Mould represents a big issue in most houses, but many people are not aware of its seriousness. Many believe that the presence of mold is only limited in certain areas such as the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement. but mold can grow almost everywhere, in drywall and ceiling (if there is a leak) and even inside the fridge. When mold increases, it releases millions of spores into the room, causing winter allergies, asthma attacks, and many other health problems, particularly if the person has allergies.
What is Mold?
Mould is a type of fungus that can live indoors or outdoors and develops in hot, moist environments. Mold develops into filaments and reproduces as spores that can travel through the air. The term “Downy mildew” refers to certain kinds of mold, in particular those found in the house with white or gray color or downy mildew growing in shower cabins and bathrooms. The most common residential molds found indoors include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus.
Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra and sometimes referred to as “black mold”)is a greenish-black inner mold, which grows on domestic surfaces with high cellulose content, such as wood, fibreboard, plasterboard, paper… etc.
There are types of mold that can develop on different materials like food and carpets.
Mold breeds by forming small spores that are invisible to the naked eye. They are very resistant to germs and can survive in harsh climates as well as in dry environments. These germs are transmitted by both exterior and interior air. When mold spores land in the air on a humid surface, mold starts to grow.
Types of mold
- Allergen molds: Allergen molds are the least dangerous. It only causes problems for people who have asthma and allergies. Children are more susceptible to being allergic to mold than adults.
- Pathogen Templates: Pathogens cause infection, especially in people with weak immune systems. A bacterial pneumonia-like acute response is usually found in people exposed to these types of molds.
- Toxic molds: As their name indicates, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health problems. These were related to immunosuppression and cancer. The body absorbs toxic chemicals found in this type of mold when someone inhales, eats, or touches them.
Five of the most popular indoor moldings
- Alternaria: Commonly found in the nose, mouth, and upper airways. It may cause allergic responses.
- Aspergillus: Commonly found in very hot and humid climates, it is a common concern of household dust; it produces mycotoxins. It can cause pulmonary infections.
- Cladosporium: This very common outdoor fungus may find its way inside to grow on textiles, wood, and other materials that are porous and moist. It induces hay fever and asthma symptoms.
- Penicillium: Very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, rugs, and fiberglass conduit insulation; Known to cause allergies and asthma. Some species produce mycotoxins, one of which is commonly known as penicillin antibiotics.
- Stachybotrys: Or black rot is very toxic, it produces mycotoxins that can cause severe breathing difficulties and bleed in the lungs, among other health issues. Luckily, it is less common in houses than the other four, but not rare; they are found on wood or paper (cellulose products).
Mold allergy symptoms
Not only does mold damage your home’s health, but it also corrupts your health. When you cannot detect it, you must rely on detecting the symptoms of decay. You should be aware that you have a mold allergy and that you must locate the mold if you notice:
- Sneezing: If you still have quick sneezing attacks that give you the impression that you have lost control of the work, it could be due to allergic mold.
- Runny nose: As with most types of allergies, it may also be common for mold allergy symptoms to include a stuffy or runny nose. The allergic symptoms of mold can differ from person to person.
- Postnasal discharge: also called upper respiratory cough syndrome, occurs when mucus from a nasal discharge runs into the throat. Symptoms of postnasal gout include feeling you need to empty the throat, sore throat, accidental cough, itching, or tickling in the back of the throat.
- Rough throat: In addition to a sore throat and chronic cough, exposure to mold causes numerous symptoms, such as a raw throat. Small mold spores fuse, irritating the nose, throat, respiratory tract, and lungs. The immune system starts building a defense against the perceived threat, causing inflammation or swelling of the throat, respiratory tract, and lungs. This inflammation makes you feel a sore throat.
- Dry skin: is caused by an allergic reaction to mold represented by skin irritation and inflammation, as the body’s immune system responds excessively to mold. So if you notice that your skin is getting drier than ever before, it could be evidence that the presence of mold is somewhere near you. You may feel dry nearly everywhere on your body, but usually on your face, arms, legs, or torso.
- Watery eyes: if your eyes continue to produce tears for no apparent reason, this may be an indication of mold in the house. Histamine, a chemical of the immune system, causes water to reach the eyes and removes toxins from the body, allergens, and other toxins, and in some cases, histamine causes eye tears to expel allergens from the body.
sensitive immune system
Like any other allergy, the symptoms of a mold allergy are caused by a too sensitive immune system response. When you inhale small spores of mold in suspension in the air, your body recognizes them as foreign invaders and develops allergenic antibodies to combat them. Once the exposure is over, the antibodies will always remember the invader so that any subsequent contact with the mold triggers your immune system to react. This reaction initiates the release of substances such as histamine, which causes itching, runny eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and other symptoms of mold allergy. Molds are very common at home and abroad and there are many types, but only certain types of mold cause allergies. Allergy to any type of mold doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be allergic to another species.
Several factors combine to increase your likelihood of developing a mold allergy, including:
- Familial history of allergies: If allergies and asthma occur within your family, you are more likely to have an allergy to mold.
- Working in a profession that exposes you to mildew: Occupations most exposed to mold may include agriculture and dairy work and wood transportation, bakery, building materials, and carpentry.
- Living in a high moisture home: If the humidity in your home is above 50%, you may be more likely to develop an allergy to mold.
The majority of allergic reactions to mold include hay fever symptoms. However, certain allergic conditions caused by mold are more severe. These include:
- Asthma: caused by mold fungi For people allergic to mold fungi, inhalation of spores or spores can lead to asthma, and it can become a chronic illness.
- Allergic fungal sinusitis: The result of an inflammatory response to fungi in the sinuses.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: This reaction to the fungus in the lungs may occur in people who have asthma or cystic fibrosis.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: This is a rare condition when exposure to airborne particles such as mold spores infects the lungs.
The treatment of mold allergy is similar to the treatment of other types of inhalation allergies. Options include:
- Avoid allergens to the greatest extent possible.
- Rinse the nose to eliminate mold spores from the nose.
- Use antihistamines to stop runny nose, sneezing, and itching.
- Use decongestant nasal vaporizers or nasal corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
- Use oral decongestants to reduce clutter For a long-term solution.
- -In extreme cases and specific types of mold allergy, immunotherapy may be recommended. It includes a series of allergy bites over a couple of years.
- Remove mold by removing visible molds from hard surfaces using a commercial release product, hot soapy water, or a blend of one cup of bleach per gallon of water.
There are two approved ways to prevent mold risks, which are the home method and the way to use specialists, and among the most important tips:
- Remove and dispose of soft or porous materials such as carpeting, insulation, or wall panels – that are showing signs of mold.
- Contact a specialist if there is significant mold growth at home or if allergic reactions occur when cleaning moldy surfaces.
- Molds thrive in wet environments, so they should not exceed 50%, so check humidity regularly and use a dehumidifier as needed, especially during wet months.
- Check the building for water leaks and mold regularly.
- Clean the bathroom regularly and treat mold as soon as it appears.
- Open windows to improve ventilation or install air conditioners with high-efficiency air filters to remove mold spores from the air.
- Add mold retarders to paints to prevent mold growth on walls and ceilings.
- Avoid using carpets in the kitchen/basement/bathroom.
- Close windows at night as more mold spores are suspended in the air during the cool, humid hours of the night.