Why Does Exposure To Mold Cause Fatigue
Exposure to mold can cause you to feel very tired for many reasons. Respiratory problems like pneumonia can actually limit the amount of oxygen you can take in, which makes you feel tired. Symptoms like coughing and wheezing can keep you awake at night, causing you to feel tired the next day. Low energy is a common symptom of many illnesses and infections, so if you have a sinus infection, bronchitis or pneumonia related to mold exposure, that can make you tired. A couple of studies, including one conducted by researchers at the Brown University School of Medicine and one conducted by researchers at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, found a link between exposure to mold and depression, and lack of energy is a common symptom of depression. Some researchers have linked mold exposure to conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, symptoms of which include exhaustion.
Can Mold On Clothes Make You Ill
Mold has dangerous health effects that should not be ignored. Though your bodys reactions to mold depend on the amount of mold growing in your home, and the sensitivity of your current state of health, the presence of mold has long-term adverse health effects.
The Aspergillus species of mold on clothes can easily be inhaled by people and has been known to cause respiratory problems, like coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and even fever. For those who are particularly susceptible, like children, the elderly, or asthmatics, the consequences can be serious.
Other types of mold on clothes can cause skin allergies and rashes, if you are particularly sensitive. You can also suffer from fatigue, headaches, and dizziness caused by mold on clothes.
The long-term effects of having mold on clothes, and in your home, can lead to a weakened immune system and recurring ill-health that could indirectly lead to severe infections like tuberculosis, and thus must be remedied as quickly as possible.
How To Stop Constant Coughing From Allergies
Indoor or outdoor, seasonal or year-round, all types of allergies can potentially cause constant coughing. Along with a runny nose, sneezing and watery and itchy eyes, allergic cough can be disruptive and annoying. Coughing associated with allergies is often caused by postnasal drip, when mucus from your nose runs down the back of the throat. Allergic asthma may also cause persistent coughing 2. With this type of asthma, symptoms are triggered by exposure to allergens, such as pollen, dust mites and mold spores.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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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 Do I Know If I Have Been Exposed To Mold
How are mold allergies and exposure diagnosed?
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What Is Black Mold
Stachybotrys chartarum is a common black mold. It can also be a greenish color. It grows on cotton, wood, and paper products. It sometimes produces toxic chemicals that are found in its airborne spores and fungus fragments.
These are called mycotoxins and are dangerous if they’re eaten. There’s no link to inhaled Stachybotrys chartarum mycotoxins and deadly diseases. But there are risks for people with allergies, asthma, and other hypersensitivities.
There is no evidence that black mold causes symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, an inability to focus, or a headache. These symptoms have been referred to as “toxic mold syndrome” but are largely due to media hype. Yet some people are allergic to mold. It should always be removed from your home.
Getting Professional Assistance And Advice
We recommend calling in a mold remediation professional for a free home inspection and consultation. He or she will make sure all areas of mold in your home have been located, which is important since mold often grows in hard-to-find places like inside heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts, inside walls and under flooring. He or she will advise you about the work that needs to be done in order to make your home mold-free and safe again. To locate mold remediation professionals in your area, follow the link.
Since the initial inspection and consultation are free, you can get some helpful professional advice at no cost even if you plan to handle the cleanup job yourself. However, if youre suffering from exhaustion related to mold exposure, you may not have the energy to do the work yourself since mold remediation is often a complex, involved job. We also suggest checking with your doctor to make sure its safe for you to handle mold removal yourself and to make sure it wont exacerbate your symptoms.
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How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
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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Testing For Mould In Your Home
Where mould is visible, it is generally not considered necessary to test for it in the home. However, not all mould is visible, as contamination may be in cavities or the ceiling. Generally, if you can see or smell mould, you need to clean up and remove the mould immediately, as mould can damage surfaces it grows on.
If you suspect mould contamination but cannot find the source of the problem, or if you have already taken measures to prevent mould from growing and you are still having problems, you could employ an occupational hygienist or environmental health and safety professional. For a fee, these professionals can provide specialist mould testing and consultancy services.
The Truth About Toxic Mold
You may have heard news reports about “toxic” molds like Stachybotrys chartarum, which has been blamed for everything from runny noses to potentially fatal pulmonary hemorrhage during the past decade. A few molds do produce chemical toxins called mycotoxins, but you’d need to swallow them to get sick. “In order for inhaled mold to pose a serious health risk from mycotoxins, you would have to be in a very, very heavily contaminated building,” says Dr. Stuart Abramson.
But the CDC is still urging caution. According to its comprehensive study, any type of mold can cause symptoms if you’re exposed to large quantities of it for long periods of time, even if it’s not considered to be “toxic.” Children and adults who suffer from mold allergies or lung diseases are the most vulnerable.
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Our Air Quality Solution For Mold
Though more research is needed to support mold sensitivity in the scientific community, prolonged exposure to indoor mold in your home is unhealthy for everyone, regardless if you have a mold allergy or suspect a mold sensitivity. After taking steps to prevent visible mold growth, mold spores can be addressed by an air purifier. Our solution, the Molekule PECO technology, was developed over 20 years to address many of the common concerns of indoor air quality, including airborne mold. In addition to common indoor air pollutants like VOCs, pollen and dust mites, PECO technology is the only one that can reliably destroy mold particles, including fragments, spores and mycotoxins. Keeping airborne mold to a minimum can help you and your family breathe clean air.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
To keep mold allergy symptoms at bay, take these measures:
- Sleep with your windows closed to keep out outdoor mold. The concentration of airborne mold spores tends to be greatest at night, when the weather is cool and damp.
