Molds can produce allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction or cause respiratory problems. People with a mold allergy may experience symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.
People with asthma or who are sensitive to mold may have more intense reactions.
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects or none at all. Some people are sensitive to mold.
For these people, exposure to molds can lead to respiratory problems, including wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Molds can also cause nasal stuffiness and irritation of the eye. In some cases, these reactions can be severe.
Some people may have more serious reactions to molds. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
Symptoms of mold exposure may include:
– Shortness of breath
– Nasal and sinus congestion
– Runny nose
– Itchy, watery eyes
– Dry, scaling skin
– Eye irritation
– Nose or throat irritation
If you experience these symptoms after being in a damp or moldy environment, you should see your doctor to find out if you have an allergy or other problem.
People with mold allergies may be more sensitive to certain molds in the environment. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Some molds can produce toxins (mycotoxins). These toxins can be found in the spores as well as in other parts of the mold colony, such as the hyphae (filaments). Toxigenic molds can grow on many different types of materials, including paper, fiberboard, gypsum board, and insulation. The toxins produced by these molds can cause serious health problems, including cancer.
How to avoid getting exposed to molds?
You can take the following steps to prevent mold growth in your home:
– Keep the indoor humidity low. Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels in your home.
– Ventilate shower, laundry, and cooking areas. Turn on exhaust fans when you shower, cook or do laundry.
– Fix leaks and seepage. Immediately fix any plumbing leaks or other water leaks and seepage in your home.
– Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24 to 48 hours) after flooding.
– Remove or replace absorbent materials that have been soaked with water, such as wallboard, drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpeting.
– Do not install fiberglass insulation in areas that may get wet, such as kitchen walls behind sinks or tubs, or in bathrooms.
– If you must store clothing or other materials in an area that is likely to get moldy, put them in plastic bags.
– Inspect your home regularly for mold. Check under sinks, in closets, and in any area where there is moisture, such as around plumbing pipes.
If you find mold in your home, you should clean it up immediately. You can clean most mold with household detergents and cleaners. However, if the moldy area is large (more than 10 square feet), you should hire a professional to clean it.
If you think you may have a mold problem, you should contact a qualified mold inspector or mold remediator. These professionals can inspect your home for mold and recommend the best course of action.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.