Researchers have determined that exposure to mold can cause allergic symptoms and impair people who have asthma. Direct exposure to mold for a prolonged period can cause occupants to suffer from eye irritation, coughing and a runny nose. These conditions may be treated with medication over-the-counter, but they can develop into serious infections if left untreated. People who are already allergic to the spores and allergens in the air face an even greater challenge when exposed to certain types of common indoor and outdoor molds.
As long there is moisture in the environment, these toxic molds can grow on any surface, typically undetected by the occupants inside. People with mold allergies have immune systems that are overly-sensitive to certain spores and treat them as allergens. When the mold spores inside or outside are inhaled, people with mold allergies often suffer watery eyes, itchiness by the mouth and lips, sneezing, nasal congestion or a runny nose. The most common mold species people are allergic to include Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Alternaria.
Mold Spores and Your Body
Because mold grows so effectively indoors, the risk of suffering symptoms due to overexposure lasts all year. Most of the mold indoors grows in damp areas like the basement, bathroom or kitchen. People who have allergies that span several seasons may actually be allergic to mold spores in the air. The symptoms for mold allergies are quite similar to the symptoms of other types of allergies. If the mold spores build up inside the nostrils, you may suffer symptoms associated with hay fever. Once the spores reach the lungs, they can cause asthma-like reaction.
Mold spores can have a profound effect on occupants’ nasal cavities and lungs. The symptoms may manifest right away or they may be delayed. Prolonged exposure to the environment with mold spores in the air will cause the symptoms to worsen and escalate into more serious health conditions. Some people suffer a more severe reaction to mold spores called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, an allergic and inflammatory response that can result in coughing, shortness of breath and severe wheezing. The only cure for mold allergies is to limit your exposure to the toxic spore whenever possible.
Reducing Mold Indoors
Investing in central air, exhaust fans and ways to improve airflow inside the home is an effective way to help reduce the risk of mold forming indoors. Dehumidifiers are also helpful, since mold typically thrives when humidity rises above 50 percent. Fixing leaks and removing sources of dampness within the home is also important for reducing the risks that mold growth can present to the occupants inside. Property owners should also ensure that rainwater is draining away from the premises.
Exposure to mold affects everyone if enough time has passed. Mold spores can cause an allergic-like reaction when they settle in the nostrils and an asthma-like reaction when the reach the lungs. If you have a pre-existing condition like sensitive allergies or asthma, prolonged exposure to airborne mold spores can be a serious health-risk that can escalate quickly in a relative short amount of time.