Have you noticed a cluster of blackish – green spots in a secluded corner of your house or workplace? Those ugly, blackish – green spots are known as the black mold.
Mold is an unwelcomed, unappealing patch of black, brown, yellow, purple, gray, fragrant, fuzzy growth. Countless forms of mold can be found both indoors and outdoors.
Black mold is scientifically known as Stachybotrys chartarum. It is found to emit spores in traditional household products such as soggy drywall, wallpapers, carpets, damp basements, sub-flooring among others that are frequently exposed to moisture.
These spores, if ingested or inhaled, may cause a range of unpleasant and dangerous symptoms which can be hazardous for our health. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the black mold.
Effects of black mold on health
People who have a weak immune system or are already suffering from prevailing respiratory illnesses like asthma are more likely to be affected by black mold.
People with existing allergies may be more sensitive to mold than others. They can develop symptoms when they come into contact with mold, such as:
- A runny nose or jammed nose
- Fluffy, red eyes
- Rashes on the skin
- Wretched throat
Extreme allergies to molds may contribute to more serious symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue.
Toxic mold-based disease is a very common and under-diagnosed disorder that may occur in several various forms, even some signs that are primarily psychological, such as fatigue, anxiety, concentration disorders, memory fog, and insomnia.
Mold toxins can persist in the body, continue to wreak havoc long after exposure has ended, and require sustained care. Mold toxicity can manifest in so many distinct and varied symptoms that it is sometimes misdiagnosed.
Several unlikely conditions like persistent exhaustion, fibromyalgia, mast cell activation dysfunction, histamine sensitivity, irritable bowel and leaky intestine, multiple sclerosis are likely to arise due to toxic black mold.
Some of the common symptoms of mold toxicity include:
- Muscle Cramps
- Unusual Pain
- Blurred Vision
- Sinus Problems
- Abdominal Pain
- Joint Pain
- Morning Stiffness
Diagnosis of black mold
You may not realize that you have been affected by black mold exposure. Thereby, a doctor can diagnose a mold allergy based on the symptoms of an individual and their medical and family history. A doctor is likely to perform either of the two tests to check for mold allergies –
Blood tests – Your doctor will take your blood sample and submit it to a laboratory to determine the amount of those antibodies that could show the responsiveness of your immune system to specific mold organisms.
Skin prick tests -. Your doctor will take a tiny quantity of mold and add it to your skin using a thin needle. If your skin breaks out in bruises, swelling, or hives, then you are allergic to molds.
How to treat black mold exposure
Antihistamines – As discussed above, mold reactions tend to produce an allergy-like reaction that can trigger symptoms such as a running nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing that can cause discomfort when prolonged for a long period of time. In that case, using an over-the-counter medicine like antihistamine will give you immediate relief. Taking an antihistamine will immediately help you get back to normal and reduce the discomfort triggered by the mold.
Decongestants – You tend to suffer from nasal congestion when you are exposed to molds. A strong decongestant is the perfect cure for stuffy nose irritation. Antihistamines don’t do a better job of alleviating coughing, so let’s be honest, anytime you have a rough time getting out of your nose, that’s a horrible sensation, so it may interrupt your sleep. Decongestant nasal sprays, such as oxymetazoline and pseudoephedrine, relieve nasal congestion symptoms by minimizing airway inflammation caused by mold allergies.
Montelukast – This is an oral medication which decreases mucus in the airways, and eliminates the effects of all mold infections and asthma.
Anti – Allergy medications – When your mold allergies are not budging even after trying the above methods, then it’s best to consult a doctor. Your doctor would give you prescription anti-allergy medications. Your doctor may also recommend allergy shots. These shots contain a small amount of allergens to boost up the body’s immune system.
Identifying and treating black mold
Identification of black mold
- The easiest approach to protect yourself against the health hazards of the black mold is to conduct a visual examination of your house and then your workplace. Your nose could offer you the first indication that there’s an issue. The musty odor is a warning sign that black mold has taken over your space.
- Look for black spots or clusters, particularly in dry, moist rooms. You would be able to recognize the mold with a musty scent. Having asthma problems or allergic signs in your home can often suggest mold.
- Check for sources of mold production, such as leaks of water, damaged pipelines or lack of ventilation
Treatment of black mold
- When you do discover mold, disinfect it with a bleach solution and ensure that the room is well ventilated. Open up the windows and doors for ventilation.Mount exhaust fans in the bathrooms and fix up the leaking pipes.
- Windows, especially in older homes, are notorious for mold build-up; the first sign of the problem may be glass condensation
- Frequently clean your kitchens and washrooms with a bleaching solution if they are prone to developing molds.
- The most common places where the mold is likely to grow: in flooded areas, water pipe leakage, leaky roofs, condensation on walls and ceilings, corrosion, peeling of paint, tile grooves, and rotting wood.
- Remove and discard fragile or brittle materials such as carpets, furniture or wallpaper or wallboards that exhibit signs of mold.
- It is advised to cover yourself up with a mask, gloves, goggles, and rubber boots when you’re cleaning the mold in order to prevent yourself from irritation and allergies. You can also invest in a mold-resistant suit if you frequently clean molds.
- Consult a professional when you notice significant mold production in the home or if you or your family member experience any allergy responses when washing moldy surfaces.