Top 7 Health Risks From Mold

Top 7 Health Risks of Mold

Mold in the home can potentially be toxic, depending on the type of mold and the extent of its growth. Mold releases spores and produces mycotoxins, which can be harmful when inhaled, ingested, or when contact is made with the skin. Exposure to mold can lower indoor air quality and cause various health problems. This is particularly true for people with allergies, asthma, or weakened immune systems. There are many health risks from mold that you need to be watchful of, and O2 Mold Testing can help you protect your family with reliable and affordable mold inspection services.


What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows in moist environments and can appear in various colors and shapes. It spreads through tiny spores released into the air and can land on surfaces or be inhaled. Mold thrives in warm, damp, and humid conditions. It also easily thrives on various surfaces, including wood, paper, fabric, and even some types of food. It can also grow in hidden areas, such as behind walls, under carpets, or in ductwork, making it difficult to detect and remove. It can spread by attaching to clothing, pets, or other surfaces, being carried easily to other locations.


Can Mold Cause Health Problems?

While mold is a naturally occurring substance, it can cause significant problems for many people. According to the CDC, "Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores can cause a person to become allergic to mold. Molds can trigger asthma symptoms, including shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough in people with known allergies. People who do not have allergies can also become irritated. Studies indicate that exposure to molds in the workplace can make pre-existing asthma worse."  Here are some of the most common health risks associated with exposure to indoor mold:


1. Mold Allergy

Indoor mold can cause a range of allergic reactions in some people that can range in severity. These include:

  • Respiratory problems triggered by the spores affecting the lungs.
  • Allergic rhinitis, also commonly known as allergies and hay fever.
  • Skin rashes brought about by mold spores irritating the skin.
  • Overall decline in health due to multiple systems being impacted.

It is important to note that some people may not show any symptoms of mold exposure, while others may experience severe allergic reactions to many common health risks from mold.


2. Dyspnea Caused by a Mold Allergy

Dyspnea is one of the common respiratory symptoms associated with exposure to mold indoors. Mold spores can trigger an immune response in sensitive individuals. It can lead to various symptoms including coughing and wheezing in the airways, irritated throat, worsening of allergy symptoms, and the possible onset of severe asthma attacks.


3. Headache Brought on by Mold

Exposure to mold causes a range of symptoms by initiating an inflammatory response in the body. Headaches are included and can vary in severity and associated symptoms, including sudden onset pressure from sinus congestion, worsening of migraine and other chronic headaches and increased frequency and severity of headaches. If you believe that your headache was caused by mold, then it's time to get a professional help.


4. Mold Can Trigger Skin Problems

Mold exposure can cause contact allergy reactions when they hit the skin, especially if someone is already overly sensitive or has other health issues. Some of the ways that mold can cause skin allergies and problems include:

  • Contact dermatitis, as mold can trigger eczema, blisters, rashes, and peeling.
  • Fungal infections causing red, irritated, or itchy patches of skin.
  • Hypersensitivity or overreaction of the immune system to mild illnesses.
  • Mycotoxins can lead to welts, rashes, itching, swelling, and infection.

Remember, that it's important to address any mold problems in your environment to reduce the risk of health issues.


5. Digestive Issues From Exposure to Mold

Indoor mold exposure can cause stomach issues in some people when ingested in high volume or over extended periods of time. Some digestive issues can be caused by inhaling mold spores or by ingesting food or water that is contaminated with mold. These issues can vary greatly but include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and inability to properly digest food, abdominal pain, cramping, and discomfort. Also, it is worth mentioning that people with pre-existing digestive conditions may be particularly susceptible to these symptoms.


6. Brain Harm From Mold Exposure

Exposure to indoor mold has been associated with various brain health risks.This is because some types of mold produce mycotoxins, which are toxic substances that can affect the nervous system.

Some of the ways that indoor mold can affect brain health include:

  • Cognitive impairment, particularly in people already at high risk.
  • Neuroinflammation caused by an extreme response of the immune system.
  • Fatigue and depression can set in as pain and fatigue worsen.
  • Increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's.

It's important to note that not everyone who is exposed to mold will experience these symptoms. The severity of symptoms can vary depending on the individual and the type of mold involved.


7. Mold-related Eye Problems

Mold can also cause a negative effect on your eyes. If you were exposed to indoor mold you can probably experience various problems which can cause the following conditions, such as Conjunctivitis(pink eye), blurred or double vision, and light sensitivity, commonly known as photophobia, is common as well.


How to Prevent Further Exposure to Mold and Reduce Health Impact

To prevent further exposure to mold, it is important to identify and address the source of the mold growth in your home or workplace.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent mold exposure:

  • Fix leaks and moisture problems: Mold thrives in damp environments, so it is important to fix any leaks or moisture problems in your home or workplace.
  • Control humidity levels: Indoor humidity levels should be kept below 60% to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean and dry affected areas: Mediation and clean-up are necessary if you have had water damage or identified mold growth.
  • Use mold-resistant products: When remodeling or building, consider using mold-resistant products designed to prevent mold growth.
  • Ventilate properly: Proper ventilation is essential to prevent mold growth and improve ventilation by opening windows and using exhaust fans.

Protect Your Family Against the Health Risks From Mold.

With help from O2 Mold Testing, you can protect yourself and your family from the health risks of mold incursion within the home. Don't wait for a severe mold allergy or reaction to put you or a loved one in the doctor's office. Take steps today to find, test, and treat mold indoors! Our team of dedicated mold inspection specialists is committed to helping keep your family safe from exposure to mold in your home. Call today for more information and to schedule your on-site mold inspection!


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