Mold 101: Effects on Human Health and What to Do

Mold 101: Effects on Human Health and What to Do

Are you wondering what the source of your chronic fatigue, allergies, or sinusitis might be? Have you ruled out common causes?

The answer could be outside of your body: It could be mold growing in your home.

Mold is a fungus that grows indoors and outdoors and contains reproducing spores that travel through the air, among other routes. When we breathe in these spores, it can trigger an allergic reaction similar to seasonal allergies. In this case, the immune system overreacts and can cause coughing, itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, and other symptoms. However, long-term exposure to mold in the home can cause serious health concerns and even result in chronic conditions.

What are Mold Allergies?

Mold exists in over 100,000 different types and has many different uses—that means being allergic to one type of mold doesn’t mean you’re allergic to all types. The most common types of allergy-causing mold are alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium, and penicillium.

Mold allergies can make you sick year-round, while traditional allergies affect you mostly during the shifting seasons. Unlike pollen, mold can affect you both indoors and outdoors. Mold can impact our health in more severe ways than the occasional sniffle. In some cases, severe allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing can occur, bordering on an asthmatic attack.

Illnesses Caused by Mold

Hay fever-like symptoms are a pain, but they’re not serious or life-threatening. On the other hand, some conditions caused by mold can become serious if not addressed.

Some of the most common long-term and serious mold-induced conditions include: 

  • Mold-induced asthma
  • Fungal sinusitis
  • Bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis

These conditions can become severe if the mold spores consistently trigger flares, such as mold-induced asthma, causing inflammatory reactions. Chronic inflammation can lead to constant pain from the immune system overreacting to what it senses as danger—in this case, the foreign spores. For some immunocompromised people, mold can even worsen or cause new issues with the mucus membrane, resulting in conditions as severe as cystic fibrosis (CF).

How to Find Mold

If you’re unsure if your home has mold in it, there are several places you can check. Typically, mold thrives in damp and humid places, such as basements, carpets, and wallpaper

Some of the most common mold hiding spots are:

  • Basements
  • Carpeting
  • Wallpaper
  • Attics
  • Ventilation ducts
  • Crawlspaces
  • Showers
  • Heating and cooling appliances
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Window sills

You can often spot evidence of mold as moisture and dark spots on the wall or leaks in cavity walls. Some types of mold may even produce a persistent, musty odor.

If you suspect there might be mold in your home or are suffering chronic allergies, call a mold expert to investigate the source.

Contact Mold Medics

If you find mold growing in your home or are experiencing health effects of mold growth, contact Mold Medics. We offer solutions to keep your home healthy and safe, including mold removal, radon testing, air duct cleaning, home disinfection, and more
Not sure if you’re experiencing mold-related health issues, or wondering where the mold might be coming from? Call us today to get a FREE quote and schedule an in-home assessment. Our experts are American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) board-certified. In addition to determining whether mold levels are elevated, a certified expert will be able to specify the type of mold in your home and conduct air sampling as part of our mold testing.

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