Mold in homes poses a serious health problem. Depending on the types of mold, mold can also damage your home and possessions. The health effects associated with mold exposure are controversial and consist primarily of non-specific symptoms such as headache, fatigue, memory loss, and eye irritation.
Symptoms of mold exposure are similar to the same signs and symptoms that occur in other types of upper respiratory allergies. Symptoms of mold exposure can include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes, nose and throat
- Watery eyes
Variability of symptoms of mold exposure from person to person
Symptoms of mold exposure vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. Those with a history of respiratory problems such as asthma are likely to experience severe symptoms. You may have year-round symptoms or symptoms that flare up only during certain times of the year such as in summer. You may notice symptoms when the weather is damp, or when you’re in indoor or outdoor spaces that have high concentrations of mold spores. If you experience symptoms only when in your home, then it’s very likely that your home has a mold problem.
Symptoms of mold exposure and asthma
If you have symptoms of mold exposure and asthma, your asthma symptoms may be triggered by exposure to mold spores. In some people, exposure to certain types of mold can cause a severe asthma attack. Signs and symptoms of asthma may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
Mold can be costly to remove but for health reasons, it should be removed. If you have small amounts of mold (less than 10 square feet), you could remove it yourself following existing mold remediation guidelines. For large areas, mold removal should be performed by qualified contractors. During mold removal care should be taken not to spread spores everywhere. Inhalation of high concentrations of mold spores has been reported to cause respiratory problems such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), allergic rhinitis and asthma exacerbation.