Mold is a broad term encompassing many types and varieties of microscopic fungus. They grow in colonies through hyphae, or branching filaments, which contain cytoplasm or cell sap. There are over 100,000 known species of mold, some of which may be hazardous to your health. According to the CDC, this may include allergic reactions or symptoms similar to a respiratory infection.
Stachybotrys, often referred to as black mold, is probably the best known of the toxic molds. It releases mycotoxin, a secondary product of its metabolic process. These particles are most toxic when ingested, putting infants and pets at the greatest risk for complications. Though, those with severe allergies or compromised immune systems may also experience complications when exposed to mold as well.
Mold can also cause pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs,) aspergillosis (a severe lung infection,) and pneumonia. Of course, the severity of symptoms depends on a number of independent factors, including the type of mold and exposure, and your personal sensitivities.
Typical Symptoms of a Reaction to Mold
There’s no question that some types of mold are dangerous. However, there is no guarantee your symptoms are related to mold. If you’d like more information, you can always talk to your doctor. You could try staying in a hotel or with a friend for a few days to determine if chronic symptoms might be coming from your home. Some symptoms to look for are:
- Skin rash and itching
- Eye irritation
- Asthma or aggravation of existing asthma
- Lung infection
- Flu-like symptoms that don’t go away
- Respiratory dysfunction
- Frequent and excessive nosebleeds
- Vomiting and more
- Bladder or urinary tract infections
Of course, even if you do not suspect mold is making you ill, it’s still best to remove it right away. (That’s the recommendation of the CDC as well.) For help with effective mold removal, you might want to consider calling a mold remediation and decontamination company. You can check with your local health department to find one in your area. For mold cleanup services in Utah, call AEI Decon at (801) 888-6698.