Mold is a fungus present everywhere. Generally, a normal amount of mold in the environment where you live doesn’t threaten your health (if you have a regular immune system function). There is no single type of fungus called mold – there are several types of molds. Even if mold doesn’t cause serious health conditions, some people are more sensitive to its spores and can develop respiratory issues if they come in contact with it. In large quantities, mold can get almost anyone sick. Therefore, it’s crucial to remove mold spores from your house if you identify their presence and take steps to prevent them from growing back.
Types of molds
Mold is a fungus that grows both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors it’s an essential organism part of the ecosystem as it breaks down animal and plant matter. Inside it can be problematic because it can trigger infections and allergies.
Different types of molds can grow in the same house. If you lack knowledge about the subject, you may not be able to tell the difference between different kinds. Fortunately, mold removal specialists can test the fungus and figure out how to remove it properly.
The most common types of indoor mold are:
• Aspergillus has a powdery look and forms gray, white or green spots. It doesn’t need much ventilation and usually grows in basements, attics, walls, and fabrics.
• Penicillium can be yellow, green, or blue and usually grows in insulation, under carpets, in basements, and in all spaces where there’s been water damage. If your house was the victim of a fire and you noticed mold growths due to the water used to extinguish it, contact a company like watermoldfire.net that has experience treating mold resulting from water damage.
• Cladosporium is black, green, or brown and prefers both cool and warm environments. It usually grows on fabrics, carpets, wood, and in cooling and heating ducts.
Other types of molds that can grow inside are Alternaria, Trichoderma, aureobasidium, and Stachybotrys chartarum.
Symptoms of mold exposure
When you think of air pollutants, outdoor air first comes to mind. However, specialists state that indoor air is poorer in quality and contains two to five times more air pollutants (like mold) than outdoor air. It also seems that indoor air quality contributes to more than 50% of health issues.
Usually, people associate mold symptoms with allergic reactions, such as coughing, watery eyes, rash, and runny nose. But sometimes, mold triggers more significant reactions. Mold can also affect your nervous and immune systems, and you can experience physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.
Here is a list of common mold exposure symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Eye irritation
- Skin rash
- Lung irritation
- Sore throat
- Metallic taste
- Changes in word-finding, concentration, memory
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased urination and thirst
- Sudden weight gain
- Appetite swings
- Depression, anxiety or rage
- Numbness or tingling in feet and hands
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pains
- Changes in adrenal hormones and thyroid
How dangerous is mold to your health?
A commonly held belief states that mold (especially black mold) is toxic and causes health issues because it relaxes mycotoxins. Research proves that mycotoxins can trigger serious health issues in residents in contaminated houses.
If you experience mold poisoning with mycotoxins, you can have the following symptoms:
- Memory loss
- Changes in mood
- Pains and aches
However, there’s no proof that inhaling mold spores causes the above symptoms.
Most people only experience an allergic reaction when exposed for a long time to mold. Rarely the fungus causes severe health problems in people with particular risk factors.
Infection. Most people breathe mold spores without getting sick. However, if they have certain health issues, they’re at risk of lung infections.
The most common mold-related infections are valley fever (coccidioidomycosis), sporotrichosis, histoplasmosis, and aspergillosis.
Patients suffering from tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are at a higher risk of infection if they inhale mold spores.
Asthma. People with asthma can have an attack if they suffer from mold poisoning, and they may need inhalers to alleviate the symptoms.
Pneumonitis. Mold exposure in the long term can cause pneumonitis, and mold exposure due to workplace or occupational hazards usually leads to this hypersensitivity.
How to regain your health
Test your house
Testing your house to identify any fungus growth can be beneficial if you experience any of the above symptoms. You can hire a company specialized in mold treatment to test your house and recommend solutions for removing the fungus. A qualified professional knowledgeable about the effects of mold on people with health issues can use their trained eyes to identify the source of mold growth. Before hiring someone, ensure they offer both inspection and remediation services to avoid conflicts of interest.
Remove yourself from home until the specialists treat the fungus
If your house was the victim of a fire, the chances are for mold to grow as a result of water damage. Wood surfaces, fabrics, and other porous items are prone to contamination. If you can identify the infested surfaces, remove them from the house. However, if you cannot track the mold source, stay with your family and friends until the mold removal company clears the space.
Seek health assistance
It’s exhausting to recover from a health condition associated with mold exposure. It would help if you had medical and social support to regain your health and wellbeing. See a healthcare professional and follow their recommendations. They may ask you to visit an ozone sauna to improve your support system and recover from mold illness. If your mental health experienced a negative effect, you could engage in activities such as yoga, Pilates, meditation, and gentle stretching to relieve the negative emotions.