How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
Your bodys overproduction of mucus can reveal itself not only through a persistent cough but also through your bodys attempts to dispose of it. The body continually produces mucus, a viscous fluid that serves to lubricate as well as clean. Its the second of these two functions that is pertinent to the allergic response. Mucus captures foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria, and flushes them out, often harmlessly and unnoticeably. But when the body produces more mucus in the respiratory system than it can quietly dispose of, you notice the output in the form of a runny nose or postnasal drip. Whether excess mucus drains through the nostrils or down the throat, the discomfort it creates can indicate that the body is responding to the presence of mold.
Who Can Test Me For Mold Illness
You may wonder how to get these tests done, and in this age of insurance-based medicine it can be a challenge. Apart from the nasal swab, the bloodwork may be handled by a cooperative primary care physician, or by going to a facility such as Any Lab Test, which will run them for you. The best route is to seek care from a knowledgeable ENT specialist, such as Dr. Dennis, or from a physician trained in Environmental Medicine. Go to American Academy of Environmental Medicine for a list of practitioners by state.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Mold Allergy
- Posted on: Dec 3 2020
- Ariana Salazar
Where would we be without our immune system? A robust and responsive immune system works hard, often without us even knowing it, to keep our body safe against harmful pathogens. But the bodys immune system can overreact to a perceived threat, and such an immune response can be unpleasantif not dangerous. This sort of internal hypervigilance is the basic idea behind an allergic reaction.
Your body can have this reaction to numerous substances that, in and of themselves, are innocuous: while breathing in dust and pollen is not good for your health, its not on the same level as viruses or bacteria, the two sworn enemies of the human immune system. Another such substance is mold spores, the reproductive units of fungi, which are ubiquitous in the environment and your home. Mold allergies are common and uncomfortable, but fortunately, they are treatable. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a mold allergyand what you can do to address them.
How Do I Know If I Am Allergic To Penicillin
Lots of people dont know if theyre allergic to penicillin. They may have heard stories about an allergic reaction in their childhood, or they may have no one to tell them if allergy to the medication. The quick solution to this is not to take penicillin and find out because even the barest suspicion of allergy should be treated as potentially dangerous.
There a few things that can be done to test if a person is allergic to penicillin. The first of these is to listen to any stories. Reports of reaction to penicillin should be taken seriously and told to doctors. Allergy can last a lifetime, and unless there is some reason why penicillin is the only suitable drug for a condition, it should not be tried or used.
Yet some people manifest penicillin allergy as adults, and this is usually for a single, simple reason. The first dose of penicillin rarely causes a reaction. Its often the second time people take the medicine that an allergic response occurs. If someone is worried about this, one possible way to check is to do an allergy skin test with an allergist. These may be able to tell if people manifest an allergic response after having received penicillin once before in the past.
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How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
Getting A Diagnosis For Mold Sickness
While symptoms to mold exposure are not uncommon , many health care professionals struggle to pinpoint the cause behind these symptoms.
Often only a few people or one person and not everyone, in a home or workplace experience symptoms. This is frustrating and confusing for the sick person. When their doctors cant find any reason for the illness, they can start to feel like the sickness is all in their mind.
People suffering from mold exposure can often be misdiagnosed with disorders such as:
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Ways To Deal With Mold Quickly To Avoid Allergies
Are you worried you may have mold growing in or around your home? Maybe youve detected a musty odor, found discolored patches on your walls, or noticed brown or green gunk collecting in the corners of your shower.
Its important to address mold as quickly as possible to protect your health and home, especially if you suffer from allergies. Keep reading to learn how to quickly and effectively address household mold to avoid the dangers of mold allergies.
Look Out For A Musty Odor
Mold gives off a distinct musty odor that many people will notice. However, many people associate that smell with certain locations, such as basements, and tend to dismiss this as normal. In a healthy environment, this musty odor should not be present. If you detect a musty odor but cant see any signs of mold, it may be growing inside the walls or underneath the floors.
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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.
How To Minimize Molds Effects
The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that there are a number of precautions to take to ensure youre as safe as possible when youre in a mold, damp environment. These include:
Always wearing personal protective equipment. Whenever you could be potentially exposed to mold, always protect yourself out with protective gloves, an N-95 respirator and goggles.
Avoiding potential fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Always use portable generators with care, away and outside of your home.
Making sure there are no more traces of mold. You need to ensure theres no more mold before you go back to your home to live.
You can also do the following to guard against mold growing in your home:
Keep it well ventilated.
Clean mold from hard surfaces with water and detergent. Then, dry the area thoroughly.
Clean refrigerator drip pans regularly.
Clean garbage cans regularly.
Clean any leaks or spills in a timely manner.
Open windows, use exhaust fans or dehumidifiers to keep moisture to a minimum.
Ensure the outside of your home benefits from adequate drainage.
With the recent floods, many Texans may find patches of mold growing in their homes. As you can see from the above, molds do have the potential to cause health issues. But, dont panic. Theres plenty that you can do about mold growing in your home and about mold allergies.
