Mold exposure is quite possibly the most misdiagnosed illness in North America. If you’ve been feeling off lately with no explanation, now’s your chance to learn about mold sickness symptoms so you can seek medical help and mold remediation services as soon as possible.
How Does Mold Affect the Human Body?
The long-term health effects of mold remain a topic of debate, but one thing is certain—mold exposure causes the body to have allergic reactions. It’s important to understand that mold affects people differently. It’s not healthy for anyone, but the same way some people are allergic to bee stings, sensitive individuals may suffer more adverse effects than the general population.
The way you come in contact with mold makes a difference as well. For example, you can breathe in mold spores, eat rotten food, or touch moldy surfaces, resulting in different reactions. The duration and intensity of exposure also make a difference. Plus, there are thousands of species of mold, another reason for wide-ranging mold sickness symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Mold Exposure?
Symptoms of Breathing in Mold
Several diseases can result from breathing in mold spores, including:
- Allergic rhinitis: Also known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis is one of the most common responses to mold. This is when the body releases antibodies and histamines to fight off allergens. After spending a short period of time in a moldy environment, you may experience itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny nose.
- Allergic asthma: Some people experience asthma symptoms when exposed to allergens. This is called allergic asthma. If you have developed a sensitivity to mold, spores entering your airways may cause lung airway inflammation, making it difficult to breathe.
- Sinusitis: When mold spores enter your nose, inflamed and painful sinuses can occur. The infection here can last a few days to longer than a month.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: After passing through the nasal cavities, mold spores make their way deeper into the respiratory system. The presence of foreign particles causes the lungs to release enzymes and leukotrienes, degrading the functionality of the lungs over time. At first, symptoms may appear flu-like. Later, you may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, lung fibrosis, or weight loss.
- Bronchopulmonary mycosis: When inhaled mold spores establish colonies in the bronchial passages, they may produce mycotoxins as a byproduct. These are poisonous to humans and can cause worsening of asthma symptoms, coughing up blood or mucus with brown flecks, fever, and general weakness.
- Other symptoms: Some effects from breathing in mold are not linked to specific diseases. These include constant headaches, nosebleeds, memory loss, swollen glands, sexual dysfunction, ear infections, and pain in the joints and muscles.
Symptoms of Ingesting Mold
Mold is usually ingested by accident, either by hand-to-mouth contact or eating spoiled food. Ingesting mold can cause many of the same diseases as inhaling mold if the spores enter the bloodstream. Other symptoms manifest in the digestive system and include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramps
No specific digestive diseases are related to mold ingestion.
Symptoms of Touching Mold
The least common type of mold exposure is absorption through the skin. Usually, if you touch mold with your hands, it enters your body through hand-to-mouth or hand-to-eye contact. Proper hygiene typically removes mold from the skin before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause any health problems. Still, some symptoms result from touching mold, including:
- Skin rashes
- Open sores on the skin
- Hair loss
Contact Rainbow International® and schedule mold remediation services right away if you suspect you are sick because of mold.