Getting Rid Of The Damp And Mould
Get rid of the mould and damp. You may be able to do this yourself, or you may need help from a professional.
The building may need repair work to make sure there are no water leaks causing problems with dampness.
Heating and ventilation are both very important.
Make sure that the building is well-ventilated – either by regularly opening windows, or by using a fan ventilation system. When showering, bathing or cooking, open a window, use an extractor fan and close the bathroom or kitchen door.
A dehumidifier may also help to reduce the amount of water vapour in the air.
You should also avoid drying clothes by hanging them up indoors, as this adds moisture to the air. Use a tumble dryer or hang up laundry to dry outdoors instead. If drying your clothes indoors is your only option, use a dehumidifier in the room.
Keep the building at a suitable temperature. The World Health Organization recommends between 16-20°C in bedrooms, and between 19-22°C in the rest of the house. When away from the building, keep the temperature above 15°C.
Once damp has been dealt with, it is time to remove mould.
Fabrics close to the source of mould could be contaminated. All affected items will need to be disinfected or, preferably, replaced.
Is Everyone Vulnerable To Mold Exposure
Sometimes inhaling or touching mold or mildew may have hazardous health effects. But, everyone may not be adversely affected by molds. People who have other allergies or existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or other lung diseases are more susceptible to the effects of mold exposure. Also, those with an impaired or weakened immune system will have severe reactions to molds.2 Pregnancy, autoimmune disease, AIDS, or diabetes are medical conditions that can weaken your immune system. Infants, small children, and elderly people are also vulnerable to mold contamination.3
Some Symptoms Of Aspergillosis
Wondering if you or a loved one may be affected by aspergillosis? While a diagnosis from a doctor is essential for getting needed treatment, its possible to identify aspergillosis by recognizing common early symptoms including:
- Difficulty exercising
Obviously, people with prior lung issues like asthma, COPD, and lung cancer may already experience all of these symptoms and more. However, with aspergillosis, these symptoms may get worse. In any case, its best to get an accurate diagnosis from an experienced physician. This way, you can understand what you can expect as far as treatment. And, get the medical attention you need to get better.
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How Can You Tell If Mold Is Making You Sick
It can be hard to distinguish common mold exposure symptoms from those of an infection or a more serious condition. Many of these illnesses share a lot of the same side effects, and you may not be able to tell that youre sick until several days after exposure.
While most healthy people may only experience the temporary symptoms listed above, those with more compromised or weakened immune systems are at a greater risk of becoming sick after mold exposure. People in this group include the elderly, pregnant women, babies, young children and those with chronic health conditions.
There are a few serious illnesses that can be caused by mold exposure, but each usually has its own telltale symptoms that separates it from the others. Remember: the most common sign of an infection is a fever, so check your temperature regularly if you fear you may be sick.
These are just a few examples of illnesses that can be caused by molds:
- Aspergillosis an infection that typically comes after exposure to molds in the aspergillus family. These molds are often found in decaying vegetation, such as dead leaves, compost piles and stored grain. People who have gone through chemotherapy, had an organ transplant or have compromised lungs are the most likely demographic to contract aspergillosis. Common side effects include coughing , fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing, chills, shock or kidney/liver problems.
Medical Treatment For Mold On The Lungs
The most common type of treatment for lungs that incur microbial growth is anti-fungal medicine. It usually involves taking prescription medication whether it be in pill or liquid form. Some of the names of the medications that are usually used are:
Anti-fungal medication is generally for the mildest cases.
Another option which is for the mod severe cases of a condition which we will get more into below called Aspergillosis is to have surgery. Surgery can be risky and can even involve removing a lung which is the last resort option.
I know, scary stuff!
At least we have two lungs right? Truth is, you can actually breathe perfectly fine with just one functioning lung.
Boosting The Immune System
While this can be done with many types of diseases, boosting the immune system can help fight infections that are associated with mold growing on the lungs.
Boosting the Immune System can involve any type of medication that raises your white blood cells which is essential in helping you fight off diseases and infections.
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Watery Or Irritated Eyes
When allergens are present, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response. This histamine release is what causes the eyes to water excessively when exposed to toxins from mold.
This reaction from histamine may be the bodys way of flushing out allergens and toxins. It can serve as a warning to you that your environment may contain dangerous black mold.
Sneezing And Nasal Congestion
While many things can trigger sneezing, its also a symptom of mold toxicity that should get your attention. If youve never had allergies or hay fever symptoms and youre positive you dont have a cold, those sneezes could be indicative of mold exposure.
Sneezing is the immune systems standard response to allergens. It could also be a warning sign that your home has a mold problem.
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How Can I Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Mold
There is no cure for allergies. But you can reduce your allergy symptoms by avoiding contact with the mold spores. Several measures will help:
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Outside
- Limit your outdoor activities when mold counts are high. This will lessen the amount of mold spores you inhale and your symptoms.
