What Does Black Mold Exposure Treatment Look Like
Just like the diagnosis, the treatment of mold exposure differs from doctor to doctor. One thing most doctors will advise you to do is to test for and, if needed, remove any unhealthy mold conditions from your home. Even if the treatment will help in the short-term, it wont be effective over the long-term if your indoor environment isnt improved.
To treat the symptoms, doctors may suggest:
- Over-the-counter medication. Medicine that would decrease the airway inflammation and suppress the allergic reactions.
- Nasal sprays to deal with a runny or stuffy nose or rinses to clear your nasal passages from inhaled mold spores.
- Regular allergy medicine
A persons immune system has to be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe cases of allergies, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to provide relief from symptoms
What Is Toxic Mold
Black mould buildup in the corner of an old house
The term toxic mold refers to several types of mold that are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins. There are several types of toxic black mold. Among the most significant of these is stachybotrys chartarum which is greenish-black in color. It is often found in water-damaged buildings, as it proliferates on items that have high cellulose content.
Surfaces like wood, drywall, fiberboard, and paper that are exposed to moisture are ideal breeding grounds for this black mold.
Toxic mold is most dangerous when it is airborne. Possibly due to seeming advances in modern building technology, there has been a rise in cases of toxic mold exposure traced back to industrial and medical heating and cooling units, which can vaporize the mold spores and lead to an increased risk of infections and complications.
What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.
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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 I Stay In My House With Black Mold
It is possible that sleeping in a property that has mold might be harmful, especially in the afflicted regions, because doing so puts you at risk of developing mold allergies. These allergies are caused by the hazards associated with mold exposure. If you are someone who is sensitive to mold, this is a particularly serious factor.
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Do I Need Professional Testing
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home. And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary. We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isnt necessary in most cases.
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require proof that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute. If you think you may have a mold problem, but arent sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an all clear after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
Long Term Effects / Difficulty Of Concretely Establishing Causes
In some cases, experts believe that long term black mold exposure manifests as cancer. Again, because there is no one biomarker that helps identify the presence of black mold within the human body, this linkage is causal at best. Scientists know that mycotoxins are responsible for creating health problems in humans, among other creatures but creating a solid cause/effect chart is difficult. Mycotoxins can immediately manifest harm, or lay dormant for years. Their ferocity is based on the relative state of the immune system of the person they encounter, along with a host of other as yet undefined factors.
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Long Term Side Effects Of Mold Exposure
Continued exposure to mold may result in damage to the respiratory system, skin, and other body systems. The most common symptoms include nasal blockage, eye irritation, skin rashes, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Over time these symptoms can become more severe, causing permanent damage to the nose, throat, sinuses, or lungs. In these cases, professional medical treatment is required.
The best way to prevent complications from mold exposure is to avoid it in the first place. Stay away from areas with visible signs of a mold infestation and if mildew or mold appears on clothing, wash it immediately to avoid spread. Individuals who experience symptoms after being exposed to mold should contact a doctor immediately.
Most Common Black Mold Symptoms
Here is a list of Black Mold symptoms you may experience from prolonged black mold exposure.
Also included in this post will be symptoms of other related health problems that may be more severe
What are the most common symptoms associated with Black Mold?
In this informative post, youll learn
- The 29 most common Black Mold symptoms.
- How much Black Mold exposure is harmful.
- Diagnosis and treatment.
- How to prevent these symptoms from reoccurring.
If you have any of these symptoms, please talk to your doctor about mold poisoning!
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Common Signs Of Toxic Mold Poisoning
Symptoms and signs of mycotoxins poisoning are very different depending on many factors. How this poisoning presents itself depends on:
- Type of mycotoxin
- Genetic structure
- And others
This means there can be a major difference in symptoms between individuals in the population exposed to it. To some extent it is clear that mycotoxicosis can increase susceptibility to infections, worsen the effect of other toxins present and advance other health conditions.
Although acute poisoning is more obvious and sometimes has grave effects, chronic exposure is much more present in the population in general. Finally, mycotoxin exposure can cause changes in immune, nervous system, behavior, mood and even development problems like stunting.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing/shortness of breath
- Long standing or frequent sinusitis
And, serious pain and neurological symptoms, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle cramping, aches and pains
- Persistent nerve pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor memory, brain fog, difficulty with focus
In some cases, the spores from mold take root and grow in specific parts of the body, such as the lungs and sinuses. This can cause serious respiratory illnesses and infections.
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Do I Have Toxic Mold Poisoning
Last Updated on by Matt Pratt-Hyatt PhD
Today Im going to deal with a common question, Do I have toxic mold poisoning? Another common question that is similar is Is mold really that serious, isnt mold everywhere? I will try and answer both of these questions. Most people are aware of mold because we see it every day.
There are literally thousands of mold species, however, not every species produces toxic compounds. However, water damage is becoming more and more common, which is leading to more mold exposure and mycotoxin production in homes, offices, and schools. However, even if the mold growth isnt producing toxins you might be reacting to the spores themselves.
