Environmental Protection Agency, World Health Organization, and State Department of Health Studies referenced below.
Mold reactions primarily surround 4 general categories of the bodies physiology.
- allergic reactions
- infection related effects
- toxicity effects
- general irritation effects
Long Term Mold Symptoms
- Unexplained tiredness – fatigue
- Headaches, migraine and otherwise that are without explanation
- Some fever in some cases
- unexplained body pain or aching.
- Breathing problems. Periodic or chronic wheezing combined or not combined with shortness of breathe.
- In rare circumstances – problems with the bodies nervous system from loss of memory through speech problems and even unexplained changes in personality and mood.
Short Term Mold Symptoms
- Headaches. Unexplained by other causes.
- Labored breathing or shortness in breathing
- Unexplained irritations on the body, rashes
- unexplained sensitivity to light
- Unexplained or chronic runny nose, congestion and related sinusitis symptoms
- Coughing, throat congestion
- Vision problems. Including, redness, soreness, dry eyes, blurry vision, or watery
Who Is Most At Risk?
- Anyone with a compromised or weakened immune system.
- The elderly
- Anyone that is already sick from another illness, or treatment to another illness
- Anyone with respiratory problems. Allergies, Asthma, etc.
Mold 101 – The Basics
Mold can be both good and bad, but many times when it grows indoors, it is considered to be detrimental to your health and your house. The best way to not feel these health effects is to make sure that mold spores floating around in the air do not land on a moisture area in your house. As long as you make sure that all areas of your house are dry, mold cannot grow. If mold does start growing inside your house, it can cause damage to wood and other.
structures that hold your house up. The following article will discuss side affects of mold and how you can be tested, treated, and the underlying problem eliminated. Mold Allergy can be caused by the many different factors that surround you – most of which are temporary. But if you have allergies year round, it might be because there is mold/mildew inside your home or work. Many people will respond different to these infestations, but some of the most common allergic side effects are headaches, increased nose fluid, watery eyes, and itchy skin.
Toxicity Of Long Term Exposure
Unfortunately, people that are exposed to mold for extended periods of time will show more dramatic side effects (toxic symptoms). That is because some mold will start to release mycotoxins, these over time, are extremely unhealthy for humans to breathe in. These toxic symptoms include:
- bleeding nose
- decrease in weight
- body aches
- sore throat
- sudden loss of thoughts
In very rare cases, mold can cause certain peoples’ lungs to start bleeding. Some extremely rare allergic side affects can include damage of your brain and possibly death. The only way to mediate these permanently is to get rid of the mildew infestation that you are exposed to.
Psychological/physiological affects of mold can include insomnia and depression. If you have noticed that over time it is harder to sleep consistently at night or have been feeling more run down and sad, it might be because mold has run rampant in your household.
How Do They Test For Mold Allergy?
There are 3 main ways to determine if your allergies are mold symptoms. The first way is to visit a doctor for a physical examination.
Just call ahead of time and when you schedule the appointment, let the doctor know that you want to be tested for mildew allergies. Oftentimes the Doctor will be able to guess if have been affected by mold through your appearance. Of course this should be backed up by testing using a skin test. The doctor will release a tiny, concentrated drop of various actual molds onto your skin and will the look observe your skin to see how it reacts. Skin testing is a very efficient way to be sure that you are allergic to any particular type of mold. The third way that you can see if your allergies are mold symptoms are to take a blood test. One such test called the MELISA test will see if you have mold antibodies in you blood. It will also see if you are allergy to certain toxins.
Whats That Smell?
If your house or office always smells “stale” or “dank”, it is a good sign that mold is growing inside. A moldy smell inside can best be described as musty. Others have described the smell of mold as old milk or a faint smell of dirt. Molds that smell are called microbial volatile organic compounds, which can cause dizziness and stomach aches.Even if you have identified that it is mold and not another factor that is causing your symptoms to occur, it is many times very hard to find the mold causing the problems. However, some of the common places that mold grows is:
- air conditioning units
- under refrigerators
Anywhere with moisture. Once you get rid of the mold, you are on your first step to recovering from the ill effects of mold. You will never be able to fully get rid of your “ill effects” without getting rid of all the mold spores that are in your house or work first.
Common Black Mold Symptoms
Let’s talk for a minute specifically about Black Mold. This type of mold is what most people think of when they think of house mold. We might repeat ourselves a bit below but this is just information applies directly to black mold.
Many people are unaware of what black mold is and how it can easily build up in their homes or businesses. Black mold is a living organism that becomes visible only after it has spread throughout the home. This mold or mildew can affect not only your environment, but cause health problems.
Before learning the black mold symptoms, there are things you must be aware of to determine if your home has been invaded by this organism. One of the first things to understand is how black mold develops. Black molds loves hot, humid places that remain damp. Humidity and moisture is the main ingredient and living place for black mold.
