New Study Shows Mold Triggers Brain Inflammation
Landlords dismiss it, friends and family think youre making it up, and doctors have no idea what youre talking about but mold illness is often an unsuspected trigger of chronic health problems. The recent revelation of a string pediatric deaths at a Seattle hospital due to mold in the air system brought national attention to the gravity of mold illness.
Newer construction methods and materials, water damage that was not properly addressed, high indoor humidity levels, and genetic susceptibility are all factors that play a role in whether a person becomes sick from mold. Estimates vary, but some research shows up to 85 percent of building inspected had past water damage.
A new study found that people affected by mold illness experienced:
- Brain inflammation in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that governs memory, learning, and the sleep-wake cycle.
- Impaired memory.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Increased anxiety.
The study also noted that the mold spore alone is not necessary to trigger mold reactions and mold illness. Weve long known that mycotoxins, toxic compounds produced by mold spores small enough to pass through most materials, are the primary trigger in mold illness.
The study also found that mold spore skeletal elements and other mold metabolites also cause symptoms of mold illness.
Can Mold Cause Headaches
How frequently do you get headaches? Are they a rare inconvenience that you sometimes contend with when youve spent too much time staring at your computer screen? Or are they a frequent issue that just seems to act up with little rhyme or reason?
At RealTime Laboratories, one question we sometimes get from clients is, Can mold cause headaches? The short answer is yes, headaches are a known symptom of toxic mold exposureincluding exposure to stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold. Of course, the longer answer is a little more complicatedbut its a lot more educational, to!
Does Mold Cause Headaches 5 Sure Signs Of Mold In Your Home
One of the last things you want to discover in your home is mold. Unlike other common home issues, mold is more difficult to fully get rid of and can go unnoticed for quite some time if you dont know what to look for.
If you dont catch mold early on, then itll continue to grow over the years. Living in a home with mold is especially dangerous for young children, older adults, and those with any kind of immunity disorder. One of the most common questions asked is does mold cause headaches and are headaches a sign of mold in the house?
Were here to answer these questions for you by listing a few sure signs that theres mold in the house and the possible cause of your headaches. Continue reading below for everything you need to know about keeping your home, yourself, and your family safe from mold1
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Seeing A Doctor For Cirs
If you have any of the above symptoms of CIRS, see a doctor right away. It is critical to seek medical advice as soon as possible, because unlike dealing with the flu or a cold, the effects of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome may not go away. In fact, ignoring the acute effects of the disease can lead to the development of chronic health illnesses, which can significantly affect you or your familys future quality of life.
Over time, the chronic effects of CIRS can lead to:
- Light sensitivity
- Appetite changes
- Metallic taste
The chronic symptoms of CIRS are alarming and could have a significant impact on your health. Therefore, it is not only important to treat your symptoms, but to also determine their cause as soon as possible. Make an appointment with your doctor to review how you are feeling. At your visit, your doctor will perform a medical exam, as well as discuss your health history for illnesses that cause CIRS and other forms of inflammation. They may also ask you if your immediate family members currently have or have ever had a condition like Lyme disease or cancer. In most cases, they will want a blood test to see if your body is reacting to inflammation. They will look for other reasons for your symptoms, including diabetes mellitus, liver disease, renal disease, and several autoimmune illnesses. They will also talk to you about your diet and home environment to determine if the cause is external.
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What Should I Do If I Suspect Mold In My House
Youll need to address the cause of the mold such as water damage, excessive condensation, poor ventilation, and so on. The best way to make sure you get rid of mold in your house is to hire a professional mold inspector. They will conduct a thorough examination of your home, and assess the molds that are present.
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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.
Can Black Mold Cause Respiratory Problems
In a residential setting, people are generally exposed to black mold through breathing in mold spores and mycotoxins. When ingested, mold spores have the potential to cause irritation and a burning sensation in air passages, such as the nasal cavity, mouth, and throat.
Some common symptoms for respiratory issues from black mold exposure include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Nose bleeds
- Runny, itchy, or stuffy nose
- Bleeding gums
- Burning sensation of the mouth
- Bleeding or swelling in the lungs
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Is It Safe To Live In A House With Black Mold
In short, yes. Exposure to black mold can be harmful in the long term, particularly in people with respiratory conditions and other risk factors. Black mold can be one of several different species of fungus, including Stachybotrys chartarum. Short term exposure to black mold is unlikely to cause harm in healthy people.
Does Mold Cause Headaches
If youve ever had a brush with household mold, you probably know that it can cause many health complications. Black mold as its called due to its dark color is closely linked to respiratory problems like throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, coughing, and wheezing. Mold can also affect the eyes, cause serious lung infections, and trigger asthma attacks. But does mold cause headaches, too?
According to a 2009 study, it might.
The authors of the study observed more than 800 office workers in the United States and tried to determine if certain environmental factors impact the occurrence of headaches. According to the results, mold was high on the list of culprits. Namely, the participants who worked in offices with higher levels of mold in the air were more prone to work-related headaches and migraines.
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Can Black Mold Affect 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.
If Mold Is Giving You Hives
If mold is giving you hives, you need to have all the mold removed from your home as soon as possible. While some homeowners prefer to handle mold removal themselves, its generally recommended that you avoid attempting to remove mold if you have mold-related illness or are allergic to mold. The process of removing mold stirs up mold spores, which are easily inhaled. In addition, the mold spores can easily spread to other areas of the home which can end up making a household mold problem worse instead of better, unless strict precautions are taken.
