Mold is a type of fungi that thrives in a humid or damp environment. Since dampness or humidity is one of the most important factors associated with a mold infestation, mold can be commonly spotted in bathrooms, kitchen or basements. These can grow on damp wood, walls, peeling wallpaper, furniture and can spread easily to other areas of one's home. Whenever the moisture, temperature and humidity is perfect for their growth, the fungi spores that are usually present in the air start growing into thread-like filaments called hyphae. The hyphae then turn into mycelium, which in turn, starts producing spores. When these spores become airborne, these attach themselves to water-damaged surfaces or decaying organic matter. Stachybotrys chartarum is one of the types of mold that releases toxins. Greenish-black patches on walls or other surfaces is a sign of this mold. So, if your spot such patches anywhere in your home, take steps for removing this mold at the earliest. Such unsightly patches on damp surfaces not only affect the look of your home, there is also the risk of one suffering from mold poisoning. Mold poisoning occurs as a result of inhalation of myotoxins released by these spores. Mold poisoning may manifest in the form of frequent allergies and a variety of other symptoms. In this article, we will look into the symptoms of black mold poisoning along with mold poisoning treatment options.
Mold Poisoning: Symptoms
Toxic black mold can be easily spotted due to its appearance and the characteristic musty odor. However, there could be times, when mold may not be visible or might be growing in places that are hard-to-reach. If a mold infestation is not detected, one may continue to inhale the toxins released by mold for long stretches of time. This may lead to mold poisoning. Those who are ill or have a compromised immune system are at a greater risk of developing recurrent allergies or health problems due to exposure to mold. Other symptoms of black mold poisoning may include breathing problems, asthma, headaches, watery eyes, runny nose, wheezing, coughing, skin rashes and scratchy throat. The inhalation of myotoxins could also be responsible for the onset of asthma. These symptoms of mold poisoning could be a direct result of the inflammation of mucus membranes. Prolonged exposure could also have an adverse impact on the respiratory system. If the central nervous system gets affected, one may suffer from memory problems or lack of concentration.
Mold Poisoning: Treatment
If one has been suffering from recurrent allergies or any of the aforementioned symptoms, he/she must consult a doctor soon. Prolonged exposure to toxic mold can affect the immunity levels. It is therefore, important to run certain tests in order to assess the patient's immune response to the infection as well as allergy hypersensitivity. Complete blood test, urinalysis, mold poisoning test, visual contrast sensitivity test or biotoxin test may help the doctors ascertain the effect of black mold exposure. The treatment of black mold poisoning will vary depending on the symptoms exhibited by the patient. Doctors may use symptomatic approach for the treatment of mold poisoning. Since the symptoms of mold poisoning are similar to that of allergies, doctors may prescribe antihistamines, nasal sprays or nasal decongestants. Use of antifungal medications may also be suggested. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed in order to treat the inflammation of the mucus membranes. If the symptoms are severe, use of nasal corticosteroids may also be recommended as well.
The effect of mold exposure on the patient will also depend on the overall health of the patient. Those who are asthmatic or often develop nasal allergies may develop a severe asthma attack or become increasingly sensitive to allergens. Thus, it's important that mold is not allowed to thrive. One can also enroll in a detoxification program so as to remove the harmful toxins from the body. It is pointless to follow drug therapy if you continue to live in a place that is still infested with black mold. The right thing to do would be to call experts for black mold detection and removal at the earliest. If you are using mold removal products or certain home remedies for the removal of black mold, make sure that you wear a face mask and rubber gloves at that time. If there is any leakage in the house, get it repaired. Keep your house well-ventilated and dry and make sure that the air-conditioners or HVAC systems are clean. Taking precautionary measures will certainly prevent black mold from growing anywhere in your home in future.
Since prolonged exposure to black mold can have an adverse impact on one's respiratory system as well as the nervous system, homeowners must take all possible precautions to prevent a mold infestation. Though drug therapy along with other mold poisoning treatment options can help in alleviating the symptoms to some extent, if not detected or treated on time, mold exposure may have serious repercussions on one's health. One must, therefore, keep an eye on every nook and corner, and take prompt steps on spotting even a small patch of mold. After all, prevention is better than cure.