Molds are known to cause a number of health conditions to people who have been exposed to them. These fungi that grow in filaments and reproduce by forming spores that can travel through air are found in many different types of environments. For instance, there are molds referred to as mildew that mainly grow in homes. This type of mold is usually grayish or white in color and can be found in bathrooms, shower stalls, and other places in the house. Other than homes, molds also thrive in other indoor and outdoor environments that are warm, damp, and humid. This means that it easy to get exposed to these fungi regardless of the environment you are in. Exposure to molds can lead to a number of health conditions. So in this article, you’ll find information on the signs and symptoms, and also medical treatment for mold exposure. Read on to learn more.
Signs and Symptoms of Mold Exposure
People who are sensitive to allergens are the ones who are most likely to develop allergic reactions as a result of the irritating substances that molds produce. Mold itself is not toxic or poisoning. However, some types of this fungus produce mycotoxins, which are substances that are toxic. What this means is that, unless you are sensitive to allergens, you might survive in an environment with molds as long as they are not mycotoxin-producing ones.
The most common and also the greatest health risk related to mold are allergic reactions. After exposure to the allergens, some people might start developing the reactions immediately, while there are those who might do so after a period. Some of the signs that you have been exposed to mold include:
- Skin irritation, or rash
- Itchy eyes
- Redness of the eyes
- Watery eyes
- Running nose
If you are asthmatic and are allergic to mold, exposure to this fungi may lead to an attack. And for most people who are not allergic to the allergens produced by most types of molds, exposure to the toxins produced by Stachybotrys (black mold) can cause symptoms of irritation in the airways, skin, and eyes.
Most cases of exposure to mold usually exhibit mild reactions. But there are cases where those exposed develop severe reactions, which include fever, difficulty breathing, and so on. There are also those who can develop serious lung infections due to exposure — these are mostly individuals chronic lung diseases or those with immune systems that are compromised.
Predicting the degree of severity of the health risks linked to exposure to molds in both indoor and outdoor environments is impossible. Even the degree of susceptibility varies in allergic individuals. It is the extent and exact type of mold that the person was exposed to that determines the symptoms and health risks he or she will face.
Medical Treatment for Mold Exposure
Treating allergic reactions due to exposure to mold is similar to that for allergic reactions in general. If you are someone with a weakened immune system, treatment for mold exposure will typically involve taking special antifungal drugs and other remedies to support circulation and breathing. Your doctor is the one who will determine the exact type of medication to use depending on factors such underlying medical conditions and the type of mold you were exposed to.