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Types Of Mold Sickness And Symptoms
Mold can be found almost everywhere, though it thrives in warm, humid environments. It spreads by releasing tiny spores that float through the air. Some types of mold also produce mycotoxins, microscopic organic compounds that can attach to mold spores and cause additional health effects when inhaled.
Mold exposure does not always cause adverse reactions, and different types of mold can cause a person to react in distinctly different ways. However, those who are sensitive to mold or have mold allergies may experience the following symptoms after exposure, according to the CDC:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Eye, throat or skin irritation
- Coughing or wheezing
Reactions may be more severe in those with:
- Mold allergies
- Weakened immune systems
- Chronic lung illnesses
If you are in one of the above groups, the CDC recommends staying away from likely sources of mold, such as wooded areas, compost piles and freshly-cut grass.
How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Trying to kill or remove toxic black mold yourself is not advisable. If not handled properly, you could end up disturbing the mold and releasing millions of spores and mycotoxins into the air. This could worsen you indoor air quality and cause damage to your home.
Since black mold is toxic, youre better off contacting a professional mold remediation company with experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Mold removal specialists will be able to accurately determine the extent of the mold infestation and can suggest the right course of action for your home. If you suspect that your home has black moldthat is, if you can see and/or smell it .
A healthy, mold-free home ensures a healthy, happy family.
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Treatment For Headaches And Migraines
See your doctor if you begin having problems that you havent had before, or if you begin having them more often than you have in the past or if they seem to be getting worse. Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen might help temporarily, though those kinds of medications usually arent strong enough to take care of a migraine. Your doctor can prescribe stronger medications if necessary, but if you continue to be exposed to mold, youll probably continue to have mold sickness symptoms and they may even get worse over time.
Strong prescription medications are often required to relieve a migraine, which carry the risk of serious side effects. Sometimes injections of pain medication are required. Other medications can be used to prevent migraine symptoms if they occur frequently, but that means taking prescription medications daily, which also carries the risk of side effects. And unfortunately, if you are experiencing migraine symptoms due to exposure to mold, preventative medications may not help much if you continue to be exposed to mold.
How Fast Does Black Mold Spread
Mold begins to grow as soon as its spores land on a damp, fibre-rich material and it can spread around the house within 24 to 48 hours. It colonizes in one to twelve days and grows at one square inch per day. In less than a week, it can cover surface areas of several square feet.
Unfortunately in most cases, mold is widespread and already a big problem before a problem is even suspected by the homeowners.
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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 Does Black Mold Affect A Child
What are the symptoms of black mold exposure in children? Children who are allergic to mold may show symptoms such as sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes, wheezing and coughing. Black mold exposure can also cause irritant reactions in sensitive children, such as skin irritations, eye irritations or headaches.
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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.
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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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.
Is Black Mold An Emergency
Reasons Black Mold Is Hazardous People who are around mold may start sneezing and coughing a lot. Their eyes may feel odd. They may start seeing strange rashes pop up on top of their skin. If you think that anyone in your home is affected by mold, then you have to seek emergency assistance from a doctor.
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How Is The Condition Treated
This is not like osteoarthritis, which may require treatment but is not a medical emergency. Fungal arthritis is an infection, a serious infection. Antifungal medications such as amphotericin B or Diflucan are typically prescribed, but often that is not enough. In many cases, a surgical procedure is required to drain the infected joint. You may need to see both an infectious disease specialist and an orthopedic surgeon for treatment.
In addition to getting the medical treatment you need, youll also need to make sure you are not exposed to further mold. If you contracted the infection via contaminated medication, your physician will need to attempt to track down the source of the contamination and notify the manufacturer of the medication. If, on the other hand, the fungal infection spread through your bloodstream to the affected joint, youll need to determine where you were exposed to mold in the first place and make sure no further exposure occurs.
What Are The Mental & Neurological Symptoms Associated With Black Mold Exposure
Black mold produces toxins that can kill neurons in the brain and can impair a persons mental faculties. Exposure to black mold toxins may cause mental & neurological conditions, like nervous disorders. Symptoms of mental & neurological effects of black mold exposure include altered behavior, mood swings, and irritability.
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Q: How To Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
A: Mold is one of the most common concerns of illness in homes, but often isnt the culprit. If you suspect that you or someone else has been exposed to mold, call your doctor immediately. The symptoms of mold exposure can mimic allergic reactions, include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, eye irritation, and nosebleeds.
How To Stay Safe When Working Around Black Mold
Although there are ways for homeowners to prevent black mold, many workers who are exposed are not able to do anything beforehand they often walk into a building or maintenance situation where its already present. This is the case when construction workers are on a job, contractors are surveying a site or manufacturers are in a facility. Those helping with mold remediation in any work environment should take safety precautions to limit potential black mold symptoms.
Any time you are working in an environment near black mold, wear personal protective equipment , including a respirator mask, gloves and goggles. The respirator helps reduce airborne exposure and prevent you from breathing in mold spores. OSHA requires fit testing for respirators worn on the job to ensure they are effective. Its also recommended to cover the rest of your body to avoid allergic skin reactions, rashes or other black mold symptoms.
Its vital to follow safety precautions anywhere black mold may be present. This typically includes work in a variety of industries, from construction and manufacturing to energy and engineering. PK Safety, the worker safety specialists, outlines the Department of Healths guidelines and specific mold remediation equipment types here. It covers different respirator mask models, recommend skin protection suits and more.
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