How Do I Know If My Cough Is From Mold
Coughing. Another one of the most immediate symptoms of a mold allergy is a dry and scratchy throat, prompting a nagging cough. In some cases, mold can cause heavier coughs as well. Mucus and histamine production can lead to persistent coughing as your body tries to clear the throat of mucus buildup.
How To Cure Mold Related Asthma Symptoms
If youve ever experienced the effects of the persistent and hazardous micro-organism called mold, then you already know how unpleasant and debilitating these effects can be.
The very first step in doing away with your symptoms is to find the and the have it removed.
In most cases, mold problems can be traced back to some sort of moisture problem since water is the leading factor contributing to fungal growth. So, begin with detecting the problematic areas in your home. These areas most often include the kitchen sink, leaking toilets, condensation around windows and cracks in the foundation. Also keep an eye on areas that are poorly insulation and more humid.
In some cases, areas that are contaminated with mold are easily identified theyre unsightly, attract dust and release unpleasant odours. Once youve identified them, the next step is fixing them in an efficient manner.
Unless you are lucky enough to possess specialized equipment and knowledge of proper mold remediation procedures, your best option is calling a team of mold removal experts. Not only are they well equipped with all the latest equipment, but they also have years of first-hand experience dealing with all types of mold problems. Theyll be able to pinpoint with certainty the source of the mold contamination and plan for a strategic remediation. Also, theyll ultimately be able to minimize your risk of future mold growth.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Mold Allergy
If you have symptoms you think are related to mold, call your provider. They can treat your symptoms and may want to do allergy testing.
If you do have asthma or other breathing problems, and you suspect you have an allergy to mold, contact your provider. If you have any type of severe breathing problem, call 911 or go to an emergency room.
If your mold allergy is confirmed, make sure that you follow the instructions of your provider. You may need to carry an epinephrine injector if you have severe reactions to mold. This type of medicine treats life-threatening allergic reactions.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Allergies are common conditions. If you have them, it means you react differently to certain substances than other people do. The best thing to do is avoid what youre allergic to. Among people with allergies, an allergy to mold or other environmental substances happens to 1 in 5 people. Many allergic reactions to mold are similar to the types of reactions you have to other allergens like pet dander or dust. You may have itchy eyes or skin, and your nose might run. Some reactions to mold are more dangerous, like when it acts as an asthma trigger. Keep in contact with your healthcare provider to know the best ways to treat your mold allergy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/10/2022.
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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.
Technical Problems In Determining Fungal Exposure
Difficulties in measuring fungal organisms.
A final problem in measuring fungal organisms in the indoor environment relates to selective sampling. As noted above, Stachybotrys species rarely exist in isolation. They are often present in settings which select for a host of other fungal species and their potential mycotoxins, as well as bacteria, mycobacteria, arthropods, and man-made organic chemicals. However, most studies cited below have used methods that preferentially select for Stachybotrys species and mycotoxins. Of more immediate scientific and medicolegal concern, many studies of purportedly affected housing are surveying only for Stachybotrys species while ignoring other organisms .
Difficulties in measuring mycotoxins.
Morphology of S. chartarum. Representative section of damaged wallboard. Note the areas of black discoloration. Pure culture of S. chartarum, initially obtained from contaminated wallboard . Higher-power view of the same culture as in panel B . Scanning electron micrograph of conidia at the tip of a conidiaphore. Scanning electron micrograph of mature conidia. Slime has been removed by scanning electron microscope processing. Panels D and E are reprinted from Nelson, with permission.
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How Can I Be Exposed To Mold
People are exposed to molds every day, usually by touching or breathingthem. Because molds naturally exist outdoors and indoors, living in a totallymold-free environment is practically impossible. As molds grow, spores can bereleased into the air where they can be easily inhaled. People who inhale largenumbers of spores may get sick. Possible health concerns are an importantreason to prevent mold growth and to clean up molds in indoor environments.
What Are Signs Of Mold In Your House
What are the signs of mold?
- It has a musty, earthy smell.
- Theres a nearby source of moisture, but not much light.
- You see warping, cracking, or peeling of whatever material its growing on.
- A drop of bleach lightens its color in a minute or two.
- Unchecked, mold will continue to grow. Dirt and old stains wont.
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Who Does Mold Allergy Affect
Molds can irritate everyone, regardless of whether you’re allergic to them. But the effects are generally worse for certain groups of people who have compromised immune systems due to disease or medication.
Risk factors for developing an allergy to mold include:
- Having a family or personal history of allergies.
- Having a respiratory condition like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
- Being exposed to mold over a long period of time due to your job or to living in a humid house or a building with poor ventilation.
Does Mold Cause Cancer
There is no evidence linking indoor exposure to black mold or any other type of mold with cancer. Mold is associated with other health problems, though.
Mold can be found anywhere theres moisture. Mold spores travel in the air, so spores can find their way inside homes and other buildings. Most of us breathe some in every day without any problems.
In high concentrations, or with long-term exposure, mold can aggravate allergies and asthma, and cause upper respiratory symptoms.
Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. People with certain pre-existing health conditions can have serious problems due to mold.
Continue reading for more information on black mold, other types of mold, and whos at risk.
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What About Toxic Mold
Some molds do make toxins, but scientists donât actually call them âtoxicâ molds. That name came more from the news than science. Two of the more well-known types are Stachybotrys and Aspergillus.
Stachybotrys. Better known as black mold, this one gets a lot of press. But thereâs no research that shows a definite link between its toxins and serious illness.
That doesnât mean itâs not a concern, but itâs often blamed without real proof. Researchers are still trying to understand if and how it affects people.