Lets briefly talk about the two items you might be reacting to, what symptoms you might expect, and how to test to see if this is what is causing your problems.
How Long Does It Take For Black Mold To Kill You
Black mold, or Stachybotrys atra, has a reputation for being fatal. This is due to reports that black mold was related to infant deaths in the 1990s. Its also been linked to the idea of sick building syndrome and is often called toxic black mold.
But theres no solid evidence proving that black mold is toxic. Black mold, and mold in general, is not deadly.
Still, black mold can cause unwanted side effects, especially those in people who are sensitive to mold. This includes people who are young, old, or have compromised immune systems.
Visit a doctor if you have:
- persistent sinus and nasal congestion
- frequent headaches
- unexplained skin irritation
- more frequent asthma attacks
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if mold is causing your symptoms. Many side effects of mold exposure are similar to other conditions, like seasonal allergies. Some symptoms also take time to appear.
Your best bet is to see a doctor, even if youre unsure your symptoms are related to mold. They can help you find relief.
The best way to treat mold exposure symptoms is to reduce exposure. Follow these tips:
- Avoid contact with moldy items or surfaces.
- Avoid damp rooms, like basements.
- Remove mold from the home by cleaning surfaces and drying damp areas.
- Increase ventilation by using a fan or opening windows.
- Reduce indoor humidity with a dehumidifier.
The length of time it takes for mold to leave your body will depend on your level of previous exposure.
- a musty, earthy odor
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Having Your Home Tested For Mold
If you find yourself asking does mold sickness go away because youve been suffering from mold-related symptoms for a long time, you should have your home tested for mold to make sure all traces of mold have been removed. While do-it-yourself mold test kits are available, we recommend having a certified professional test for mold to make certain the results are accurate. Most professional mold testers are engineers and they know all the places that mold can hide in the home. To find experienced certified mold testers in your area, just follow the link provided.
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.
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How Do I Know If I Have Toxic Mold Poisoning
These poisons pose a significant risk to human health and may even start to impact the brain system as well as the respiratory system. Nausea, hives, asthma, a runny nose, persistent coughing, fast or laborious breathing, and skin rashes are some of the symptoms that are connected with mold poisoning. Other symptoms include skin rashes.
What Are Signs Of Mold
You can detect the growth of toxic mold within your house or building by looking out for some telltale signs of the same. These telltale signs of mold growth, which range from formation of greenish-black colored patches on the walls to increasing instances of health issues in people occupying the âsaidâ structure, are discussed below.
âªMoisture on the Surfaces: Moisture or dampness on surfaces can be treated as the very first sign of mildew growth. While moisture does not necessarily indicate the presence of mold, it is an important condition for mold formation and growth. If you reside in a region wherein Relative Humidity exceeds 55 percent, you but obviously need to keep an eye for mold infestation in your home.
âªStains on the Wall: Yellowish stains on the wall caused due to moisture help initial growth of mold. You need to look out for the greenish, blackish or brownish-colored patches on the damp wall as these patches characterize mold growth on the walls. Other than these black damp spores on walls, cracked or peeling paint can also be a sign of the presence of mold.
âªRespiratory System Response in People: If one or more people occupying the structure experience some kind of allergic reaction or respiratory problem when they are indoors, then there is a possibility of high mold growth. Again this is just one of the several signs, and you need to look out for other signs to ascertain the presence of mold within the house.
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The Different Black Mold Tests
The first thing to do is verify that you have black mold. Symptoms of mold exposure are almost identical to other fatigue issues, like Lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. And because mold can grow behind walls as a result of burst pipes or water damage, its often hard to pinpoint where mold is in your home.
If you can see black mold in the caulking around your bathtub or below your kitchen sink, for example and you have no reason to suspect its elsewhere in your house, you may be okay skipping a formal test. Otherwise, you have a few different options when it comes to testing for mold in your home:
- Mold culture test. This test includes a petri dish with a swab. You expose the petri dish to either the air or, through the swab, a specific area in your home, and then you cover it and let it sit for 48 hours. If you get lots of growth in the petri dish , you have a mold problem. If you get little to no growth, youre okay. Mold culture tests are fast and cheap . A mold culture test is a good option if you suspect mold in your workplace or school. The downside is that the test wont tell you where mold is only if mold is present. Heres a good mold culture test.
- ERMI test. Environmental relative moldiness index testing will tell you with much more specificity what mold is in your home and how big of a problem it is. ERMI tests will run you $200-$300.
Sneezing And Running Nose
Sneezing can be normal, but constant sneezing isnt. If you are a healthy person and never faced any allergies, you are having constant sneezing then you must check your home.
The immune system tries to protect the body from an allergic reaction that causes sneezing and running nose to develop mucus so that toxic spores can be prevented from entering the body through a nasal area. Thats why you feel running nose or nasal congestion.
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Mold Toxicity Is Also An Issue And It Is Considered A Chronic Inflammatory Response
An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and Mycobacterium serve as inflammogens! Inflammogens keep your body in a state of inflammation.
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.
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