Have you been wheezing lately, or getting out of breath just taking the stairs? Or maybe you feel like you’re constantly battling a headache that just won’t go away. Symptoms of mold exposure can be similar to those of infections or other conditions. So diagnosis – and treatment – takes longer than it should. But take heed. Those exposed to mold can be between 30-50% more likely to develop asthma. They also suffer from other respiratory problems and bronchitis.
What are the Symptoms of Mold Exposure?
- Fatigue and Weakness - On their own, fatigue and weakness aren't enough to be symptoms of mold exposure. It's also important to note that there is a difference between fatigue and tiredness. Tiredness is often a response to poor sleep habits or simply taking on too many things at once. Fatigue lasts longer, leaving you feeling like you need constant rest.
You can always check these symptoms off against other factors that might unmask the culprit. Have you had water damage in your home or office? Perhaps the air vents have discoloration. Damp environments are the favored spot for mold to grow. The largest study of its kind found that over 50% of US homes reported damp and mold. Mold releases spores into the atmosphere that trigger problems in those sensitive to such growths.So maybe you also have recurring infections of the respiratory tract or the sinuses. Combine those with fatigue and you should consult your doctor.
Headaches and Sensitivity to Light - Headaches can be a symptom for a lot of underlying health conditions so pinpointing their cause can be tricky. Diet, anxiety, poor posture, and the amount of sleep you get all play a part. But if you have frequent headaches then it could be a cause for concern, particularly if you also have flu-like symptoms. This is particularly true if the headaches prove to be resistant to your usual painkillers. Sensitivity to light can be a warning sign for migraine sufferers. But if you don’t suffer from migraines, then it’s a definite clue that something is wrong.
Poor Memory or Difficulty Concentrating - Diet or anxiety could cause difficulty in remembering things or being able to focus on a task. But if you experience severe ‘brain fog’ then you need to pay attention to what your body is telling you. That might range from numbness to forgetting simple words. A doctor might be quick to blame stress. And in some cases, they might be right. But if those symptoms are accompanied by shortness of breath or skin rashes? Then they might also be symptoms of mold exposure. Or they could be signs of poor air quality. It’s vital that you spot combinations of symptoms that might point to mold as the culprit. Even if you can’t see mold around your home, it can lurk beneath carpets or even behind drywall.
Stiffness and Joint Pain - Some people experience symptoms caused by allergies to mold. They’re more prevalent in the fall. That’s because the rotting leaves release mold spores into the atmosphere. Antihistamines or simply lifestyle changes can be enough to combat these symptoms. But mold is even a trigger for a more insidious condition, chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS). The baffling array of symptoms often leaves doctors scratching their heads. Joint pain is a difficult symptom because it can point to conditions such as rheumatism. But your doctor will be able to conduct blood tests to rule those out. It’s also worth mentioning that you have mold in your home if you’re aware of it.
Red Eyes, Blurred Vision, Sweats and Mood Swings - None of these factors indicates anything good. They’re all symptoms of mold exposure. Red eyes and blurred vision are both early signs that you’re exposed to an external irritant. In this case, mold. About 25% of the population are sensitive to mold. Everyone else has the immune system response to defeat the toxins caused by exposure to mold. If you’re in that 25% of the population, then you might experience any of these symptoms. But it also makes you part of nature’s early warning system that there is a problem within a building you regularly use. It’s important to note that symptoms of mold exposure can equally point to Lyme disease or other chronic conditions. So testing is vital. Your physician must find mycotoxins in your system while an inspector identifies the cause of the mold. Even if it turns out you haven’t been exposed to mold, your doctor has a better chance of treating the real underlying condition.
What Should I Do If I Have Any of these Symptoms of Mold Exposure?
Your first port of call is your doctor. He or she can rule out other health problems that might be causing your symptoms. Know that a physician can’t diagnose mold exposure using just blood or urine tests. You’ll need to have your home or workplace inspected by professionals. You might think that you can simply check with your family or colleagues to see if they exhibit similar symptoms. But unfortunately, some people are more sensitive to mold than others. So you might develop symptoms and the guy in the next cubicle is none the wiser.
Your doctor will prescribe a program of treatment. But there are things that you can do to help:
- Don a protective mask and gloves to clean any visible mold in your home.
- Report the mold to the building manager if it’s in your workplace.
- Keep on top of mold growth to stop it from releasing as many spores.
- Run a dehumidifier in the bathroom or kitchen to make them less attractive spaces for mold to grow.
- Once you’ve removed the visible mold, have your air ducts cleaned regularly.
If you’ve recently had mold removed from your home call Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning at (818) 275-5556 or contact us online to schedule a duct cleaning service in Los Angeles! You need to make sure you’re not simply transmitting mold spores around your home.