Black mold isnât rare, but itâs also not very common. And it needs a lot of moisture to grow. So even if you have black-colored mold in your bathroom, itâs not likely this one.
It grows on food, like corn, peanuts, and even coffee beans. Thereâs never been an outbreak of sickness from aflatoxins in the U.S. Thatâs because the U.S. and many other countries test their foods for it. And food makers treat for it before it reaches you. At low levels, itâs just not an issue.
What Does Mold Do To Your Brain
Inflammation: Mold spores act as irritants, which can trigger the body to mount an immune response. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the brain can impair cognitive function, and in the case of chronic inflammation, this can lead to long-lasting cognitive impairment.
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Problems With Clinical Studies
Such findings may explain the confusing results of earlier studies. For example, some authors have claimed links between childhood asthma and damp, moldy housing . While retrospective questionnaires reported more wheezing, cough, and chest cold symptoms in children from affected houses, the degree of bronchospasm was not different between groups. Thus, despite the claim that there was a causal association between moldy houses and wheezing, there was no supporting objective evidence. Some studies which claim that moisture and mold were associated with respiratory infections, cough, and wheezing also fail to show differences in asthma prevalence between case and control schools . Other authors report that despite claims of symptoms being more prevalent in case groups , actual asthma prevalence was no different .
Navigating All Of The Confusing And Concerning Information About Black Mold Is Hard But Were Here To Tell You The Truth
Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.
Few topics get us more upset than seeing misinformation publicized about toxic black mold, and mold in general, by unscrupulous companies and zealous media articles that seem more interested in sensationalism than fact-based reporting.
When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.
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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.
Know The Risks About Molds And Cancer
Of all the toxic substances that may lead to cancer, mold is one of the sneakiest and, unfortunately, also one of the most insidious. If you are just learning about the silent sickness that mycotoxic exposure can cause, this brief primer will get you started.
Mold Toxins 101
While even mainstream organizations recognize the risk for lung cancer with mold exposure, in truth that is just the tip of the iceberg. Studies
have also connected long-term mold exposure to liver, urinary tract and kidney cancer as well as bladder and thyroid cancer anecdotally.
Over time, mold exposure can seriously wear the body down and lead to other documented conditions such as brain swellings, Multiple Sclerosis, digestive issues, heart problems, fibromyalgia and autoimmune disease, all risk factors for breast cancer. A large number of individuals exposed to mold may first display neurological complications such as brain fog, anxiety depression, memory loss and neuropathy. In some studies, the percentage has been as high as 70%.
#1 Aflatoxin. The National Cancer Institute has connected exposure to this highly-dangerous mycotoxin to a high risk of liver cancer. Aflatoxin is found mostly in corn and tree nuts, especially peanuts.
What You Can Do
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Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Symptoms of mold exposure can include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Sneezing / Sneezing fits
Health effects linking to asthma
Adverse respiratory health effects are associated with occupancy in buildings with moisture and mold damage. Infants may develop respiratory symptoms due to exposure to a specific type of fungal mold, called Penicillium. Signs that an infant may have mold-related respiratory problems include a persistent cough and wheeze. Increased exposure increases the probability of developing respiratory symptoms during their first year of life. Studies have shown that a correlation exists between the probability of developing asthma and increased exposure to Penicillium. The levels are deemed âno moldâ to âlow levelâ, from âlowâ to âintermediateâ, and âintermediateâ to âhighâ.
Mold exposures have a variety of health effects depending on the person. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Exposure to mold can cause several health issues such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough, and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases. Exposure to mold may also cause heightened sensitivity depending on the time and nature of exposure. People at higher risk for mold allergies are people with chronic lung illnesses and weak immune systems, which can often result in more severe reactions when exposed to mold.
Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
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Mold Symptoms: Is Mold Making Me Sick
No one wants to think about mold growing in their home, but since the side effects of mold exposure can be serious, its something you cant ignore. Symptoms are wide ranging, and since mold often grows out of sight, it can be difficult to pinpoint mold as the cause. Check out this symptoms checklist to see if you might have mold growing in your home.
Disclosure: The symptoms listed here are for general informative purposes only. Speak with your doctor for specific medical advice relating to any unexplained symptoms you have.
I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family
There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.
Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.
There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
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Is There A Test To Determine If I Have Been Exposed To Mold
Some physicians have recommended testing for mold-specific antibodies. Thepresence of antibodies only indicates that you have been exposed to a substanceat some time. It does not tell you when you were exposed, where the exposuretook place, or how much of the mold you were exposed to. Having a positive testfor mold-specific antibodies alone is generally considered insufficient toprove that health effects reported by individuals in moisture-damaged buildingsare caused by exposure to mold.
The Truth About Toxic Mold
Concern about toxic mold is increasing with heightened public awareness that exposure can cause serious health problems- and even death. However, all molds, toxic or not, should be of concern when they persist at elevated levels indoors.
Mold affects both the home and workplace environment, compromising the structural integrity of buildings and the health of those inside.
Recent claim settlements have reached high into the millions-the most notorious case being a $32 million settlement in Austin, Texas, which was later reduced to a $4 million verdict.
The heath effects associated with mold vary depending on the type of mold and the person exposed. Immuno-altered and immuno-compromised individuals are at a much higher risk of suffering health effects. Exposure to mold, via skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation, can result in allergic reactions, infections, or toxic effects. The associated symptoms range from a rash and cold and flu-like effects to neurological damage and even death.
In some cases, indoor mold growth may not be obvious. Mold can grow on hidden surfaces, such as the backside of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Some building materials, such as vinyl wallpaper may act as a vapor barrier, trapping moisture beneath the surface and thereby providing a moist environment where mold can grow on the wallboard or wood paneling underneath.
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