Molds inside homes are widely known for causing health risks. But, when asked, most people don’t know the specific impacts mold has. Further, many are misinformed. So, what impact does mold have on human health?
Before going any further, if you have a mold problem in your home, have it assessed and cleaned up. Any health issues one is experiencing will continue unless either they are removed from the area with mold, or the mold is removed.
There are three primary areas of concern:
Allergies and irritation
Mold allergy is the reaction of the human immune system to the inhalation of airborne mold spores. Exposure to alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium are most often associated with an allergic response. Symptoms of allergic reaction to mold include:
- Dry skin
- Irritated throat and nose
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Watery/itchy eyes
The severity of reaction varies from person to person. For some, an allergic mold reaction is a nuisance. For others it can be more extreme, even debilitating.
While mold does not, and cannot cause asthma, it does exacerbate existing conditions. Those with both asthma and a mold allergy can experience more intense asthma attacks. Symptoms include:
- Coughing and/or wheezing
- Tightening of the chest
- Trouble breathing/shortness of breath
Contact with mold can also cause infection. This, however, is a rarity. People with immune systems which are impaired, including those with HIV/AIDS are at risk and should consult a doctor whenever experiencing problems with their skin or mucous membranes.