Some molds produce allergy-causing substances especially in sensitive persons and some molds are able to produce toxic substances but the mold itself is not poisonous. The reasons why some molds produce toxins are not discovered entirely and what is even more interesting some molds that can produce toxins do not produce toxins at all. As we have mentioned some molds are safe and some cause medical problems in adults and children particularly in those who are sensitive in molds.
There are three main types of symptoms mold can cause:
- Allergic and irritant symptoms
- Toxic symptoms
Allergies are the most common symptoms. When you inhale mold spore your body reacts and allergic reaction is caused. This reaction occurs due to immune system’s defense against external particles which come into the body.
The person becomes more and more sensitive as he/she spends time around mold and finally he/she is not able to tolerate even small amount of mold. Consequently their allergy becomes more and more severe.
Symptoms that mold allergies cause are:
- Cold or flu like symptoms
- Sore throat
- Blocked nose
- Irritated, itchy throat
- Blocked nose
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
- Itchy nose
- Runny nose
- Sinus headaches
- Itchy ears
- Sinus congestion
- Irritated, itchy skin
- Skin rash, hives
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Red, bloodshot eyes
- Hay fever symptoms
- Hair loss, baldness
Toxic Symptoms from Toxic Mold
There are about 16 types of molds which are dangerous for humans and they produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins cause symptoms much worse than allergic reaction like: damage to internal organs, bleeding, cancer, damaged brain function and in some cases even death. The most dangerous toxic mold is Stachybotrys chartarum or known as the Toxic Black Mold.
Very often mold spores end up in the person’s lungs and begin to grow there. They can also get into the sinuses, digestive system or in the skin. These mold infections usually avoid healthy people and attack elderly people or those who are ill with weakened immune system which cannot fight against the mold. Sometimes these infections can be lethal.
Mold species that can attack people’s immune system are Trichoderma, Penicillium marneffei and Aspergillus fumigatus.
Testing for Mold Symptoms
Physical Examination for Mold Symptoms
There are several tests which can help in discovering mold infection and are done by allergists. One is by simple physical examination by the doctor who is able to notice the visible symptoms due to allergic reaction caused by mold allergy.
Skin Tests for Mold Symptoms
Skin test is also a very common test for mold allergy. Allergist or doctor will inject tiny drops of pure mold allergens in the skin and wait for the reaction.
Skin test is more reliable than blood tests although neither of them can show all types of molds as allergens of every type are not available.
Blood Tests for Mold Symptoms
Blood test is the other option and for this test, blood sample is needed and examined. With this test the doctor can find out if any mold antibodies are found in the blood.
Treatment for Mold Symptoms
The best way to avoid mold allergies is to avoid mold and mold spores as much as possible.
If mold is present in your home you must clean it because with its removal you will no longer breath mold and mold spores and you will recover really quickly.
But be careful because even if you clean the mold the mold spores which are not visible can cause allergic reaction and can cause mold growth again. That is why you need to vacuum and clean regularly to prevent mold.
Avoiding Food Mold
If you suffer from mold allergies you may notice that certain foods increase the allergic reaction. This happens because certain foods as mushrooms and yeast contain fungus.
That is why you should avoid these products and you need to check the food before consuming it especially bread, fruit and cheese.
Medications for Mold Symptoms
Medications can be used for reducing allergic reaction and they are usually in form of pills or nasal sprays. But you need to consult your doctor first and strictly stick to the prescribed therapy. You need to be aware also that these medications only alleviate the symptoms they do not cure or lessen the allergic reaction to mold.
Tips: If you have mold in your home it is always advisable to get help from proffesionals!