Air Conditioning And Heating
These systems change the level of moisture, dust, and germs in your home. Make sure yours is properly installed and serviced, and change filters regularly. You can even try a special HEPA filter that removes smaller particles from the air in your house. You may want to consider professional cleaning if mold builds up inside the air ducts, if dust and debris clog them up, or pests like mice or other rodents make them their home.
Watery And Itchy Eyes
Another warning sign of black mold poisoning is watery and itchy eyes.
Mycotoxins present in the air due to mold can easily enter your eyes. When the mycotoxins come into contact with the cells in your eyes, they cause your eyes to water and become itchy.
You may also notice your throat becoming itchy. This is a common issue related to black mold toxicity.
Other eye problems include inflammation in the eyes, soreness, bloodshot eyes and blurry vision, to name a few.
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Pains In The Nose And Face
The main reason that mold exposure may cause headaches is because, more often than not, mold spores can irritate the respiratory system and cause problems with the immune system, which can in turn aggravate the sinuses. And anyone who contends with seasonal allergies on a regular basis and/or is hyper-sensitive to changes in barometric pressure will tell you that irritated sinuses can result in a whopping headache.
Sinus headaches usually feel like dull, constant pressure in your cheekbones, your forehead, the bridge of your nose, or your inner ears. In severe cases, folks may almost feel like something is trying to push one of their eyes out of its socketand in very severe cases, a person may feel like their eye popping out would actually be a good thing, because at least then, they might experience some relief from the pressure in their skull!
The good news is that sinus headaches can typically be tamed with an over-the-counter painkiller, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Decongestants like pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine can help reduce swelling in the nasal passages , too, thus helping to reduce some of the pressure and curbing discomfort at its source.
Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Mold Toxicity That You Must Know
We live in a world of toxic-overload, and one of the biggest environmental health threats causing problems today is mold.
Mold is highly toxic for humans as well as pets. Mold can grow on anything as long as there is moisture and bacteria to feed it. In fact, you may unknowingly be living in a moldy house. Sometimes mold is visible, but many times it remains hidden behind walls, vents, shower tiles or wet ceilings.
Concern about indoor exposure to mold has increased, as more has been learned about the variety of health problems it can cause. There are thousands of mold species and several mold toxins that are associated with serious physical and mental disorders.
In fact, several organizations including the World Health Organization recommend prevention of mold growth in order to protect the health of building occupants and workers involved in mold cleanup and prevention.
Here are 10 warning signs and symptoms of mold toxicity that you must know.
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How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
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.
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How Can I Treat Mold & Mildew Allergies
Visit your healthcare provider or an ear, nose, and throat physician if you notice any of the above symptoms of a mildew allergy. Your doctor can work with you to develop a personalized allergy treatment plan that helps alleviate your symptoms. Some of the possible treatments for mold exposure include the following:
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays to eliminate inflammation
- Mold allergy shots to reduce the bodys reaction to the allergen
- Saline nasal rinses to clear your nasal passageway of allergens
- Antihistamines to reduce itchiness, running nose, and sneezing
Additionally, the following preventative measures can be taken to avoid mold and mildew exposure:
- Ensure your bathroom has proper airflow and ventilation
- Change your air filters as needed
- Do not place carpeting in bathrooms and basements
- Use an air conditioner
- Consider installing a high-efficiency particulate air filtration system
- Clean any areas that are damp
- Use a dehumidifier as needed
- Use proper outdoor drainage to move water away from your home
If you are suffering from mold and mildew reactions, the first step is to consult with a sleep health expert. Ear, nose, and throat specialists at eos sleep have extensive experience in treating ear, nose, and throat conditions as well as sleep-related problems. Call today or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or to learn more about eos sleep treatment options.
Signs Of Mold Illness
Mold is a big problem in most homes, but many people are unaware of the problem. Of course, everyone looks at the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement when he or she think about mold issues, but mold can grow just about anywhere.
Mold can be found in drywall, in the roof , and even in ones Christmas tree. One study found that Christmas trees can breed mold, quietly releasing millions of spores into the room causing winter allergies and asthma attacks. Studies have found that indoor air quality dropped six-fold over the 14 days a Christmas tree typically decorates a room.
There are 1,000 types of mold that can be found growing in the modern American home. Scientists classify these molds based on the effect they have on humans and other living things.
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A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
What Causes Black Mold
Molds are an important part of our environment. They decompose dead plants and animals. All types of mold will grow if the conditions are right. Mold grows and spreads quickly in the right conditions, which include:
- Moisture level at or over 70%
- Adequate food source
- Temperatures that range from 40 to 100 degrees F
Mold can grow anywhere in your house that provides these conditions. The most likely places mold will grow are:
- Anywhere that there has been a water leak.
- Damp rooms without adequate ventilation, such as bathrooms.
- Basements where humidity tends to be higher.
- Any areas with a lot of water condensation.
- Any areas where flooding has occurred.
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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.
Black Mold Is Toxigenic
Certain molds prove toxigenic, which means that they produce mycotoxins that cause ill health effects. A little mold is everywhere, but not all mold is poisonous. That doesnt mean you should ignore mold.
Most are familiar with black mold, which is toxigenic and produces mold spores. These form colonies and grow with other spores. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can cause mold poisoning in healthy people, too.
Mold poisoning is also known as mycotoxicosis. This condition affects the upper respiratory system with harmful cold or flu-like symptoms. Additional symptoms due to mycotoxins can prove fatal. Thats especially true for those with severe allergies, asthma or other conditions.
