How Does Mold Affect the Immune System?
Mold exposure is inevitable in our world. This is because mold can grow naturally both outdoors and indoors. The problem is that mold can affect our immune system and lead to serious health problems. How mold affects a person’s immune system depends on the person’s age, sensitivity to mold, and how much exposure they have to it.
Health Risks Caused by Mold Exposure
The symptoms of mold exposure range from mild sensitivity to a fungal infection to serious medical conditions. A person does not need to have a mold allergy to suffer from mold exposure. Even a healthy immune system can be compromised by long term exposure to mold. Some of the symptoms of mold exposure are:
● Runny Nose
● Watery Eyes
● Skin Rash
● Tightness of the Chest
● Shortness of Breath
● Pneumonia in Rare Cases
The Centers for Disease Control states that there are people who have a higher risk of being negatively affected by mold. These include anyone who has experienced the following:
● A transplant
● An immune system weakened by medication
Diagnosing a Mold Infection
Anyone who has been exposed to mold and is showing signs of mold infection will need to be diagnosed and treated promptly. There are multiple tests available to diagnose a mold infection. The following are four prominent options.
● Taking a culture of specimens from the affected area
● Taking a biopsy of the suspected body part affected
● Taking a CT scan or using other imaging technology to view the affected part of the body
● Taking blood tests
Doctors who treat patients suffering from a mold infection will not just use technology and medication to diagnose and treat them. These doctors are also going to need information about how the patient lives so they can better understand how to help. The following are some of the things a doctor dealing with mold infections will ask a patient.
● Exact symptoms
● Triggers that make symptoms worse
● Time of the day or year when symptoms get worse
● Locations that make the symptoms worse
● Medications, vitamins, or herbal remedies that are taken regularly
● Any existing health issues
● Family history of allergies
● Exposure to mold, dust, fumes, or chemicals at work or home
Treating a Mold Infection
Diagnosing a mold infection can take time. While waiting for the diagnosis, it is best to thoroughly inspect work and living quarters for mold. If mold is found, it should be carefully cleaned.
If a diagnosis of a mold infection does return positive, a doctor will have several different treatment options. Depending on the extent and the symptoms of the infection, the treatments may include the following:
● Nasal corticosteroids
● Oral or nasal decongestants
Preventing Mold Exposure
A person who is experiencing the symptoms of mold exposure should take steps to care for their health and environment. An even better avenue is to proactively prevent or limit mold exposure. Take special note of the following items.
1. Black Mold
Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold, is the most common type of mold. According to scientific research, there is no evidence that black mold has more dangerous health effects than other mold types, it is just more common. It is good to learn how this mold grows so that its growth can be prevented.
2. Indoor Mold
It is nearly impossible to prevent the growth of mold outdoors, but indoor mold should be dealt with promptly. One way to prevent or limit mold growth is by running an air conditioner. This will keep out the humidity that mold needs for growth.
3. Mold Remediation
Sometimes mold grows even when preventive measures are used. Moisture can sneak into a home from leaky pipes, flooding, or a humid environment. For those times, mold remediation will be a necessary step.
The Threat of Mold to Indoor Air Quality
Excessive mold and moisture buildup lower indoor air quality, which is a slow danger to your health. Regularly ingesting air that is full of allergens and pollutants can cause long-term health damage. Health risks include lung diseases, skin and eye problems, perpetual allergies, and respiratory infections.
Call A Professional
It is best to get the help of a professional to help with mold remediation. An experienced service company such as Air Quality Assessors can give expert advice on how to find and deal with any indoor mold issues. Contact AQA if you have any questions or concerns about mold in your home or business. With their combination of experience and knowledge, you can be assured that everything will be handled properly.