Health Risks Associated with Black Mold
We are all familiar with the fact that black mold can cause serious health issues. The truth is that the mold may not be easily noticeable, especially if you don’t look for it. It can hide in your basement, attic, and other dark corners of the house with high humidity.
Because of this, many people experience symptoms caused by the spores without realizing that the mold is present in their home. Some of these are often mistaken with symptoms of a common cold, so people spend years living in a toxic environment. In the following article, we will discuss these conditions in great detail, and hopefully, help you understand whether you should inspect your property and look for the signs of this infection.
Issues with one’s respiratory system occur most commonly since people inhale spores and mycotoxins. These easily spread through the air, and they are one of the reasons why mold is considered to be a silent, invisible enemy.
The spores one breathe can irritate their air passages, which is why they have trouble breathing, i.e., they experience shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, sore throat, as well as a stuffy and runny nose. As you can see, these are also symptoms of a common cold, so it isn’t surprising that people just ignore these and wait to feel better. Some of the more serious respiratory problems include nose bleeds and bleeding gums. When it comes to the last sign, people often connect it with poor oral health, so they go to the dentist, and the possibility that toxic mold is present in their home never crosses their mind.
Did you know that according to research, almost all cases of chronic sinus infection are caused by black mold? Do you know how these chronic diseases develop? That’s right, by being exposed to the source over a long period of time. It frequently occurs to people who haven’t had mold infection in their home before or to those that have just moved into a beautiful, brand new house.
According to another study, 10% of the world’s population is allergic to black mold. In fact, allergy is a condition that most frequently occurs due to mold exposure. It means that a person who suffers from it will have a reaction when they come in contact with mold or inhale it. As you can assume, symptoms are similar to those of other kinds of allergies, and they include sneezing, runny nose, and dry and itchy skin. However, here’s the trick. People can have a reaction to the outside mold since the spores are all around us, and this usually occurs during summer and fall. On the other hand, if the person lives in a home infected by it, their allergy symptoms will occur all year round, which is understandable since they will constantly be exposed to it.
Now, there has been a lot of debate regarding black mold being a cause of asthma. When it comes to adults, these toxic spores cannot cause asthma on their own, meaning that a person’s immune system has to be affected by some other condition. We are talking about numerous diseases that can weaken one’s immune system. If you are wondering whether allergies can cause it due to the previous paragraph, the answer is yes. Depending on the severity of allergy and exposure as well, the toxic spores can eventually reach the person’s lungs and trigger asthma.
On the other note, kids are more likely to suffer from it due to spore exposure. This is especially true for infants. According to research, if babies are exposed to black mold during their first year of life are at a higher risk of developing asthma.
Even though researchers haven’t found a direct connection between black mold exposure and depression, some studies have shown that people who live in homes affected by it are more likely to suffer from depression. Scientists believe that physical symptoms can cause it. When you have a cold, and you don’t feel well, all you want is to spend a day in bed, right? Well, imagine feeling like this for weeks, even months at a time.
In addition, spores can accumulate in your body, and according to research, oftentimes, they can cause insomnia and anxiety, which can only darken one’s mood further. When it comes to these symptoms, it may be even more difficult to pinpoint the source since they may not be as consistent as physical ones.
Furthermore, if people know that their home has been infected, they can feel like they have no control over it. Plus, they worry about the well-being of their kids and other family members. They also worry about the cost of cleaning and fixing everything. As you may know, dealing with black mold infection can be time-consuming, and it can cost a lot of money if the damage caused by it is significant.
Moreover, skin conditions such as itchiness, blisters, dry skin, and rash can be another telltale sign of mold infection. These mostly occur to people who already suffer from an underlying condition or have a mold allergy. Still, keep in mind that these usually occur when a person comes in direct contact with the spores. Due to this reason, if you want to remove this infection from your home on your own, without help from a professional, it is critical to wear protective gear and cover every part of your body.
Who is affected?
Finally, most people are interested in knowing who is at the highest risk of suffering from a condition caused by toxic spores. Firstly, age and general health play a major role. Older people and those who already suffer from another disease are more likely to experience difficulties than those with a clean bill of health.
Next, young kids, especially toddlers and infants, are at greater risk simply because their immune system is not strong enough to fight off the infection. It is why they are usually the first ones to experience these symptoms.
Lastly, some people are simply more sensitive to these issues than others. It is why one person in a household may have a sore throat, another may have difficulty breathing and short breath, while some may not have any symptoms at all.
There are quite a few resources available with troves of facts about mold that you didn’t know, so not only learn more about how mold can affect your health, but what you can do to remove it from your home and work environment.