Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Large-scale mold exposure in general, regardless of what type they are, can be a threat to your health and the overall condition of your household. Even your pet can get affected by a mold attack.
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Read on to get some insight into common symptoms of black mold Stachybotrys chartarum and how you can treat and prevent it.
What Are The Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure
Like other mold species, most of the symptoms caused by black mold come in the form of various respiratory conditions. This can stem out from the mycotoxins released from black molds. Mold poisoning from this mycotoxin is the most dangerous effect of black mold. However, it can only be dangerous if you are exposed to large-scale exposure, or if you directly ingest this substance.
Symptoms of Mold Sickness in Humans
Black mold symptoms in humans can range from respiratory problems, allergic reactions, to various infections and other health effects. While the symptoms vary from person to person, here are some common symptoms of black molds to watch out for.
Allergic reactions and respiratory problems include:
- A runny or stuffy nose
- A dry cough
- A sore throat
- Red or watery eyes
- A Skin rash or itchiness
- Lung irritation
- Inflammation of paranasal sinuses
The time it takes for symptoms to appear after being exposed to black mold depends on your sensitivity to molds and the scale of the exposure. The reaction can be immediate or it can take a few days to appear. If you face mold exposure for a long time, these are the additional symptoms that you can develop:
- Shortness of breath
In severe cases, the symptoms of mold exposure might include the following:
- Ear infection
Symptoms due to mold attack can be severe for people with a respiratory condition and a compromised immune system. According to the State Environmental Health Agencies, mold exposure can pose a menacing threat if combined with the following pre-existing conditions in people:
- Weakened immune system
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
Mold Toxicity Symptoms in Pets
Just like humans, animals can also get affected by mold. While symptoms of mold in pets are not often talked about, they are no less serious than that of humans. Molds can invade your pet’s body in two ways: by inhalation or by ingestion.
These are some common symptoms in pets due to black molds:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Mild to severe nose bleeds
- Stuffy nose or runny nose
- Red itchy eyes or runny eyes
- Skin rash
- Fur loss (by excessive scratching and licking)
- Pulmonary hemorrhage (severe bleeding in the lung)
- Loss of appetite
- Seizure and convulsion
How to Treat Mold Infection Symptoms
As the symptoms due to black mold exposure vary widely, it can be difficult to pin down the problem of mold exposure. Once you have a proper diagnosis, the doctor can prescribe you some treatment. Treatment might include;
- Oral antibiotics
- Analgesics (to help with the fever)
- Nasal spray or rinses
- Allergy shots
Symptoms caused by mold rarely require the patient to be hospitalized; simple over-the-counter medicines are enough to alleviate most of the symptoms. However, if your lungs or other respiratory organs are infected, further long-term treatment might be required. Depending on the type of mold and the scale of exposure, the symptoms can disappear once the source is removed from the environment.
How to Prevent Black Mold Growth in Your Home
Once your home gets infested with mold, it can be downright exasperating to get rid of it. Mold spores can be airborne and unless you put in extensive measures, your house can’t be free of them. Prevention is a much easier route than dealing with potential health problems and the consequences of the complex mold spore removal processes. There are some strategies that you can follow to prevent mold growth in your home.
Control the Humidity
A humid environment is the perfect breeding ground for black molds. While other types of mold thrive in an environment with 35%- 70% humidity, black mold requires a humidity of 90% for its survival. As a general rule, you should keep the humidity level of your home below 40%. However, depending on the season and the microclimate of your area, the ideal percentage might vary.
For extreme humid conditions, use an air humidifier or an air conditioner to keep the humidity at an acceptable level. Indoor plants that absorb humidity can also help you keep the humidity level low.
Keep Your Surfaces Clean
After humidity control, a wet surface is what aids mold growth. Keep all your surfaces free of water damage and ensure they are free of cellulose dirt and dust. Use water-based, non-toxic cleaning products for surface cleaning. That way, you won’t have the risk of trading one evil for the other.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Ventilation can get rid of humidity faster than other means. Let natural ventilation be your first priority for air circulation. Use an exhaust fan to drive out excess moisture from the bathroom and shower space. Keep the window open when you are cooking, cleaning, or carrying out activities that produce moisture. If your home is flooded or accumulates water, make sure you let that moisture dry completely (for 24 hours- 48 hours).
Use Mold Inhibitors in Paint
Before painting walls make sure you add some mold inhibitors to your paint. While this might not help you with existing mold growth, it will surely help you with long-term mold protection.
Carry Out Regular Inspections
Inspect your house for leaking pipes or faucets. Fix the leaks in the roof or windows to prevent moisture build-up. Inspect the areas that produce moisture, such as the bathroom, shower, kitchen, or basement for the slightest sign of mold growth.
The Bottom Line
While black mold exposure might not be as dangerous as it is believed, it still shouldn’t be taken lightly. Their parasitical tendency makes it easier for them to build large colonies in no time. So, you must take action to prevent their growth before the problem spirals out of control. If you notice black mold growth in your house, contact a local mold removal agency or mold removal experts for their support.