- Wear a dust mask when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials.
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Inside
- Use central air conditioning with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter attachment. This can help trap mold spores from your entire home. Freestanding air cleaners only filter air in a limited area. Avoid devices that treat air with heat, electrostatic ions or ozone.
- Lower your indoor humidity. No air cleaners will help if excess moisture remains. If indoor humidity is above 50%, fungi will thrive. A hygrometer is a tool used to measure humidity. The goal is to keep humidity below 45%, but below 35% is better. If you have to use a humidifier, clean the fluid reservoir at least twice a week to prevent mold growth. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can also be a source of mold.
- Prevent mold and mildew build up inside the home. Pay close attention to mold in bathrooms, basements and laundry areas. Be aggressive about reducing dampness.
To Reduce Mold in Your Bathrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Kitchen:
To Reduce Mold in Your Laundry Area:
To Reduce Mold in Your Bedrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Basement:
What Is Farmers Lung Disease And What Are The Symptoms
There is a name for this sensitivity to mold and its known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, or HP. The HP develops over time, and Farmers Lung is the most common form. Its a serious allergic reaction to mold spores in the air, often found in crops and hay. The mold spores become attached to the dust particles and are inhaled while farmers work with crops. Farmers can inhale up to 750,000 spores a minute!
Symptoms are most severe immediately after contact and continue if treatment is delayed. Those who work around potentially moldy crops are more susceptible to Farmers Lung disease. These cases account for over 30% of adults disabled by respiratory illness.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Mold In My House
First, you need to fix the problem thatâs leading to dampness. If you donât, the mold will come back.
For areas bigger than 10 square feet, you may want to call in a pro.
For smaller areas, youâll have to throw out anything thatâs soft or can soak up water, like carpets, drywall, and ceiling tiles.
On hard surfaces, scrub with a stiff brush or cleaning pad along with a general-purpose detergent in hot water. Then rinse with water and let completely dry.
The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center: âAllergy and Asthma in the Southwestern United States.â
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: âMold Allergy.â
University of Minnesota Extension: âMolds — Your Safe Home.â
NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Toxicology Program: âMold.â
NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: âMold.â
Mayo Clinic: âChronic Sinusitis,â âPulmonary Fibrosis.â
Merck Manual, Consumer Version: âAspergillosis.â
Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: âBy the way, doctor: Do mold spores cause lung cancer?â
British Lung Foundation: âCauses of Pulmonary Fibrosis.â
National Poison Control Center: âMold 101: Effects on Human Health.â
Rhode Island Department of Health: âSome Facts About Mold.â
Connecticut Department of Public Health: âMold in the Home: Health Concerns.â
NIH, National Cancer Institute: âAflatoxins.â
Food Standards Agency: âMycotoxins.â
Can Black Mold Cause Fungal Pneumonia
Exposure to mold can lead to allergic reactions, asthma attacks and even pneumonia, although pneumonia as a result of mold exposure is rare, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Infections can also occur in people whose immune systems are weakened.
Similarly, can you get fungal pneumonia from mold?
Fungal pneumonia is an infectious process in the lungs caused by one or more endemic or opportunistic fungi. Fungal infection occurs following the inhalation of spores, after the inhalation of conidia, or by the reactivation of a latent infection.
Additionally, can mold affect your eyes? Exposure to mold can cause a variety of symptoms. Sensitive people who have touched or inhaled mold or mold spores may have allergic reactions such as a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash and itching . Such infections can affect the skin, eyes, lungs or other organs.
Beside this, what are the symptoms of mold in your lungs?
Exposure to Aspergillus fumigatus mold can cause an infection/reaction called aspergillosis in some people. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest pain and fever.
If the disease progresses, symptoms may include:
- Coughing, sometimes accompanied by mucus or blood.
- Difficulty breathing.
Can black mold cause COPD?
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How Can Mold On The Lungs Be Treated
So heres the thing:
I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be. This information cannot be treated as medical advice.
Now that we got that out of the way I am going to give you what I know about how doctors treat it and then I will give you some lifestyle tips that may help you.
But first things first:
Before you can have mold treated on your lungs you first need to be diagnosed. Medical professionals can generally determine if you have mold growing on your lungs by taking samples of tissue and or blood tests. Sometimes even tissue from a piece of your lung can be investigated to determine if mold growth is present or not.
How Do I Know If There Is A Problem In My Building
If you are worried that there may be a problem with mould and damp in your home, workplace or school, look out for the following:
Age of building damaged, older buildings may be more likely to have problems with damp due to issues like rising damp or leaks. On the other hand, new buildings may also have damp due to condensation, or if the water used during building is still drying out.
