Wherever we may be, there are almost always some type of mold spores circulating in the air. Mold is especially drawn to moisture, and when it finds a nice moist environment it will reproduce and grow rapidly. As it grows it releases spores, which are like mold seeds, which help the mold to spread further. While the vast majority of molds are safe, there is one mold in particular that can cause illness and even death in humans. That is the black mold namedStachybotrys chartarum, and when it grows in your home you are subject to a number of potentially deadly symptoms of mold sickness.
Symptoms of Mold Sickness: Infections
Those who have weak or compromised immune systems are at the most danger of developing infections from black mold spore exposure. Respiratory and sinus infections are the most common, with signs such as chronic cough, runny nose and sinus problems, and burning or itchy eyes being some of the symptoms of mold sickness. Skin rashes and yeast infections can also be a sign of infection due to black mold exposure.
Symptoms of Mold Sickness: Respiratory Problems
In many cases, the symptoms of mold sickness can mimic those associated with asthma. Depending on the sensitivity of the person to the black mold spores, these symptoms can be immediate or they can appear at a later time. Those who are already affected by asthma may find their asthma symptoms become worse when exposed to black mold. If symptoms such as difficulty breathing or catching your breath develop suddenly, the home should be checked for the presence of black mold. Repeated and prolonged exposure can make these symptoms of mold sickness worse and can lead to other symptoms such as sinusitis and sinus headaches. In worst cases, a fungal ball can form in the sinuses, which then requires surgical removal. Bronchial infections are also a common symptom of mold sickness.
Symptoms of Mold Sickness: Cancer
The main cause of black mold symptoms are the mycotoxins that attach themselves to the outside of the black mold spores. There are many different types of mycotoxins which are produced by black mold, and at least one of them is known to cause both liver cancer and lung cancer. This mycotoxin is called aflatoxin and it is commonly found in buildings that have been flooded.
Symptoms of Mold Sickness: Other Signs
There is a huge list of symptoms that has been attributed to black mold exposure. Everything from rashes to headaches and even neurological symptoms such as dementia can be related to black mold spores. In some cases, lung hemorrhaging has been caused in infants exposed to the mycotoxins. This hemorrhaging can quickly lead to death. The dangers are clear, and any home with black mold should be evaluated for these deadly mycotoxins and cleaned immediately.