Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure In Adults: What You Need To Know
Molds are one of the most common problems among households. But of the thousands of mold types, theres one thats been plaguing homes for years: black molds. Its dark color is often attributed to its menacing health effects. In this post, I will discuss the symptoms of black mold exposure in adults and what you can do if your family got in contact with this allergen.
Remember that any type of mold can be dangerous to a persons health. This is why you should act fast the moment you discover the presence of molds in your home.
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:
Other Mold Prevention Tips:
- Keep the temperature of your home consistent
- Keep humidity levels in your home below 50%
- Make sure your walls are well insulated
- Clean up any water damage immediately
- Frequently open windows in rooms that are dark and musty
- Clean or repair roof gutters
- Immediately fix any leaks in your homes roof, walls, or plumbing
When in doubt, if youre worried that mold might be growing in your home again, it is always a good idea to call a professional to come and evaluate.
They will be able to determine if mold is infesting your home and if your symptoms are cause for concern.
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Removing Toxic Mold From The Home
To rid yourself of diseases caused by toxic mold, youll need to remove the toxic mold from your home. Some people attempt to remove mold from the home on their own but if the mold in your home is making you ill, we recommend calling in a professional. If you dont locate and remove all traces of mold, youll continue to have symptoms and in fact, symptoms of toxic mold exposure often worsen over time.
Toxic mold can grow in many areas of the home, although basements, laundry rooms, leaky roofs and below sinks with leaky pipes may be the most common areas. If anyone in your home is suffering from symptoms of toxic mold exposure, you should inspect the home thoroughly for signs of mold. Better yet, call in a professional to check for toxic mold for you. Professionals that handle toxic mold clean up often offer free assessments and free estimates.
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
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Common Sources Of Toxic Mold
Mold is almost invisible as it travels through the air as tiny mold spores. This fungus can enter the home carried by pests, clothes, bags, and shoes. Once inside, it can begin to grow anywhere theres moisture.
However, there are some places more prone to mold growth than others.
Frequent sources for a mold problem can include ceiling tiles, walls, carpeting, and cellulose products exposed to moisture or water damage. The most common of these are paper, wood, and fiberboard that have been exposed to dampness.
Toxic mold can hide behind paint or linoleum, under carpet, behind sheetrock, linger in the air conditioner, vents or in rooms with humidifiers.
Mould Exposure: Long Term Side Effects
Mould, even though it can be associated with benefits to humanity, the word does not normally lend itself to positive imagery. It is something that naturally occurs in the ecosystem and it has its benefits it breaks down dead foliage so it can return nutrients to the soil.
It is used to create penicillin and if you have a taste for it, it can even be consumed in products like blue cheese but the last place you want mould growing is in your home or throughout your business. For good reason as well, while mould is used in medicines and food, it is carefully cultivated, when it comes to mould in the home, its presence can lead to some damaging side effects. Long term exposure to mould, in particular black mould, can have a range of effects on the human body ranging from mild to quite severe, so if you see mould forming around the home or in your business premises it is best not to ignore it.
What Makes Mould Dangerous?
What are the Symptoms of Long-Term Mould Exposure?
Long-Term Mould Exposure and Mental/Psychological Issues
What do I do if IÃ¢m suffering from Long-Term Mould Exposure?
Do you Have Mould?
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How Do You Treat Mold Toxicity Symptoms
Right now, youll see a lot of experts recommending handfuls of supplements and strict diets but the reality is, we just dont know for sure if these are the right treatment approach, says McElroy. Instead, she recommends the steps below. You might be surprised to see that killing the mold is only one out of five. Thats no coincidence! As McElroy explains, I often dont focus on killing mold since most symptoms are due to the immune response, not the mold itself. Instead, she starts with simple lifestyle steps and utilizes non-pill practices to achieve a state of better immune health, including:
What Happens When You Inhale Mold
Breathing in mold spores is the most common way for mold spores to enter your system. Individual spores, unlike colonies of growth, are invisible to the naked eye. This makes it nearly impossible to know if you are ingesting spores into your nasal passages and letting them take root down in your lungs. Though mold will grow on old or decaying food, most people wont purposely eat a rotten tomato or moldy piece of bread. Penicillin is a form of mold that can be ingested, but this only occurs under the guidance of a physician for anti-microbial and wellness purposes. Toxicity levels are more likely to occur through inhaling the spores and creating a buildup that the body can no longer fight.
The body commonly processes toxins out of the body when it eliminates waste. Mold spores arent the only toxins your body has to eliminate, but inhaling heavy doses of mold spores can put a burden on the bodys natural toxin elimination system. When the toxic load gets too high, the body cant detox. Instead, the mycotoxins may be recycled back into the body or reabsorbed until the body can try again. The toxic threshold varies by individual.
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Is There A Test To Determine If I Have Been Exposed To Mold
Some physicians have recommended testing for mold-specific antibodies. Thepresence of antibodies only indicates that you have been exposed to a substanceat some time. It does not tell you when you were exposed, where the exposuretook place, or how much of the mold you were exposed to. Having a positive testfor mold-specific antibodies alone is generally considered insufficient toprove that health effects reported by individuals in moisture-damaged buildingsare caused by exposure to mold.