Wet basement this could be a sign of rising damp.
Water damage due to leaks.
Visual signs or smells of mould and damp.
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How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:
- What type of mold they are exposed to,
- How long the exposure has been,
- How well their bodies eliminate toxins
Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.
Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.
Fungus In Your Lungs What Is Fungal Lung Disease
The number of people suffering from fungal lung disease in on the rise. Up until now, fungal infections were most common in certain geographical areas such as South and Central America and Africa, where the fungus is more prevalent. In addition, people with a suppressed immune system are also at a greater risk.
Normally, bacteria or viruses cause lung disease but in recent times fungi have also emerged. As more and more people are living with immune system issues, the number of people contracting fungal lung disease is on the up.
The fungus enters the body by inhalation where most peoples immune system is strong enough to fight infection. However, people with a weakened immune system may contract fungal lung disease. This includes people suffering from cancer, autoimmune disease, or any other serious condition.
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Mycotoxins Damage Your Health
Mycotoxins are sneaky. While mold itself cant enter your bloodstream though it can hang around and colonize in spots like your nostrils and lungs mycotoxins can get into your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body.
These opportunistic toxins can hijack your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections. If your immune system is already compromised , mycotoxins take advantage. If youre healthy, they can make you very sick.
Studies show that mycotoxins can:
Unfortunately, mold toxicity is frequently misdiagnosed. Because of its wide-ranging effects, its typically mistaken for other conditions including depression, multiple sclerosis, or autoimmune conditions. Plus, because mycotoxins are opportunistic, theyre often connected with debilitating diseases such as Lyme disease, IBS and fibromyalgia.
Your Genes Can Make You More Vulnerable
Around 25% of people are genetically predisposed to get sick from mold exposure. A simple test, called the HLA-DR, can tell you if youre in that more susceptible population.
If you are, it means your immune system cant easily identify and get rid of mycotoxins. That can allow them to build up in the body, causing harm wherever they end up. On top of that, because of that genetic twist, even relatively small exposures to mycotoxins can affect you.
When To See The Doctor
It is possible to mistake your symptoms for a cold, flu, asthma or pneumonia. It is important to help your doctor make the right diagnosis by disclosing any information of whether you were exposed to mold. As soon as you notice any of the above symptoms, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical help as it can lower the chances of serious infection. Mold in the lungs can cause other serious health problems in the future, if it is not addressed in time. During your visit, your doctor may perform several tests to confirm or disprove a diagnosis. Blood tests are used to measure your immune systems response to mold and a skin prick test is used to check reactions to common allergens.
It is important to take precautionary measures to prevent exposure to mold. Stay away from places that you are likely to be exposed to mold. Lung infections can develop into life-threatening conditions if no proper treatment is provided. If you experience any symptoms related to mold-illness, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention to prevent your symptoms from worsening.
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Common Symptoms But An Often Unrecognized Cause
Gerard came to my office after his doctor had failed to find the cause of his pulmonary fibrosis.
How could this have happened? It cant just come out of nowhere, doctor, he said to me.
I asked my usual questions about medications that can trigger scar tissue, autoimmune diseases that act as culprits and can inflame the lungs, and about family members who might have had a similar condition. No answers there.
Then I asked him about his home.
Gerard and Priscilla had been living in their apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for the past 15 years. Five years ago, a pipe broke in their kitchen, causing massive flooding and water damage. Then, two years ago, flooding from another apartment damaged a wall in their bedroom. This was right around the time his cough began. They had never linked the two events in their minds.
We looked at his CAT scan together. There was plenty of scar tissue, but there was also a subtle, telltale sign of the cause of his pulmonary fibrosis: The smallest of the airways the bronchioles were diseased.
This told me that something in the air was at fault. Gerard had been breathing it in, first injuring the bronchioles, then spreading the damage out to the walls of the air sacs.
What Is A Mold Allergy
If you have an allergy that occurs over several seasons, you may be allergic to the spores of molds or other fungi. Molds live everywhere. Upsetting a mold source can send the spores into the air.
Mold and mildew are fungi. They are different from plants or animals in how they reproduce and grow. The seeds, called spores, travel through the air. Some spores spread in dry, windy weather. Others spread with the fog or dew when humidity is high.
Inhaling the spores causes allergic reactions in some people. Allergic symptoms from fungus spores are most common from July to early fall. But fungi grow in many places, both indoors and outside, so allergic reactions can occur year round.
Although there are many types of molds, only a few dozen cause allergic reactions. Many molds grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, in compost piles and on grasses and grains. Unlike pollens, molds do not die with the first killing frost. Most outdoor molds become inactive during the winter. In the spring they grow on plants killed by the cold. Indoors, fungi grow in damp areas. They can often be found in the bathroom, kitchen or basement.
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