Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure

The symptoms associated with black mold exposure are varied and can range from mild reactions to more severe or potentially life threatening illnesses. Many of the more common black mold symptoms are hard to distinguish from other common ailments such as allergies, the cold, or flu. Unlike allergies or colds, the symptoms from black mold exposure may not go away if you are in constant contact with it. In fact the symptoms may grow worse or lead to more severe illness.

Common Symptoms

Physical contact or inhalation of mold spores can lead to a number of health problems. Some of the more common black mold symptoms include:

  • Itchy eyes or teary eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Development or increase in asthma symptoms

Keep in mind that not everyone that comes in contact with black mold will have these symptoms. For those that do, they may not have all of them. As you can see, many of the symptoms would be easy to miss or could be attributed to something else entirely given the common nature of the symptoms. These symptoms may show up long before you find evidence of black mold in your home!

Serious Symptoms

While casual or short term contact with black mold generally only produces the mild but annoying symptoms listed above, long term exposure is a different matter. Black mold poisoning is inevitable if the mold problem isn’t taken care of and/or repeated prolonged exposure occurs. Progressively worsening black mold symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Skin rashes, eczema, and hives
  • Body aches, muscle pains
  • Poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Difficulty swallowing, sore throat, burning sensation in the mouth and throat, metallic or dirt taste in the mouth
  • Chills, fever
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration and/or memory loss
  • Dizziness or the inability to maintain balance
  • Urinary tract infections and other problems associated with urination and bowel movements
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Women can experience an increase in menstrual bleeding
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inability to take a deep breath

For infants, people with breathing problems, or those with a compromised immune system these symptoms can lead to severe illness or even death so extra precautions should be taken to insure these people do not com into contact with black mold.

Dangers of Black Mold

Untreated household toxic black mold can cause serious health problems such as breathing problems, damage to internal organs leading to death as well as mental impairment. Black mold can also cause other serious organ effects such as circulatory symptoms, skin problems such as skin inflammation, vision and eye problems, reproductive system ailments, weakening of immune system as well as tiredness and discomfort.

Mycotoxin in black molds

The dangers of black mold are borne out of the neurotoxic nature of this fungi. The toxic black mold is considered one of the most infamous toxic molds since it can exist in houses near humans, making it extremely dangerous to human beings. The longer a person is near the toxic black mold, the more it will cause damage, including permanent damage, to his or her health. The greenish black gelatinous mold is toxic due to its mycotoxin content and is usually slimy with the presence of a wet top layer. Black mold can also appear as powdery if it has dried out.

Improper way of removing toxic black molds

dangers of black molds
Black molds in your house can cause serious health problems.

Other dangers of black mold are aggravated when you try to remove the toxic black mold by your own. Untrained or hasty removal of toxic black molds may allow the mold to release large amounts of mycotoxins within the entirety of your home, eventually worsening your health symptoms. It may be wise to contact a professional mold removal service which can eliminate the toxic black mold at minimal disturbance while preventing exposure to spores and mycotoxins due to careful containment of these toxins. The dwellers of the affect house should also move to a temporary abode until the black mold removal has been accomplished to prevent further damage to the occupants’ health.

The mycotoxins of the mold accumulate at the spores of the black mold and in the entire mold colony, making it easily breathable which eventually cause toxic symptoms and health problems to the persons near the mold.

Moisture multiplies black mold

Toxic black mold can multiply in common building materials subjected to water leakage. Mold needs a good amount of moisture for eight to twelve days before it can grow.

There is no cure for toxic black mold that is why this molds should either be removed the right way or you permanently leave the place where the molds are abundant. This is only the time when black mold causing symptoms start to wear away.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

A person can experience mold allergy symptoms at any time of the year. These mold allergy symptoms can get worse especially in a damp weather as molds love the excessive moisture. Molds are fungi that can release spores in the air. By releasing these spores, they are able to reproduce and multiply especially in areas which are damp and dark. Moisture will provide a good breeding environment for molds.

Molds can attach themselves to almost everything, so generally we are all exposed to mold at some point. At an extremely low level of exposure, we generally don’t need to be alarmed. But this does not mean that we can ignore them. Excessive exposure to mold spores can cause allergy symptoms.

Like any other type of allergy, mold allergy is triggered by the response of our immune system. As we inhale the spores, our immune system will identify them as foreign invaders. Our body will then produce allergy-causing antibodies to fight these foreign invaders. With continued exposure to these allergens, our immune system will become overly sensitive, thus triggering episodes of mold allergies.