What Are The Signs Of Mold Poisoning
Mold poisoning can occur through several different mechanisms, including through food or air exposure. Poisoning usually occurs as the result of mycotoxin exposure. Toxic molds are molds which produce mycotoxins and pose a serious health threat. Acute exposure can result in coughing, headaches, shortness of breath, frequent chest colds and general fatigue. However, exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can result in serious neurological problems, such as memory loss, nerve issues or even death. Dietary exposure to mycotoxins is also associated with an increased risk of cancer.
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How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
Mold Toxicity And Lyme Disease
Mold illness causes many of the same symptoms as Lyme disease. Both trigger systemic inflammation and immune dysregulation leading to symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, headaches, joint pain, and anxiety.
When tick-borne infections and mold toxicity occur together, the mold illness must be addressed before the tick-borne infection can be treated successfully. Mycotoxins suppress the immune system making it difficult to effectively treat Lyme disease and co-infections.
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How To Get Rid Of Toxic Black Mold
Mold poisoning treatment will be in vain if black mold exposure continues to exist in your home. Even if you are unsure if it is toxic black mold or just another black-pigmented mold, get rid of it right away.
- Wear a respirator or a facemask and rubber gloves to prevent the inhalation of spores. Cover your arms and legs to avoid any contact.
- Determine the extent of mold growth.
- Spray vinegar or baking soda in water if the affected area is porous.
- Rinse the area using clean water.
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How Can I Prevent Mold In My Home
The best way to prevent mold is to reduce moisture in your home or workplace. Mold grows best in warm, moist environments, and therefore ensuring your indoor humidity ranges between 30-60% can help prevent growth. This can be achieved by venting bathrooms and dryers, using an air conditioner and a de-humidifier in warm weather, and using exhaust fans when cooking or cleaning. It is also important to quickly and efficiently clean up any water damage or leakage.
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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.
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.
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When To See A Doctor
Its a good idea to see a doctor if youre not sure if your rash is caused by mold or something else. The doctor can order an allergy test that can either confirm your allergy or help you find the cause of your rash.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the following situations warrant a visit to a dermatologist or primary care doctor:
- the rash covers your entire body
- you have a fever
How Is Aspergillosis Treated
Treatment options include oral corticosteroids, antifungal medications, and surgery.
- Oral corticosteroid drugs: Solid or liquid oral medications may be prescribed to treat allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. These drugs reduce inflammation and prevent respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing, from getting worse. Some of the most commonly used drugs are prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone.
- Antifungal drugs: These medications are generally used to treat invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Voriconazole is currently the drug of choice because it causes fewer side effects and appears to be more effective than other medications. Amphotericin B or itraconazole are also effective in treating infection. Caspofungin is sometimes used in cases where the infection is resistant to the other antifungals. Antifungal drugs are sometimes used along with oral corticosteroids when treating ABPA. Antifungals can cause serious side effects, such as kidney and liver damage.
- Surgery: Surgery may be necessary in cases when aspergillomas are present and cause serious problems, such as excessive bleeding. Antifungal medications are usually not effective against aspergillomas, so surgery is recommended. Embolization may be an option to block blood flow to the artery supplying blood to the lung cavity where the fungus ball is located. This will stop the bleeding, but it may recur later.
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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.
Mold Exposure: Signs & Symptoms
Weve all seen it: a fuzzy white or green spot on our bread or maybe black discoloration where water once leaked in the basement. Mold.
It comes in many shapes and forms and is almost everywhere in the environment: in the air, in the soil and unfortunately, in our homes. Although we often think of mold as harmless, exposure can lead to excessive lethargy, breathing problems and skin and eye irritation or more complicated health problems if left undetected. Mold testing and eventual removal is essential to maintain the air quality of your home and prevent unwanted long-term health issues. Below weve answered some of the most frequently asked questions related to mold exposure symptoms and how you can test and remove mold contamination from your home.
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Test Your Environment For Mold
Testing your environmenthome or workplacefor mold can be very beneficial since the symptoms of mold-related illness can be similar to other chronic inflammatory conditions such as Lyme.
There are different avenues you may take to address mold testing. Options exist for both professional testing and for self-testing.
DIY Mold Testing
There are pros and cons to each so a combination of these may be used:
Find a Qualified Indoor Environmental Professionals for Inspection
An indoor environmental professional knowledgeable about the effects of mold on sensitive populations can be helpful. Their trained eyes and tools can be helpful in identifying the source of your mold. Here are tips for finding a qualified mold inspector:
- Be sure the professional offers just inspection, not inspection with remediation to avoid conflicts of interest.
- Consider a virtual or phone consultation with indoor professionals aligned with the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness and their standards for indoor health.
- Look for a local IEP through ACAC.org
- Find inspection professionals with the CIEC and CMC certifications.
- Find remediation professionals with the CMRS and CMR certifications.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Are you noticing any of the signs of mold exposure, like watery eyes, a sore throat, or a wet cough? If so, there may be mold in your home or office. To eliminate your symptoms, you need to find the source of the mold and have it removed. For treatment in the meantime, contact us today at Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY to schedule an initial consultation.
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