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How To Prevent Allergic Reactions To Mold
The key to controlling mold allergies is reducing your exposure to mold, whether indoors or out. Here are some steps you can take at home to lessen the likelihood of mold growth:
- Eliminate sources of water or dampness in your basement
- Change your furnace filters every three months
- Use a dehumidifier in spots where moisture accumulates
- Use air conditioners with high-efficiency particulate air filters
- Adequately ventilate bathrooms, washrooms, and kitchens
- Remove carpets from bathrooms and washrooms
- Promote groundwater drainage on your property
- Throw away old books, magazines, and newspapers
- Clean out drains and other water-collection points
- Remove garbage from the premises
- Wear a mask when gardening or working outdoors
What Are The Signs Youre Allergic To Mold
So, you want to figure out if you have a mold allergy. Unfortunately, its not always crystal clear, since mold allergy symptoms mirror the signs of many types of allergic reactions. Typical
- stuffy or runny nose
- watery eyes
Sounds just like seasonal allergies, doesnt it? So, if its not the symptoms that clue you in, how can you tell if youre dealing with a mold allergyor something else?
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Black Mold Exposure Mold Poisoning:
These are molds that are green or black in appearance. The most common species of the black mold isStachybotrys chartarum. It has been speculated that many black molds are toxigenic, which means they release mycotoxins that are particularly harmful to people with preexisting conditions.
When these mycotoxins begin to accumulate in the body, it may lead to a condition known as mold poisoning which affects the upper respiratory system adversely.
Common mold poisoning symptoms are the same as that of mold allergies. People who are suffering from asthma or any other chronic lung disease, these mycotoxins will make their condition miserable. They will exhibit severe symptoms such as:
After becoming conversant with the health issues caused by molds, its high time to discuss how doctors test for mold exposure.
Treatment Of Mold Allergies In Dogs
The treatment for the mold allergy may involve many elements including:
Shampooing your pet often with a hypoallergenic product in cool to warm water could be required to soothe the itching.
Medications such as corticosteroids and antihistamines can help with the inflammation. Topical creams to relieve redness, and Omega 3 supplements to boost the response of the body to the medication may be prescribed.
Allergen injections of a gradually increasing dosage are given as treatment, with the goal of desensitizing your dog to the mold.
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Lets Dive Into The 7 Facts To Know If You Suspect A Mushroom Allergy:
Fact #1: Know how to differentiate a mushroom intolerance
If you often feel bloated, have severe cramping, and experience abdominal discomfort, then you may have a mushroom intolerance. These symptoms are often not severe and will go away after a few hours of consuming mushrooms. An intolerance can cause discomfort and pain, but it is not life-threatening or dangerous.
Fact #2: A mushroom allergy is an immediate response
Unlike a mushroom intolerance, a mushroom allergy results from the bodys immune system attacking the mushroom proteins. This occurs because your body identifies the proteins as foreign substances. The immune system then releases IgE antibodies and histamine.
Histamine causes your body to react in different ways some of the signs and symptoms may be mild, while some may be extremely dangerous.
Fact #3: Mushroom allergy symptoms are easily recognizable
Some of the first signs of a mushroom allergy include watery eyes, skin irritation, hives, and rashes. More severe symptoms include swelling of your lips, mouth, and throat.
Once the swelling becomes more prominent, breathing will also become difficult. This can turn into a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which leads to difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and fainting. The reaction can get worse if there is no immediate clinical assistance.
Fact #4: You can get tested for a mushroom allergy
Fact #5: You can treat a mushroom allergy quickly
Fact #6: You can prevent a mushroom allergy
Does An Air Quality Test Detect Mold
Air quality testing is one of the most popular methods for detecting mold. This is especially effective to identify mold which is hidden, or non-visible.
Mold produces spores, which are microscopic airborne particles. The only way to identify mold spores is through microscopy.
Air quality testing draws in these microscopic particles onto sampling mediums, typically called cassettes. These cassettes are then sent to a laboratory that specialized in the microscopic, microbial analysis. Through this process, they can microscopically identify the types of mold present in the air of the tested space.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Mold Allergy
The symptoms of mold allergy are very similar to the symptoms of other allergies, such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion and dry, scaling skin.
- Outdoor molds may cause allergy symptoms in summer and fall
- Indoor molds may cause allergy symptoms year-round
Mold spores get into your nose and cause hay fever symptoms. They also can reach the lungs and trigger asthma. A chemical released by allergy cells in the nose and or lungs causes the symptoms. Sometimes the reaction happens right away. Sometimes a mold allergy can cause delayed symptoms, leading to nasal congestion or worsening asthma over time. Symptoms often get worse in a damp or moldy room like a basement. This may mean you have a mold allergy.
Rarely, some patients can have a more serious illness called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. In this condition, there is both an allergic and an inflammatory response to the mold. Symptoms may include severe wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, much like asthma.
Signs Of Mold In An Apartment
Watch out for these signs of mold in an apartment:
- An off smell: If you notice a musty smell in your unit, it could very well come from mold. Check for further signs. Even if you dont immediately see anything obvious, a moldy odor means youll want to investigate more.
- Dirty spots: Mold is not always visible, but people can mistake it for stains like soot or dirt when it is. Remember that mold can come in various colors, sizes, and shapes, so dont just assume youre in the clear if that strange spot isnt black. A small mold spot could mean you have more mold lurking behind your walls or in other areas.
- Leaks: Because mold needs moisture, a leak in your unit may lead to mold. Mold often exists around pipes in front of and behind walls. If you have a leak, get it fixed right away, and check for mold signs after. The top causes of mold include leaks from another unit, clogged PTAC units, and broken washing machine hoses.
- Condensation: Again, lots of moisture creates the right conditions for mold. Condensation collects when a lot of moisture exists in the air. High humidity can make condensation even worse, and by extension, the conditions for mold growth even better.
- Flooding: Likewise, flooding often leads to mold. Even if the flood occurred a while ago, you might have mold that grew undetected and is just now showing itself.
If any of these issues exist in your apartment, you should start addressing them with your landlord right away.
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