Mold allergy symptoms vary widely depending on the person, the age of the individual, their health condition, and the type of mold they are 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 mold is an important factor. For example, the Hazard Class B types trigger allergic reactions in people, while those from the Hazard Class A group pose a much more serious threat.
- What causes the allergic reactions?
- Hazard class B exposure symptoms
- Hazard class A exposure symptoms
- Recovering from mold poisoning
What causes these allergic reactions
Mold releases tiny microscopic spores into the air from time to time, and when inhaled, the immune system starts responding negatively. The type of response depends on the kind of mold spores, the quantity breathed in, and the person’s 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.
Sinus congestion: Mold spores in the nasal cavity causes the unpleasant condition of sinus congestion. As we all know, fungi love growing in dark and moist places, and our nasal cavities are one of those places. Getting rid of mold 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 inhaled. 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 throat and lungs.
Red eyes: Red, itchy, and watery eyes are usually a telltale sign of allergies caused by high amounts of airborne pollen or mold spores.
Asthma: 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 a 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 some time, and this makes people more susceptible to these diseases and conditions.
Immune system suppression Toxic mold spores suppress the immune system, and this can be even more dangerous to those who already have a compromised immune system. It potentially leads to a wide variety of recurring bacterial and viral infections.
Respiratory problems: Apart from the usual runny nose and sinus problem, the more serious mold species can cause bleeding of the lungs, nose bleeds, and swelling. 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 congenital disabilities and miscarriages in pregnant women. With men, infertility, and impotence.
Cancer: Whether or not all toxic molds cause cancer is still up for debate, as some experts claim they do while others are not sure. However, the carcinogens produced by the Aspergillus species have been confirmed to be cancer-causing.
Circulatory problems: With long enough exposure to mycotoxins, they will eventually make their way into your bloodstream. This can lead to heart damage, irregular heartbeat, 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 possible. Recovering from the mold allergy symptoms caused by the hazard class B types can take as little as a few days by removing yourself from the infected environment and following a basic detox program.
If the infected area is in 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 for a mold exposure blood test. In this case, your doctor will provide you with the best recovery program.