Symptoms of mold exposure

Black mold exposure symptoms

Mold allergy symptoms vary widely depending on the person, the age of the individual, their health condition and the type of mold they are being exposed to. Those who are most at risk are the very young, elderly, individuals with compromised immune systems and pets. Also, the class and variety of the fungi is an important factor. For example, the Hazard Class B trigger allergic reactions in people while those from the Hazard Class A group poses far more serious implications.

Topics covered
  • What causes the allergic reactions?
  • Hazard class B exposure symptoms
  • Hazard class A exposure symptoms
  • Recovering from mold poisoning

What causes the allergic reactions

Mold releases tiny microscopic spores into the air from time to time and when they are breathed in the immune system starts reacting in a negative way. The type of reaction depends on the type of mold spores, the quantity breathed in and the persons immune system. This is why it’s always recommended to wear the correct type of respirator mask whenever doing DIY mold removal.

Learn more about these spores here.

Common symptoms of mold exposure

The following symptoms are allergic reactions caused by the hazard class B types and are considered to be non-life threatening. Recovering from these may be as simple as removing yourself from the environment and by following a basic detox regiment.

Mold allergies

Sinus congestion: Mold spores in the nasal cavity causes the seriously unpleasant condition of sinus congestion. As we all know, fungi loves growing in dark and moist places and our nasal cavities are one of those places. Getting rid of fungi in the body is extremely difficult because it could become a recurring condition once you’ve had it.

Headaches & migraines: If you have sinus congestion then it usually goes hand in hand with headaches and migraines.

Sneezing: Sneezing is the body’s way of expelling unwanted agents that have been breathed in. Frequently sneezing whenever in a particular room or environment can indicate a problem.

Coughing: If you ever find yourself coughing regularly when at work or at home then it could mean that you have a hidden mold problem. Coughing is the most common reaction whenever spores are irritating your lungs.

Red eyes: Red, itchy and watery eyes are usually a good tell tale sign of allergic conjunctivitis which are most often caused by either higher than average pollen or mold spore counts in the air.

Asthma attacks: Mold spores do not cause asthma but does trigger asthma attacks in people who already have it.

Rash: One of the more unpleasant symptoms of being exposed to mold is an extremely itchy red, pink or brown rash which appears on the skin. It’s usually caused by the immune system overreacting to the spores which have entered the body but can also be caused by mold spores on your skin.

Learn more about rashes caused by mold here.

Other symptoms may also include a runny nose, shortness of breath, chest tightness, a sore throat, muscle aches, joint pain, fatigue, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, nausea, numbness, memory issues, problems with focus and concentration, depression, anger and metallic tastes in the mouth.

The more serious symptoms

What follows are the results of long term exposure to hazard class A types. These are serious and life threatening but it’s important to remember that the mycotoxins breathed in from these types do not directly cause these conditions. Instead, the spores damage the immune system over a period of time and this makes people more susceptible to these diseases and conditions.

Immune system suppression Toxic mold spores suppresses the immune system and this can be even more dangerous to those who already have a compromised immune system. This potentially leads to a wide variety of recurring bacterial and viral infections.

Respiratory problems: Apart from the usual runny nose and sinus congestion problem, the more serious mold species can cause bleeding of the lungs, nose bleeds and swelling as well as bleeding of the lungs. It can also suppress the immune system to make people more vulnerable to pneumonia and bronchitis.

Reproductive System problems: In rarer and more serious cases black mold spores can cause birth defects and miscarriages in pregnant women. And in men infertility and impotence.

Cancer: Whether or not all toxic molds causes cancer are still up for debate as some experts claim they do while others are not sure. However, the carcinogens produced by the aspergillus species haven been confirmed to be a cancer causing mold.

Circulatory problems: With long enough exposure to mycotoxins they will eventually make their way into your bloodstream. This can lead to heart damage, irregular heart beat, inflammation of the heart, blood not clotting properly, hemorrhage and even bleeding of bodily organs including the brain.

Other symptoms: Hearing loss, hair loss, weight loss, liver disease, coma and death.

How to recover from mold poisoning

The good news is that making a full recovery from mold exposure is very possible. Recovering from the mold allergy symptoms caused by the hazard class B types can take as little as a few days. Simply remove yourself from the infected environment and follow a basic detox program.

If the infected area is your home then you will have to locate the source and have it removed, either by yourself (if the problem area is 10 square feet or less in size) or by a professional remedial company.

If you have been affected by mycotoxins from the hazard class A group then recovery will take considerably longer – even years in some cases. It would be best to see a doctor to take a mold exposure blood test. In this case your doctor will provide you with the best recovery program.

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