The presence of mold in your home can be detrimental to your health. As mold toxicity levels and the source of contamination vary from person to person, the symptoms of mold exposure will also likely vary.
The situation can get worse when mold issues are misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, or left untreated. So, let’s explore what mold exposure refers to, how it can be tested, and your options for treating mold in your house.
What is Mold Exposure?
The fungus mold often grows in damp places on roofs, pipes, under floors, and on tiled ceilings and walls. Molds come in different types, and there are a variety of dangers associated with them. Some molds are more harmful than others, and some people are allergic to mold or sensitive to the naturally occurring toxins, called mycotoxins, that mold can emit.
If you breathe in mold spores, your immune system overreacts. The basic signs of mold allergies are coughing, itchy eyes, and sneezing. Those with mold allergies may suffer from asthma symptoms, including restricted breathing and airway obstruction. This is known as mold exposure.
How Does Mold Exposure Affect You?
The transmission of mold can occur in many ways but most often through the breathing of tiny spores or fragments of the fungus. The degree of exposure is largely determined by the amount of mold present in the air.
This is determined by various variables, such as the level of moisture and the size of spores. After being affected by mold exposure, the person may be afflicted with severe symptoms to no symptoms.
Everybody is susceptible to toxic mold exposure, but some people are more susceptible than others.
People who have weak immune systems (seniors or young children, those who are undergoing chemotherapy as well as transplanted patients) and those with chronic respiratory illnesses such as asthma or allergies COPD, as well as anyone close to an outdoor release of fungal spores (i.e., spraying of insecticides), are at greater chance of developing greater severity of symptoms, and related mold diseases. It’s also possible for people who are not mold-sensitive to be affected.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Although mold isn’t necessarily dangerous to you, it does have the potential to cause certain health problems.
Mold allergies are the most prevalent adverse health effects caused by mold and pose the highest risk to health associated with mold. The allergic reaction can happen right away or may develop over time after exposure.
The mold growth and spores can trigger allergic reactions, ranging from mild to severe. The black mold symptoms can be similar to diseases or other conditions. Therefore, diagnosis and treatment may be more time-consuming than they need to be. Listed below are the most common symptoms of Mold Exposure:
- Inflammation of the throat
- Eye irritation
- Skin rash
- Congestion and runny nose
- Lung irritation
For most people, mold exposure does not constitute an emergency. If, however, you have a health condition that puts you at a higher risk for bacterial infections and if, at the same time, you are experiencing symptoms of mold-associated infections, please let your doctor know immediately.
How to Test for Mold Exposure?
When you suspect mold growing in your house, you should inform your doctor for a health check-up and a local mold removal service to look for mold symptoms in the house. In some cases, however, mold cannot be seen, and it can be unclear whether mold exposure was the cause of a person’s illness or something else.
A doctor will typically begin by asking about your health and family history since mold exposure and mold allergy symptoms often mimic those of other allergies. Further, doctors usually run the following tests to determine if you were exposed to mold:
- Test your skin for allergy symptoms, including reactions to mold
- An IgG mold antibody test reveals how the immune system responds to mold. Positive results indicate that the individual has been exposed to mold.
- Test for urinary mycotoxins
- An examination of the nasal sinuses for fungi
Tests you receive will vary depending on which doctor you visit, so ask questions before you go to be confident in your diagnosis.
Tips to Take Care of Mold Exposure
Ideally, the best way to prevent mold from forming is to prevent it from growing. Moist places are ideal for mold growth, so you should try to identify and fix sources of moisture.
When outdoors, people with mold sensitivities need to avoid places such as compost piles, grass cuttings, and wooded areas. Getting rid of damaged wood is essential, as mold grows on dead vegetable matter, such as wet, rotting wood.
The following tips can help you minimize indoor mold:
- Try to maintain a low humidity level—no more than 50% throughout the day. During humid months, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
- Ensure the home is ventilated properly, including bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans. Consider installing a bathroom exhaust fan that is directly vented into the outdoors.
- Use bleach and water (1:10) to clean surfaces with mold. Do not combine bleach and ammonia. If mold has infested the drywall or the insulation, you will need to pull it out and replace it.
- Remove carpets and furniture that have been infected with mold. Discard any moldy items (including books, clothing, and documents).
- It is best to avoid carpeting in bathrooms and basements.
- The paint you use when redecorating should be infused with mold inhibitors.
- If you have house plants inside your house, don’t overwater them. This will encourage the growth of mold in the soil.
Call Professionals for Mold Remediation
When all immediate health concerns have been addressed, you can contact Kings Restoration. We will be able to address the issue and work to eliminate the growth of mold safely.
Don’t attempt to remove or clean mold on your own, as it could aggravate symptoms, and mold spores could be released throughout the vents and air when cleaning. Mold exposure (particularly dark mold) is dangerous for your home and health.
If you’re experiencing unusual or long-lasting allergic reaction symptoms mentioned in this article, you have been exposed. It is essential to contact a professional to get rid of the mold issue and create a safe and healthy environment for your family.
Our specialists are available all day to assist you with your mold removal needs. Visit our website or give us a call to speak with our nearby Kings Restoration team today!