- Wear a dust mask over your nose and mouth to keep mold spores out if you have to rake leaves, mow your lawn or work around compost.
- Avoid going outdoors at certain times, such as immediately after a rainstorm, in foggy or damp weather, or when the published mold count is high.
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What Do We Know About How Mold Affects Our Bodies
Mold is a fungi that releases microscopic airborne spores. Some molds are commonly found in households and may release spores and other particles into the air. If you have a mold allergy, it means that your body is sensitive to molds. When you breathe in airborne mold particles, your immune system may react and start trying to fight off the mold. The antibodies produced, including histamine, when your body tries to fight off the mold can cause hay fever-type symptoms, including:
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- Throat irritation
- Skin rash
An allergic reaction to mold may happen immediately after exposure, or it may be delayed. Mold allergy symptoms and their severity will vary from person to person, depending on the type and severity of his or her allergy. For example, some people only experience mold allergy symptoms during certain weather conditions. Additionally, outdoor molds may only cause allergic reactions during certain seasons, but indoor mold, such as black mold, can cause reactions all year round.
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
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How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is typically black or dark green and often linked to serious health problems.
In fact, black mold exposure can lead to poisoning, or stachybotryotoxicosis a condition thats dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Even though black mold poisoning typically affects horses, cows, and pigs, humans can become infected if they inhale or ingest the spores.
Symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis include skin rashes , throat and sinus irritation, burning eyes, and a decrease in the production of white blood cells.
Why Mold Causes Problems
Molds alone dont usually cause many health problems. Its when they land on damp surfaces and reproduce that you feel their nasty health effects.
Mold spores produce allergens substances that can cause you to have allergic reactions resulting in hay-fever-like symptoms: itchy, red eyes, runny nose and asthma. If these persist, you can develop respiratory infections. Its rare, but exposure to mold spores can eventually cause organ damage, cognitive difficulties and even death.
Whats more, mold spores can irritate your lungs even if youre not allergic to mold. When introduced to your body, spores irritate your airways in your nose, mouth and throat, Dr. Ibrahim says. They can also cause burning and bleeding if they become lodged in your mucus membranes, such as in your sinuses and lungs.
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Can Mold Cause Hives And Itching
Some people are allergic to mold, though. Their immune systems react to mold as if its a harmful substance and launch an immune response that can trigger many unpleasant symptoms, including hives. Allergies to outdoor mold often occur seasonally, like during the rainy season.
Itchy Red Or Watery Eyes
Being allergic to dust and dust mites can also cause you to have itchy, red or watery eyes.
This is another natural defense your body conducts when it reacts to something sensitive in the environment.
When dust particles come into contact with mast cells on the eyes, the response is to release histamine and other chemicals that cause blood vessels to leak, which makes your eyes red, watery and itchy.
Unfortunately, these dust allergies symptoms are shared with other eye diseases and cold viruses.
Trying to diagnose an allergy to dust off of this one sign alone is not feasible.
However, if youre noticing it alongside symptoms #1 and #2, it just may likely be caused by an allergic reaction to dust .
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Coughing Due To Mold Exposure
Experts say that a persistent cough is one of the most common reasons why people visit their doctor. While occasional coughing is considered normal, one that is due to mold exposure in the home is not. A cough is considered acute if it lasts three weeks or less. It is considered chronic if it lasts longer.
A cough is a common symptom of mold exposure, along with sneezing, a runny or a stuffy nose, a sore throat, shortness of breath, wheezing and headaches. Not everyone exposed to mold develops a cough, but many people that are considered to be mold-sensitive do, especially with prolonged exposure. Infants and young children, because their immune systems are not yet fully developed, elderly people, because their immune systems have weakened with age, pregnant women, and those individuals with respiratory disorders or disorders of the immune system , are at an increased risk for mold-related illness. However, anyone can be affected. In fact, even family pets can get sick if they are exposed to mold in the home.
How To Minimize Your Risk
To know how to protect yourself, start by knowing where mold spores thrive. Besides growing best in warm, damp, humid spots. Outside, youll find mold in shady, damp areas or where leaves or other vegetation break down. Inside, mold grows in high-humidity locations, such as basements and showers, she says.
If you are prone to breathing problems, such as asthma, you should consider limiting exposure to damp, humid areas such as basements and saunas, she says.
Here are other things you can do to minimize your mold exposure risk:
- Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep humidity levels below 50% at all times.
- Check the humidity level in your home at least once a day because humidity changes with temperature shifts.
- Be sure your home is adequately ventilated. If you have exhaust fans, use them especially when you shower.
- Use paints fortified with mold inhibitors.
- Use mold-killing bathroom cleaning products, such as bleach.
- Dont carpet bedrooms or bathrooms. If you own your home and can afford to, remove carpeting from your home and replace with another surface, such as laminate tile, thats easy to clean.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have gotten wet or soaked through in the past as these are breeding grounds for mold spores.
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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.