Green-black mold is also harmful. Its found on paper, dust, lint, fiberboard and other low-nitrogen content materials. It can develop and spread after water leaks, floods and condensation.
Until you know more, treat all molds the same due to the potential long-term side effects and health risks. Take mold growth seriously. You will usually see the mold colony and smell the signature musty smell.
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A Trigger In Your Household: Does Mold Cause Headaches
One in two people worldwide will experience a headache in any given year. Most of these are acute, which means that they normally last for a few hours and dont reoccur once gone. However, when they start recurring daily for more than 15 days in a given month, we can talk about chronic headaches.
Chronic headaches are usually caused by an underlying medical condition. Celiac disease, high blood pressure, and thyroid disorders can all cause severe headaches and migraines. The same is true of nutritional deficiencies, particularly a chronic lack of magnesium in the body.
Not all chronic headaches occur due to an existing medical condition, though. They can also be caused by environmental factors, unpleasant odors, as well as prolonged exposure to toxic materials.
Migraines And Chronic Headaches
Its worth mentioning that migraine headaches are often mistaken for sinus headaches . If you experience any of the following symptoms along with your sinus headache, then you might not actually be experiencing a true sinus headache, after all:
- Pulsing or throbbing pain
- Head pain that worsens with physical activity
Its important to understand the difference between a migraine and a sinus headache so that you can take appropriate action. For example, nasal decongestants can actually be habit-forming, so its really not a great idea to take them if your headaches arent caused by sinus issues. Also, if you suffer from chronic headachesthat is, you have 15 or more headache days per month for a period lasting longer than six months, then sinus issues may not be the culprit, either.
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Headaches Caused By Toxic Mold
Headaches, including migraines, are common mold sickness symptoms. Exposure to household mold can trigger a headache or migraine for many reasons. Sometimes they occur as a result of an allergic reaction to mold spores in the air. Sometimes its a result of sinus pressure caused by a sinus infection or inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nasal and sinus cavities, which is a common symptom of mold exposure. Sometimes its a response to toxic substances called mycotoxins which are produced by some types of mold.
How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
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What Are The Signs Of Mold In Your House
Musty smells are a tell-tale sign of mold. Another common indicator is visible signs of water damage.
As mentioned earlier, mold grows fast. Within 24 hours of a water leak, or a flood, mold will begin to take hold. This mold can grow on anything thats humid walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, and even wet laundry.
When there is a chance of mold, its important to have a professional in to test. Professionals qualified to do environmental investigations can:
- Check the surfaces of your house for mold
- Test the air for spores
- Help you to identify sources of moisture
- Identify where the mold is growing and help you decontaminate your house
- Use natural enzymes to kill mold spores
If you dont get rid of all sources of mold, you risk getting sick from it.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions For Mold
The best way to avoid mold in the home or workplace is to prevent its growth altogether. Because mold thrives in damp, warm environments, you can try:
- Keeping the relative humidity in your home between 30% and 50%.
- Checking high-moisture areas, such as window sills, under-sink cabinets and indoor plants, regularly for visible mold growth.
- Increasing ventilation in your homeespecially in high-moisture areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. You can do this by installing an exhaust fan, running your HVAC system or opening windows .
- Adding an air purifier to help remove mold spores from the air in your home. Make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions on cleaning and replacing the filters. The Molekule air purifier with proprietary PECO technology destroys mold spores that pass through the device, instead of trapping them within the unit.
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What Should I Do If I Have Any Of These Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Your first port of call is your doctor. He or she can rule out other health problems that might be causing your symptoms. Know that a physician cant diagnose mold exposure using just blood or urine tests. Youll need to have your home or workplace inspected by professionals. You might think that you can simply check with your family or colleagues to see if they exhibit similar symptoms. But unfortunately, some people are more sensitive to mold than others. So you might develop symptoms and the guy in the next cubicle is none the wiser.
Your doctor will prescribe a program of treatment. But there are things that you can do to help:
- Don a protective mask and gloves to clean any visible mold in your home.
- Report the mold to the building manager if its in your workplace.
- Keep on top of mold growth to stop it from releasing as many spores.
- Run a dehumidifier in the bathroom or kitchen to make them less attractive spaces for mold to grow.
- Once youve removed the visible mold, have your air ducts cleaned regularly.
If youve recently had mold removed from your home call Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning at 275-5556 or contact us online to schedule a duct cleaning service in Los Angeles! You need to make sure youre not simply transmitting mold spores around your home.
Health Issues Can Linger After Exposure
In 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information reported that 4.64 million cases of asthma in the U.S. are due to dampness and mold exposure. Other studies have found that chronic mold exposure can have a wide-ranging impact on multiple organ systems, including the respiratory and nervous system, as well as on cardiovascular and reproductive health.
Researchers also note there is strong evidence that early life exposure to damp environments, molds and mycotoxins during infancy and childhood can cause developmental delays, reduced cognitive function and immune dysfunction. Children who live in damp houses during infancy or early childhood have double the risk of a condition developing adenoid hypertrophy, an enlargement of tissue that often leads to ear, nose and throat issues.
In fact, the health battles can last long after someone leaves a moldy environment.
“Chronic exposure can lead to a long-term sensitization particularly in sensitive individuals,” said Jamie Lichtenstein, a biologist and professor who studies mold at Emerson College.
Kristina Baehr said she still develops a severe full body rash with even the smallest amount of exposure, but her biggest worry is how mold exposure will affect the long-term health of her children.
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