Symptoms of black mold poisoning
Stachybotrys Chartarum is the scientific term for what is more commonly known as Black Mold. Black mold is toxic and can be extremely harmful to the health of a person or animal.
Black mold, however, isn’t the only type of mold that exists. There are actually over 100,000 species of mold! Not all of these species are bad, or harmful to your health, but if you live in Florida, mold can literally be found everywhere outdoors. It is natural for mold to grow outside, especially in warmer, humid climates. When conditions are optimum, however, mold can also grow inside a home or business. When you see mold inside your home or business, you should be concerned. What are optimum conditions for mold growth? Areas that are moist, damp, and wet, where the relative humidity is higher than 50%, and the temperatures are warm, become an optimal environment for the growth of mold.
Moisture, however is the biggest culprit for creating a moldy home. Keeping a home or business dry is the key to preventing mold from growing on your walls, carpets, floors and furniture. It’s always a good idea to be aware of suspicious dark spots in your home that could potentially be mold. And if you are experiencing chronic illness or symptoms of mold allergies, you’ll want to get those suspicious dark spots on your walls or carpet checked out by a professional. If you suspect that the mold you see is the dangerous and infamous black mold or other toxic mold, you should have it removed by a professional immediately. However, if you do not see visible signs of mold, then make sure to pay close attention to your specific symptoms whenever you walk into a particular room. For example, if every time you walk into the guest bedroom you begin sneezing, wheezing, or get a stuffy nose or watery eyes, there is a good chance that you have mold somewhere in the guest room. If the room smells patricianly musty, plus you feel irritation, you most likely have a house that’s affected by the “m” word, and its time to investigate further.
Toxic mold puts off something called mycotoxins, which can be irritating at best, and deadly in the worst case scenario for certain individuals who are immune-compromised, or have pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies. If the concentrations of these toxic mold spores, or mycotoxins is exceptionally high, they can even cause severe illness in healthy individuals. Long-term exposure to mycotoxins can cause symptoms that include sensitivity to light, anxiety, memory loss, muscle cramps, and weight gain, to name a few. Its not something to mess around with. Below is a list of symptoms to be aware of for those people who are healthy, and a list for those who have pre-existing conditions.
Typical symptoms of mold poisoning for healthy individuals without respiratory issues include:
- Itchiness on skin
- Red, itchy or swollen eyes
- Sneezing and sniffles
- Coughing or wheezing
- Stuffy nose and watery eyes
Typical symptoms of mold poisoning for those with allergies or asthma:
- Tired and exhausted
- Coughing all night
- Chronic sinusitis or bronchitis
- Difficulty Breathing
The only way to know for sure if you have mold in your home is to hire an industrial hygienist to come in and test your home for mold. However, if you actually SEE obvious signs of what appears to be mold and are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, you can just skip the process of having it “identified” and go straight to having it removed by a professional mold remediation company.
If you are experiencing any of these above mentioned symptoms, it could be contributed to mold being present in your home. Or it could be that you simply have a cold. The best way to determine whether these symptoms are caused by mycotoxins, is by having a diagnostic test done by a medical expert. There are blood tests and skin prick tests that will determine whether or not you’re allergic. The same type tests can also be done to determine if you are experiencing mold poisoning. If you suspect mold, especially black mold in your home, and you’re experiencing any possible symptoms of mold poisoning, call your doctor immediately and schedule an appointment for testing. These symptoms can be treated. However, until you remove the mold from your property, the symptoms will keep coming back and continue to get worse.
The best way to avoid getting sick from mold, is to avoid getting mold in your home in the first place. Keep moisture levels down by investing in a dehumidifier and keep temperatures cool. Use good ventilation or a fan when showering or bathing. Remove carpets from kitchens and bathrooms and from rooms that tend to get moist. Check regularly throughout your home for leaking pipes, windows, and roof. Take care of any visible water damage immediately! Mold can begin growing within 24-48 hours of water damage to your walls, carpets, flooring and cabinets. If you have rain gutters on your home, during the rainy season check for any kind of blockage. If rain continually puddles up next to the base of your home – even if it’s a typical Florida home made of concrete block, eventually water can seep in to the home and mold can begin growing. Is it possible to prevent mold from coming in to your home all together? Probably not. But with diligence, awareness, being proactive, and occasional inspections of potential leaks and water damage, you can make your home a safer environment for you and your family.
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