Mold growing outdoors forms an essential part of our natural ecosystem since it’s instrumental in breaking down plant and animal matter. However, mold can become a concern once it enters your home and starts to reproduce.
Uncontrolled microbial growth is notorious for eating through building materials such as wood, drywall, and insulation and will even grow on concrete. But more importantly, it can be dangerous to your and your loved ones’ health.
Understanding what you’re dealing with is the first step to keeping yourself and your family healthy. To help you get started, let’s unpack the different symptoms of mold exposure, plus the steps you can take if you suspect microbial growth inside your home.
How Mold Affects People
Mold occurs in our natural environment, so we are exposed to small amounts of it when we’re outdoors. But when it begins to propagate inside your home and boosts indoor mold levels, it can cause allergies, headaches, nausea, or other health issues. The symptoms of mold exposure differ from person to person.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold exposure may not be related to any particular health complication. However, vulnerable individuals such as those with mold allergies, are more susceptible to experiencing dangerous symptoms such as
memory loss, fatigue, or headaches. While the health risks of mold exposure may vary from person to person, it’s always best to address mold effectively to maintain a healthy environment in your home.
While some people may be asymptomatic, some individuals may develop symptoms quickly, especially those with existing health conditions, making them more susceptible to mold-related reactions. Therefore, it’s best to enlist professional mold remediation when you detect signs of microbial growth.
Symptoms of Exposure to Mold
As we’ve mentioned, the signs and symptoms of mold exposure differ for each person. It also helps to remember that the way an individual was exposed to mold also plays a role in the health issues they may experience.
Symptoms of Mold Allergy
If you are living in a house with high mold levels or have been exposed to it at school or work, you may experience:
- Runny nose and congestion
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Dry cough
- Sore, dry throat
- Rash or skin scaling
- Lung irritation, wheezing, or shortness of breath
- Difficulty focusing
These symptoms can progress to asthma and lung diseases if the exposure to mold continues, so all microbial growth in your property must be urgently addressed.
Symptoms of Mold Infection
Mold infections are not common, but they can affect people with suppressed immune systems due to medication intake, alcohol, or tobacco use. In addition, those with lung conditions or previous health issues are also vulnerable to such infections.
Mold infection progresses in time and causes:
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Coughing with mucous or blood
- Chest pain
If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Individuals Susceptible to Mold
If you or someone you live with falls within the following categories then getting professional mold remediation will help protect your health and your home.
- People allergic to mold – Individuals allergic to mold can experience severe reactions after exposure because they are more sensitive to such organisms.
- People with chronic diseases – Those with asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases can develop symptoms of mold poisoning, even after a brief exposure, so extra care is needed.
- People with suppressed immune systems – Individuals who have just recovered from sickness, or who have a suppressed immune system because of smoking, alcohol abuse, or poor nutrition are at a higher risk of developing mold infections.
Treatment for Mold Exposure
If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms of mold exposure, the best course of action is to consult a doctor first. A doctor will be able to determine whether mold exposure is indeed causing your allergic reactions or if it’s likely that another health condition is responsible.
For mold allergies, treatments usually include nasal corticosteroid sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants. You may also be given allergy shots if you experience severe symptoms.
But in addition to seeking prompt treatment after mold exposure, keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy requires taking preventative steps like:
- Using a dehumidifier to keep the humidity below 50 percent
- Cleaning damp areas like bathrooms and basements regularly
- Using an extractor fan during in your bathroom
- Repairing leaks right away, removing excess water, and using fans to dry the area.
How to Know if Mold Is In Your House
It may be time to call in the experts in mold remediation if you’ve experienced:
- Allergy or flu-like symptoms that come when you’re at home and go when you’re out
- A musty or damp smell inside your home
- Water damage from a recent flood or plumbing leak
- History of mold in your home
The Importance of Rapid Mold Remediation
While mold exposure isn’t always the cause of certain health problems, it’s always safer to have microbial growth removed from your home. Vulnerable individuals, such as those with existing health conditions can suffer from symptoms of mold allergy and infection that can worsen with continued exposure to mold. Indoor mold can also put those with chronic diseases and weak immune systems at a higher risk of developing further health complications. Further, severe mold infestations can damage your home’s structure and compromise its structural integrity as well.
A professional team can assist with swift and thorough mold remediation to help mitigate the risk of suffering health issues as a result of mold exposure. How quickly you respond to microbial growth and mold infestation can make all the difference in protecting your family and safeguarding your property.