Mold Species That Cause Allergy

Generally, a person may not realize that their house is infested with mold. But if you are sensitive to this fungi, you might experience allergy symptoms especially in winter months. Indoor molds could be a big burden for your house and your family.

There are literally thousands of species of mold, but only a few have been associated to cause allergy. These mold species include:

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Epicoccum
  • Fusarium
  • Helminthosporum
  • Penicillium
  • Phoma
  • Smuts
  • Rhizopus
  • Mucor

Symptoms of Mold Allergy

Mold allergy symptoms may include the following, sneezing, nasal discharge, watery eyes, irritated eyes and throat, cough and dizziness. One might experience excessive sneezing caused by continued irritation of the nose and throat. As more mold spores are inhaled, it can trigger allergic rhinitis. People may experience these symptoms immediately especially when exposed in areas like the basement or any damp room. But there are also cases where allergic reactions may appear delayed. As occurrence of mold allergy symptoms may vary from person to person, it is best to keep your home mold-free as much as possible.

Due to outdoor molds, people with mold allergy may exhibit mold allergy symptoms the entire summer. On the other hand, people with mold allergy may also exhibit symptoms all year round especially in winter due to indoor molds.

Aside from allergic rhinitis, mold allergy is often linked with asthma which can cause airway obstruction. Eventually, people might experience wheezes and difficulty in breathing. Severe cases of asthma attack may cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightening.

A common indoor and outdoor mold called Aspergillus may cause a complication called Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis. In this case, mold spores may reach the distant parts of the lungs. As the mold multiply, it may produce a “fungus ball”, which can cause severe respiratory problems. Some people might experience mold allergic symptoms or might worsen their allergy by eating foods like processed cheese or any food containing yeast.

Why Is Mold Harmful?

Mold is usually not a problem outside the house, but exposure to household mold or indoor mold should be a cause for concern. Mold is a  fungus that can virtually grow anywhere, as long as there is adequate moisture and appropriate temperature. Exposure to mold is inevitable but there are means of controlling it. Outdoors, mold is helpful in the decaying process of nature and some types of mold are grown in a controlled setting for medicinal purposes. But indoor mold can be harmful and exposure to it must be avoided.

Mold Can Lead to Allergy

Excessive exposure may cause serious health problems. Molds reproduce by releasing its spore to the air. Exposure to mold via inhaling or touching mold or mold spores can cause allergic reactions especially for those who are sensitive. The allergic reaction may be immediate or delayed as it varies from person to person. The allergens, once inhaled, will be recognized by our immune system as foreign invaders. Our immune system will react by producing antibodies to combat these foreign invaders. And when these foreign invaders strikes again, our immune system will be react immediately causing the allergic reactions. With continued exposure to molds, our body becomes overly sensitive to these allergens.

Symptoms of Mold Allergy

Mold exposure can cause a variety of symptoms, including skin rash, eye irritation, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and coughing. Exposure to mold can cause redness and watery eyes. As the spores reach our throat, it could result in uneasiness during swallowing or hoarseness of the voice during speaking. As mold allergy develops, people may experience mold allergy symptoms during the winter season and some may exhibit mold allergy seasons throughout the year.

Heath Risks of Mold Exposure

What you may be taking for granted as a small household mold problem can be posing greater risk of serious diseases to your family memebers.

Mold exposure can cause a variety of symptoms, including skin rash, eye irritation, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and coughing.

Serious Respiratory Diseases

For those with mold allergy, mold exposure may trigger asthma attacks. During asthma attacks, a person may exhibit excessive wheezing and difficulty breathing. This is an emergency that one must not ignore. In cases of severe reactions due to exposure to mold, fever is common and difficulty in breathing. With continued exposure, a person will be at risk with several serious respiratory diseases. One type of mold called Aspergillus, can cause Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, which when left untreated could lead to chronic lung damage.

Weak Immune System

For those immune-compromised people, exposure to mold might cause some infectious diseases. The mold becomes opportunistic for those people with weakened immune system like those immune-suppressed individuals having treatment. Babies and pregnant women are also at high risk, so these individuals should not be exposed to molds.

People with a family history of allergies are more likely to develop mold allergy. They are advised to make their home mold free as much as possible. The type of occupation may also put some individuals at risk. Mold exposure may be high for jobs like farming and carpentry. Exposure to mold is also high for those houses which are recently flooded. Houses with leaky pipes should be fixed and common breeding grounds for molds like the bathroom and kitchen should be regularly cleaned. It may be impossible to remove all molds, but certainly you can minimize the exposure from it.