Mold Health Issues and Risks of Exposure
What Are the Health Risks of Mold?
What Are the Main Mold Health Issues?
Allergies are the most common health issue associated with mold, but there are several other potential risks.
The most common health risk associated with mold exposure is an allergic reaction. Like other allergic reactions, symptoms include sneezing, nasal or chest congestion, dry or itchy eyes, skin irritation, headaches and fatigue. The severity of the allergies depends on the person and those with other allergies may experience more severe symptoms. Allergic reactions to mold may be immediate or delayed.
While mold will not cause asthma in most healthy adults, it can irritate those with asthma and trigger asthma attacks. Common symptoms include coughing and wheezing. While not definitive, several studies have linked mold exposure in infants to asthma and other upper respiratory issues later in life.
Individuals with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to fungal infections if exposed to high levels of mold. Sinus and digestive tract infections are the most common, but lung and skin infections are also possible.
Hypersensitivity is an overreaction of the immune system in normally healthy individuals. Mold-induced hypersensitivity is usually related to the direct exposure to inhaled mold spores which may cause allergic asthma or hay fever. Common symptoms are a runny nose, watery eyes and coughing. In rare cases, it can cause an inflammation of the alveoli within the lung.
Molds, including black mold, produce toxic compounds called mycotoxins. Exposure to extremely high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and, in very rare cases, death. Fortunately, the level of exposure necessary is virtually impossible under normal scenarios. Even prolonged exposure to mold in residential or commercial situations is unlikely to result in that level of toxicity.
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a condition where usually healthy individuals feel ill for unexplained reasons. It’s believed that SBS is related to issues with ventilation, air quality and the movement of air through heating and cooling systems. While the exact relationship is unclear, mold may be a contributing factor to SBS. Symptoms vary widely and include irritation and sensitivity of the eyes, noses, and throat, headaches, fatigue, irritability, asthma attacks, chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, skin dryness and irritation, nausea, uneasiness and discomfort.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Mold?
For most people, the symptoms of mold exposure are similar to allergic reactions. However, young children and the elderly are prone to more severe mold symptoms.
People that already have allergies, asthma, upper respiratory issues, or compromised immune systems may have more severe symptoms after mold exposure. It can worsen the symptoms of those conditions or even cause infections.
Also, prolonged exposure to mold increases the chances of health issues. In addition to allergies, symptoms usually include trouble breathing, headaches, fatigue and frequent respiratory infections like bronchitis.
These are the most common symptoms of mold exposure:
The easiest way to combat these symptoms is to remove the mold. The mold is caused by some water source, so you need to repair that problem or it will return in weeks or even days.
What Are the Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure?
What to Do If You Are Concerned About Mold Health Issues or Exposure Symptoms
If you are concerned about mold health risks or symptoms of mold exposure, Restoration Local offers cleanup and testing services. Our mold technicians offer a free in-home assessment and estimate to determine if you have a problem.
If you have visible mold, we offer complete mold removal services to get rid of the problem. If you don’t see mold but are worried you may have an issue, we also offer mold inspection and testing services.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mold Health Issues
It’s normal to be concerned about mold health issues. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about the health risks of mold. If you still have questions, please call us now and we can assist you with your mold problem.
It’s hard to predict how long it takes to get sick from mold exposure, but most people usually experience symptoms in as little as two days to up to a week or more. Young children, the elderly and those with severe allergies or respiratory illnesses are more likely to feel sick faster than healthy individuals.
In most cases, mold symptoms will last as long as you are exposed to the mold. Typically, they will worsen the longer you are in contact with the mold. However, some symptoms may come and go depending on your health and other factors. Your symptoms will continue until after the mold is gone and may even take a few days to completely leave your system.
While there is no standard amount of time, most symptoms of mold exposure will occur between thirty minutes and a few days after exposure. Other factors that determine when symptoms will occur include whether you touched or breathed in the mold, how much mold you came in contact with and how healthy you are.
Although you can get rid of mold allergy symptoms with allergy medication, this is only a temporary solution. The only way to get rid of them permanently is to remove the mold and prevent it from returning. Depending on the amount of mold and how sensitive you are, it may take a few days or even a week or more before all mold health issues go away.