Mold is a crucial issue in most houses, but many people are ignorant of its severity. Many believe that the existence of mold is restricted only in certain areas such as the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement. But mold can grow almost anywhere, in drywall and ceiling (in case of leakage) and even inside the refrigerator. When mold grows, it releases millions of spores into the room, causing winter allergies, asthma attacks, and many other health problems, especially if the person has allergies.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that may live indoors or outdoors and develops in damp, humid environments. It modifies into filaments and reproduces in the form of spores that can travel through the air. The term “late blight” refers to certain types of mold, particularly those found in the White House, or grey color or increasing late blight in shower cubicles and bathrooms. Popular residential molds found indoors include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus.
Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra and occasionally referred to as “black mold”)is a greenish-black inner mold, growing on household surfaces with a high cellulose content, such as wood, fibreboard, gypsum board, paper… etc. There are types of mold that can grow on various materials such as food and carpets.
Mold reproduces in small spores that are not visible to the naked eye. They are highly resistant to sprouts and can survive in rough climates as well as in dry climates. These sprouts are transmitted by the outdoor and indoor air. When mold spores settle in the air on a moist surface, mold begins to develop.
Types of mold
mod are classified into mainly three categories :
-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 molds: Pathogens cause infection, particularly in people who have weak immune systems. An acute response similar to bacterial pneumonia is usually present in people exposed to these types of molds.
-Toxic molds: As the name suggests, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause severe health problems. They were immunosuppressive and cancer-related. The body absorbs toxic chemicals from this type of mold when they are inhaled, eaten, or touched.
Five of the most popular indoor moldings
1-Alternaria: Commonly found in the nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract. It may give rise to allergic reactions.
2-Aspergillus: Commonly found in very warm and moist climates, it is a common concern of house dust; it produces mycotoxins. This may cause lung infections.
3-Cladosporium: This very common outdoor fungus can be found indoors for growing on textiles, wood, and other porous and wet materials.
It causes hay fever and asthmatic symptoms.
4-Penicillium: Very common species found on wallpaper, decaying tissues, carpets, and fiberglass conduit insulation; Known to cause allergies and asthma. Some species generate mycotoxins, one of which is commonly called penicillins.
5-Stachybotrys: Or black rot is very toxic, it produces mycotoxins which can cause severe respiratory difficulties and bleed in the lungs, among other health problems. Fortunately, it is less frequent in homes than the other four, but not uncommon; they are found on wood or paper (cellulose products).
Most widespread fungal infections
– Onychomycosis: are common nail or toenail infections that may cause nail discoloration, thickness, and are more likely to crack and break. Infections are more frequent in toenails than in fingernails. Nails with fungal infection are frequently discolored (yellow, brown, or white), Thick and Fragile, or cracked. Some people with fungal toenail infections also have a fungal skin infection on the foot, especially between the toes (commonly referred to as “athlete’s foot”).
– Candidiasis: is an infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida that usually lives on the skin and within the body, in places like the mouth, throat, bowel, and vagina. Sometimes Candida multiplies and causes infection if the environment in the mouth, throat, or esophagus changes in a way that promotes fungal growth.
– Ringworm or Tinea: is a common fungal skin infection. It is called a “ringworm” because it may cause a ring-shaped (circular) eruption that is usually red and itchy. Fungi that cause this disease may live on the skin, surfaces, and household objects such as clothing, towels, and bedding. The symptoms of ringworms often depend on the part of the infected organism, but they usually include itchy skin, ring-shaped rash, red scaly cracked skin, and Hair loss
– C. Auris: is a fungus that is resistant to many manifold antifungal drugs widely used to treat candida infections. They are difficult to identify in laboratories and are often poorly identified when it comes to standard laboratory methods, and they can be poorly identified which can lead to inappropriate management. This fungal infection can cause infections of blood circulation, wounds, and otitis.
– Mucormycosis: is a serious and rare fungal infection provoked by a group of molds called mucosity. It lives in soil and decomposes organic matter, such as leaves, compost piles, or rotting wood. Individuals are infected with mucormycosis due to spore inhalation. These forms of fungal infection usually occur in people who have health problems or who take medicines that reduce the body’s ability to control germs. Blastomycosis: is an infection caused by Blastomyces, which live in wet soil and decompose organic matter such as wood and leaves. Blastomyces occur mainly in the Midwest, South Central, and the Southeastern United States, particularly in the regions around the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. It is also found in Canada, with some cases of blastomycosis reported in Africa and India. Infection can be severe in people with compromised immune systems, especially if it spreads from the lungs to other organs.