Black mold lives in places that it can eat, such as damp carpet, drywall and wood. These places amplify the development of molds, mildew and the toxic black mold. This does not mean that black mold cannot grow in a colder climate, it just prefers humidity. However, it can develop in dry, humid and cold locations within the house.
After black mold has dried, it can spread like a weed, such as dandelions. If your lawn has ever been invaded by dandelions, then you know that they are extremely difficult to get rid of and spread very quickly. It is the same with black mold. The black mold dries, the cellular legs, called Hyphae, begin to spread out from the spores. These Hyphae rip off the spores and then attach to a different place just a few centimeters away.
Once black mold becomes toxic, which is when the spores dry and the Hyphae begins to rip off, it can create a serious of health problems. Black mold symptoms are difficult to spot. They start out like the common cold or flu. However, black mold poisoning is much more severe than a common cold.
One of the first black mold symptoms is headaches. For some reason you or your family member starts having a serious of headaches that occur more often than they used to. The headache is created by breathing in the spores being shed from the black mold. If you sit near black mold that has grown on the wall, your head will begin start throbbing. Your body is attempting to fight off the black mold spores that are entering the body. Once the spores have entered the body, the headache becomes more severe.
Another of the black mold symptoms is watering eyes. The spores released from the black mold are attracted to the dampness in your eyes. Once the spores reach your eyes, the eyes will itch. The same is true with your throat. The moisture in your mouth will attract the spores of the black mold and the throat will begin to feel scratchy. Both these black mold symptoms commonly develop at the same time or in combination. If you get a scratchy throat, you always get watering eyes with this symptom.
The other typical black mold symptom is coughing and mucus developing in your lungs. This occurs when you are exposed to black mold over a period of time. The spores of the black mold begin to attach itself to the throat and lungs. Once these spores have reached the lungs, the body will start creating mucus so these spores can be broken down into the body system.
One of the most common black mold symptoms is skin rashes or irritated skin. Your skin will develop bumps and redness, which will begin to itch. Scratching these areas of the skin can cause the black mold spores to spread from the infected area of the skin to other parts of the body. The spores attach themselves to the skin, just like any other part of the body. The body attempts to fight off the invasion of these spores and a rash is created.
After being exposed to black mold for a long time, more severe black mold symptoms begin to develop in the body. The lungs can start to bleed and instead of coughing up mucus, you will begin to cough up blood. These spores can eventually destroy the lungs if it is not treated early enough. As the spores start to grow inside the lungs, the lungs will become inflamed. The inflammation will get irritated and burst, causing blood to release inside of the lungs. Eventually the lungs will not be able to function properly.
Shall We Kill Some Mold?
To get rid of mold in most places, you are going to have to make a mixture of bleach and water. Make sure that you thoroughly scrub down all of the places in your bathroom or other room where the mold is reproducing. Borax laundry cleaner and vinegar are also good cleaners to get rid of mold if you don’t have bleach on hand at the time. While scrubbing down the effect area, always wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the damage. Also wear a breathing mask so you won’t get more mold spores into your system, otherwise you will probably feel horrible after cleaning up the mold. After you have scrubbed down all the areas that you believe have an infestation, you are going to need to dry everything well. It is also recommended that if the mold grew under carpet or upholstery to use a HEPA vacuum after you bleach the area. The last step in getting rid of the mold in your house or work place is probably the most important. Make sure that you invest in a high quality dehumidifier for the room where the mold grew. By making the humidity of the room go down, you will also inhibit the mold from being able to thrive.Even after you have gotten rid the entire infestation in your house or at work, you will still need to use something to temporarily mediate your the side affects. This is because it will take time for all of the mold spores to depreciate. It is recommended that you take an allergy medication everyday for at least a month after the mold has been gone. Consult your Doctor! It is okay to use the store brand of an allergy medication to save money as long as you make sure that the store brand has all the same ingredients as a name brand like Claratin. Once again Consult Your Doctor!If allergy medications do not seem to work for you, you can use shots. However, shots can be painful and tedious to take everyday. You will also have to get these shots prescribed by a doctor and they can be quite expensive if your insurance won’t cover them.Hopefully this guide has given you a good idea whether or not you have mold in your house. Remember that allergic symptoms can also be caused by other factors in your life, so if you have a cold for 2 weeks, don’t automatically think that there is mold/mildew in your house or at work. The only time you should be concerned if you have is if you have eliminated all other factors that could be causing you to have a runny nose or breathing problems. At that point, it is always a good idea to visit your doctor.Remember that finding out that you have a problem in your house or place of business is not the end of the world. The sooner you catch the problem, the sooner you can fix it. And if you don’t feel like cleaning up the mold damage, there are always workers available to do it for you. There are plenty of firms that specialize in removing water damage mold infestation. With the new knowledge you have, go make sure that your house and office is free of mold. Good luck!