Coughing is often a symptom associated with several medical conditions. However, did you know that a mold allergy can make you cough? Coughing is a common mold exposure symptom aside from other signs such as a sore throat, running nose, sneezing, headaches, wheezing and shortness of breath. Coughing doesn’t affect everyone who is exposed to mold in the houses, it only affects some individuals. However the risk chances are higher in children, infants, elderly folks and individuals who suffer from respiratory illnesses. Also, people with immune disorders are also likely to cough. Interestingly, pets are also not spared from mold allergy, they can also fall sick because of continuous mold exposure.
Why Does One Cough After Exposure to Mold?
Mold spores are the principal cause of coughing because of exposure to mold growth. It doesn’t matter the size of mold; however small mold is, it can release thousands of mold spores into the atmosphere. Because of this, airborne mold spores are easily inhaled by the house occupants triggering an irritation in the throat lining causing one to begin coughing. Other diseases associated with mold such as pneumonia and bronchitis are usually accompanied by coughing.
How to Know if Mold Exposure is Responsible for Coughing
Other than mold exposure, there are many other causes that can trigger coughing. It is therefore important to learn how to differentiate a cough caused by mold allergy from coughs that come as a result of bronchitis, flu, common colds, pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. Some illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia are associated with coughs but this doesn’t necessarily imply the cough was caused by a mold allergy. For this reason, it is important to seek diagnosis from a medic anytime you suspect mold allergy is responsible for your coughing.
Let your doctor know if there is any mold in your house and if you suspect it could be the one responsible for your cough. This information is important because withholding it only makes the diagnosis difficult and you could end up being treated for a common cough rather than a mold exposure cough. With adequate information, your doctor can order tests such as chest x-rays, blood tests or other specific laboratory tests in order to pinpoint the exact cause of your cough.
How to Treat a Cough Caused by Exposure to Mold
Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, treatment will follow immediately. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat an underlying infection. Other treatment options include antihistamines to facilitate excessive mucus to dry up as well as cough tablets or syrup to suppress your cough especially if it’s preventing you from sleeping at night. However, there are doctors who advise the use of cough drops to relieve your cough and throat but at the same time, recommend coughing in order to clear up mucus and other substances that could be trapped in your airways and lungs.
Coughs are known to cause headaches and in this case, your doctor will prescribe a pain killer such as ibuprofen or Tylenol to keep the pain at bay. Do not purchase over-the-counter drugs without consulting with your doctor especially if you’re already on prescribed medication. In case you’re still coughing after treatment, go back for a review or seek a second opinion.
However, for the above described treatment options to work, you need to ensure you don’t expose yourself to mold. Continuous mold exposure will slow down your recovery and most likely aggravate the symptoms and make you more ill.
How to Prevent Future Exposure to Mold
Having mold in your home is dangerous and therefore, adequate measures have to be taken to prevent mold growth. This is more so important if your health has already been affected by mold exposure and you’re either taking your medication or you’ve just completed treatment. To have the best results and free your house from mold, ensure that all mold has been eliminated from your home and measures are put in place to prevent the reoccurrence of mold. Doing this will safeguard you and your family since you will have substantially reduced or completely eliminated the risk of suffering from mold-related ailments.
For starters, a professional needs to be called in to thoroughly inspect the home and check for all possible areas with mold growth. It is also good to immediately repair or destroy habitats that could be favoring the growth of mold. If you have leaking roofs or pipes in your home, ensure they’re fixed as well.
If you’ve recently suffered from a mold related illness, it is not advisable to be involved in the process of removing mold from your house. At this point, it’s best to avoid do-it-yourself mold removal and instead, get a mold remediation professional to do the work for you. In most cases, home inspections from reputable mold removal companies are usually free of charge and therefore, you don’t need to worry about paying anything upfront.
If you have been treated for coughing as a result of mold exposure, you must stay away from any form of mold exposure. Don’t try to remove mold yourself as exposure will cause the cough to reoccur or make it worse. Avoid worsening your condition because it can expose you to more serious health risks that will more expensive to treat and manage. If you don’t intend to call in a professional to remove mold, it’s better to have someone else who hasn’t been affected by mold exposure to do the removal. Of course, they need to wear adequate protective clothing to avoid exposing themselves to mold.