– Cryptococcosis: is a disease commonly found in the lungs or central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) caused by the fungus Cryptococcus gattii (C. gattii) which lives in the ground and on some trees, especially in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. People can become infected with C. gattii after breathing in microscopic environmental fungi. Cryptococcal meningitis is an infection of the brain caused by C. gattii and other kinds of cryptococcus after infection propagates from the lungs to the brain.
– Paracoccidioidomycosis: is a fungal infection caused by the fungus Paracoccidioides. It grows in Central and South America. Any person who lives or visits areas where Paracoccidioides live may obtain paracoccidioidomycosis, but it most often affects men who work outdoors in rural areas.
– Histoplasmosis: a disease caused by Histoplasma fungi that live in soil containing large quantities of bird or bat droppings. Histoplasma is found primarily in the central and eastern United States, particularly around the Ohio Valleys and the Mississippi River. Fungi also inhabit Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Mold allergy symptoms
Not only does mold damage the health of your house, but it also corrupts your health. When you can’t detect it, you need to rely on detecting disintegration symptoms. You should be aware that you have an allergy to mildew and that you should locate the mildew if you notice:
● Sneezing: If you still have quick sneezes that never stop, and that make you feel uncomfortable and bothers you all the time, it may be due to allergic mold.
● Runny nose: As with most types of allergies, it can also be common for mold allergy symptoms to include a clogged or liquid nose. Allergic symptoms of mold may vary from one person to another.
● Postnasal drip: Also called upper respiratory cough syndrome, occurs when mucus from a nasal discharge drains 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.
● Sore throat: Besides a sore throat and a chronic cough, exposure to mold causes many symptoms, like a raw throat. Small mold spores merge, irritating the nose, throat, airway, and lungs. The immune system begins to construct a defense against the perceived threat, causing inflammation or swelling of the throat, airways, and lungs. The inflammation gives you the feeling of 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 over-responds to mold. So if you notice that your skin is getting drier than ever before, it could be proof that the presence of mold is somewhere close to you. You can feel dry almost everywhere on your body, but generally on your face, arms, legs, or torso.
● Watery eyes: If your eyes continue to cry for no apparent reason, it can be an indication of mold in the home. Histamine, an immune chemical, causes water to reach the eyes and eliminates toxins from the body, allergens, and other toxins, and in some cases, histamine causes eye tears to expel allergens from the body.
Sensitivity immune system: Like any other allergy, the symptoms of a mold allergy are caused by an over-sensitive immune system reaction. When you inhale small spores of airborne mold, your body recognizes them as foreign invaders and develops allergenic antibodies to fight them. Once the exposure is complete, the antibodies will always remember the invader so that any further contact with the mold triggers your immune system to respond. This reaction triggers the release of substances such as histamine, which causes itching, runny eyes, runny nasal discharge, sneezing, and other symptoms of mold allergy. Mould is very common indoors and outdoors and there are many types, but only some types of mold cause allergies. Allergy to any kind of mold does not necessarily mean that you will be allergic to any other species.
Several factors combine to increase your probability of developing a mold allergy, including:
Family history of allergies: If you experience allergies and asthma in your family, you are more likely to be allergic to mold.
Working in an occupation that exposes you to mold: Occupations most exposed to mold can include farming and dairy work and wood transportation, baking, construction materials, and carpentry.
Living in a house with high humidity: If the humidity in your house is greater than 50%, you may be more likely to develop an allergy to mold.
Treating mold allergy is similar to treating other types of allergies through inhalation. Options include:
– Avoid allergens insofar as possible.
– Rinse the nose to remove mold spores from the nose.
– Use antihistamines to stop nasal drainage, sneezing, and itching.
– Use decongestant nasal sprays or nasal corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
– Use oral decongestants to reduce disorder For a long-term solution.
– In extreme cases and special types of mold allergy, immunotherapy may be recommended. It comprises a series of allergy stings over a few years.
– Remove visible mold from hard surfaces with a commercial product, warm soapy water, or a mixture of one cup of bleach per gallon of water.
There are two approved ways to prevent the risk of mold, which are the domestic method and how to use specialists, and among the most important tips:
– Remove and remove soft or porous materials such as carpeting, insulation, or wall panels that exhibit signs of mold.
– Contact a specialist if there is significant mold growth in the house or if allergic reactions occur when cleaning moldy surfaces.
– Molds thrive in damp environments, so they should not exceed 50%, so check the moisture regularly and use a dehumidifier as needed, especially during damp months.
– Regularly check for leakage and mold in the building.
– Clean the bathroom regularly and treat the mold as soon as it shows up.
– Open windows to improve ventilation or install air conditioning units with high-efficiency air filters to remove mold spores from the air.
– Add mold delaying agents to paints to prevent mold growth on walls and ceilings.
– Try not to use carpets in the kitchen, basement, or bathroom.
– Close windows at night, as more mold spores are hanging in the air during the cool, damp hours of the night.