When you hear the term toxic mold, what we’re talking about is the various types of mold that produce a toxic substance. Mold in and of itself is not toxic or poisonous, but it produces mycotoxins which are. While for some people mold will cause no issues, for others the reaction can be serious. In addition to allergies and skin rashes, it can trigger respiratory issues as well.
Allergic Reactions Caused By Mold
The most common health problem that comes as a result of mold exposure is an allergic reaction. So, it makes sense that people with allergies to mold are more at risk of grave reactions. It can cause an immediate reaction, but it could also be a health issue that develops over a period of time due to exposure.
The spore themselves and the mold itself can trigger reactions, and there are a variety of symptoms, including watery eyes, red eyes, itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, skin rashes, skin irritations, and coughing.
Asthma attacks – While an asthma attack is nothing new to someone who suffers from asthma, mold can trigger regular occurrences. Additionally, it can cause asthma in people who have previously reported no similar symptoms in the past, specifically when they are allergic to mold. Even people who aren’t allergic to mold can end up with respiratory symptoms, as well as skin and eye irritations.
Severe Reactions – More severe symptoms are uncommon, but they do happen and include trouble breathing as well as fever. This is particularly dangerous for anyone with a compromised immune system or anyone with an existing respiratory problem such as chronic lung disease. It can lead to a serious lung infection. The severity of reactions is dependent on a variety of things, including the person’s susceptibility, their overall health, and the type of mold.
Generally speaking, treating a mold illness is the same as treating other allergic reactions. Though, the treatment will likely depend on the illness that has been caused and how serious it is. Often, people are treating with antifungal medication, specifically when they live with a weak immune system. For asthmatics, it depends on how serious their reaction.
The Risk Factors
There are certain risk factors that make you more susceptible to mold and can cause worsening of symptoms.
- A family history of asthma and/or allergies.
- Working in an atmosphere that frequently causes exposure to mold. For example, working in a greenhouse, carpentry, dairy farming, farming, baking, logging, wineries, and repairing furniture.
- If your home humidity levels are over 50% you are at an increased risk of having mold in the home, which means you are at risk of exposure.
- Mold can grow just about anywhere when the conditions are just right, which means it can crop up in attics, basements, behind walls, grout, carpeting, carpet pads, and a variety of other damp surfaces. If mold has managed to work its way into any of these spots then you will be exposed to it regularly enough to leave you at risk of symptoms.
- If you live in a building with excess moisture, you are at risk. That means flood damage, leaking pipes, and seeping water are all dangerous and may allow mold to grow and flourish, putting your health at risk.
- If your home is poorly ventilated, this is another risk factor.
If you have a problem with mold, its best you have a professional come and take a look for you. Give us a call today.