When mold spores in your home find wet or damp spots, they can grow and potentially cause more trouble than damage to walls and furniture. Exposure to mold can lead to “sick building syndrome”, a variety of health problems including nasal or lung irritation, skin rashes, and infection. You may even experience body aches and mood swings from breathing in mold continually.
Cracked pipes, leaky windows or appliances, floods, and high indoor humidity can lead to excess moisture in your home. Experts have confirmed that being in a damp, moldy building increases the risk of mold-related sicknesses. Read on to learn more about common signs that mold in your home might be making you sick.
Common Indoor Mold Exposure Symptoms
Molds are naturally present everywhere, so we encounter them all the time. Moisture within closed spaces such as homes encourages mold spores to grow and spread. For some people, their body deals with mold as an allergen, and their immune system overreacts with symptoms including:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- eye irritation
- skin rash
Health-related complications may arise depending on the type of mold, how long you’ve been exposed, and your individual health condition. Not everyone who is exposed to mold experiences symptoms, and many people only develop minor, temporary issues.
More Serious Mold Toxicity
Repeated exposure to mold can make some people more sensitive to it. This can lead to more severe allergic reactions.
- Mold-induced asthma – a chronic lung disease marked by inflammation and constriction in the airways. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common mold, can cause asthma or more severe symptoms in people with asthma.
- Allergic fungal sinusitis – a common infection resulting in thick fungal debris, sticky mucus, and blockage in the infected sinus. This illness recurs often, and surgical removal of the debris and mucus is typically necessary.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis – a fungal infection, also caused by Aspergillus, which produces asthma-like symptoms. In chronic cases, mold fibers tangle up into a fungus ball in an area of past lung scarring.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis – an umbrella term referring to inflammation of lung tissue. It is treatable but can lead to permanent scarring to the lungs if left untreated.
These illnesses can mimic sinusitis or other allergies. A health care provider can make an official diagnosis following a physical exam, review of your medical history, and lab tests.
What To Do If You Think Your House Is Making You Sick
If you find yourself feeling ill at home but better when you’re away, check out your air quality. Vacuum and change out air filters regularly to remove dust and particles. Have your home tested for indoor mold.
If possible, open your windows to let in the fresh air. Go outside as often as possible to reduce your exposure to mold and other irritants. Stay somewhere else if you can until the mold is removed and the area is cleaned and sanitized.
Increased Health Risk Factors
Individuals with certain health conditions should take extra caution if exposed to mold. The following conditions can make people more susceptible to mold sickness:
- family history of allergies
- compromised immune system
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- cystic fibrosis
- living in a water-damaged or moldy home
When to Find Help For Mold
If you’re concerned that your symptoms may be mold-related, seek medical attention right away. While some issues may resolve on their own, a health care provider can best advise you on how to reduce your symptoms and feel more comfortable at home.
Of course, you’ll need to limit mold exposure, so you and your household don’t continue to get sick. Restore & More is your local expert for solutions including mold detection and removal. Our highly trained crew can clean your space and air of mold spores and other contaminants. Call us 24/7 for our full range of restoration and repair services.