Mold spores do more than hide in your baseboards. They may be the cause of those lingering symptoms.
Do you have symptoms of asthma that grow worse in your house? Are you positive your shortness of breath, coughing, and fever is just a short-lived cold? Is it possible what you call allergies is actually mold spores floating in the air your home? Is the same air that is putting your children or older family members in risk of these same symptoms?
These questions are not meant to be scary, but to point out unseen potential causes of many health problems. And to give you some easy steps you can take to eradicate that mold and make everyone in your house a little healthier.
The Symptoms Caused By Mold
Mold is a layman’s term for various types of fungus found in homes. Sometimes referred to as mildew, mold can grow in damp places such as basements, vents, closets, ducts, pipes, and ceilings. Mold produces spores that can travel through indoor and outdoor air and can be inhaled by humans of any age. These spores can be released in any season.
The most common effect of mold in your home is as an allergen to sensitive people. Mold spores are inhaled and cause an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can happen immediately or develop over time.
Those with asthma are always highly affected by mold. Asthma attacks can be brought about by mold and mold spores. And even for those who do not suffer from allergies or asthma, mold can be irritant to eyes, skin, and airways.
Who Is Susceptible?
It is very hard to tell who will be affected by mold and to what severity. Much of this depends on the type of mold (which we’ll talk about below), how much of it is present, the health of the person affected, and how much time they spend in an environment with mold present.
For example, some research has found there was a link to exposure to mold and coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people. Those with a compromised immune system can experience fever, difficulty breathing, and serious lung infections caused by exposure to mold.
Children and older adults are more likely to experience reactions, inflammation, and discomfort if exposed to mold. And, again, the likelihood of experiencing these symptoms increases the more time is spent in a space with mold.
Types of Mold
Cladosporium is a dark brown or black mold found indoors and outdoors. It has been reported to cause irritation of the skin, toenails, sinuses, and lungs. Spores can cause allergic reactions and large amounts can affect those with asthma.
Penicillium can be used for many useful purposes, namely antibiotics. But, growing in your home, it is a major allergen that can be breathed deep into your lungs.
Alternaria causes many health problems. The fungus can grow on skin, on eyeballs, and in respiratory tract. Infections from alternaria are rare, except in those with compromised immune systems.
Aspergillus can cause paranasal sinus infections.
Getting Rid of Mold in Your Home
Mold can very difficult to eradicate entirely. The first step is to find out if you have mold your home. You can order a home testing kit online or find one at your local hardware or home improvement store.
You can also get a professional test done. They will be able to give you results sooner and give you more detailed guidance on how to eradicate and limit any mold they find.
Even before you discover mold, make sure you check places in your home mold is likely to grow. Be aware of places with any moisture: in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, near and around pipes, appliances, ducts, and vents.