. Once you finish cleaning moldy areas, wash your clothing immediately, and take a shower to prevent spreading mold spores throughout your home. If your home has been subjected to extensive water damage, contact a mold remediation specialist and have your home professionally cleaned. The cleaners may recommend carpets, draperies, and upholstery to be disposed of if they cannot be properly cleaned by the professional.
Mold can be several different colors, including green, black, and brown. Sometimes mold will appear as a spot and begin to grow. Mold has a musty, earthy smell. Mold can be hidden behind drywall, under carpets, or behind wallpaper. Routinely inspect your roof, basement, and crawl space for moisture. Check plumbing pipes, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms for any signs of mold. Routine inspections of these areas can prevent a large mold infestation. As soon as you notice the first traces of mold, use a mixture of bleach and water to clean the area, and destroy the mold spores.
How To Get Rid Of Mold
There are plenty of DIY mold removal options for you on the web some more effective than others. These may suffice if the problem is minor. After DIY treatment, it may be good to have an air quality test taken to determine the effectiveness of your work.
If the problem is more than minor, DIY methods will likely only remove the appearance of mold for a short time. If the problem is more serious, the best approach is to hire a certified and reputable local mold remediation company.
Most mold remediation companies will recommend demolition of the infected part of your home to get rid of mold, so keep in mind that you might have additional expenses to restore a portion of your house. Besides that, the process might take several days.
If you are looking into demolition-free mold removal, then look into the companies that use a dry fog technique. When properly done, this method not only kills mold without demolition to your home, but it also takes less than a day to complete.
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