Mold and Asthma: Everything You Need to Know
Asthma is a condition that many people suffer from. It’s a lung disease that results in difficulty in breathing. Some have mild cases, while others have a more severe form that requires them to be on the lookout for triggers.
An asthma attack can be triggered by cigarette fumes and polluted air. Some people who have allergic asthma can be particularly sensitive to pollen, specific food types, and even molds. Mold spores are microscopic and can be harmful to our lungs, but they can be especially detrimental to the health of people who have an allergy to mold.
Mold is hard to spot and can easily attach itself to any object in its vicinity. It can also quickly enter one’s home through the doors, windows, and vents. When someone has a mold allergy, exposure to it can cause a coughing fit and itchy eyes. Worse still, people who are diagnosed with asthma can experience a blockage of air, making it tough to breathe well.
To avoid experiencing this, it’s best for people who suffer from a mold allergy to stay away from any type of mold exposure. Certain medications help reduce the body’s reactions to ensure one’s safety. Still, prevention is a better alternative.
Signs of a Mold Allergy
At first, it might be difficult to separate the symptoms of a mold allergy from the other respiratory allergies due to similar signs. Among them are frequent sneezing, watery eyes, a runny nose, and itchiness in the eyes, nose, and throat areas.
The signs of a mold allergy can also be different for every person. Some only experience a mild attack while others have more intense reactions. The symptoms may also appear at different times for different people. Some can suffer from mold allergies for the entire year. For others, it will only occur when it’s raining or when one is exposed to a vast degree of mold.
Mold Allergy and Asthma
For those who have both a mold allergy and asthma, reactions are expected in the presence of mold spores. It can even lead to a severe asthma attack for some. Asthma can result in the tightening of the chest, a feeling of shortness of breath, and coughing.
If people have asthma and suffer from mold allergies, this can impair their lungs and even make them at risk of death due to asthma-related diseases or a particularly severe asthma attack. Inhaling molds can restrict their breathing and cause wheezing.
If you’re one of these people who suffer from both, all is not lost. There are now better ways to reduce mold exposure and modern ways of diagnosing allergic asthma that’s triggered by mold presence.
Risk Factors of Mold Allergy
Several factors can be attributed to the development of mold allergy or cause more severe symptoms such as:
If your family is known to have allergies, then it’s predicted that you also have a high probability of experiencing a mold allergy.
Several occupations can increase one’s risk of mold allergy. Among them are performing logging activities, farming, baking, carpentry, and furniture making and repair.
High Humidity Levels
If you live in a residence where high humidity is constant, mold can be present. Given this condition, mold can multiply quickly making you susceptible to mold allergies.
High Moisture Areas
Staying in a home or workplace that’s prone to leaky pipes, flooding, and water seepage can also produce a mold environment. This can be hazardous to your health.
Poorly Ventilated Home
If air does not circulate and windows and doors are sealed, moisture can remain and result in mold growth. Bathrooms, kitchens, and basements are often areas where mold is likely to be present.
Complications of Mold Exposure
A mild allergy attack from mold presence can be manageable. For others though, attacks can be severe and bring about the following:
Asthma Induced by Mold Exposure
An allergic reaction to mold can lead to an asthma attack. If you suffer from both mold allergy and asthma, it’s crucial to have a ready plan when a severe asthma flare-up occurs.
Allergic Fungal Sinusitis
A reaction brought about by the fungus present in one’s sinuses.
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
A reaction to fungus found in the lungs if one is diagnosed with asthma or cystic fibrosis.
A condition that results in inflamed lungs due to exposure to mold spores.
Other Problems Caused by Mold
Mold can also lead to other health dangers such as skin infections, especially for people with weakened immune systems.
Prevention of Mold Growth
Since mold can multiply at home and pose a threat to its residents, it’s recommended to follow these tips:
Fix leaky pipes and eliminate other sources of moisture especially in areas prone to water damage
Consider using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels. Musty smells often indicate a place ripe for mold growth
- Install an air conditioner with a HEPA filter. It can help collect mold spores to stop its circulation inside your house
- Make it a habit to change the furnace and air conditioners periodically
- Ensure proper ventilation for your bathroom. Install a ventilation fan to dry the surroundings when you finish showering. You can also opt to open your doors and windows for air to circulate
- Refrain from placing carpets in basements and bathrooms where moisture can get trapped
- Clean your gutters regularly
- Recycle print materials to avoid mold formation
Implementing these easy changes can be lifesaving for asthmatic people who have a severe mold allergy. It’s worthwhile to keep tabs on your home environment to restrict your mold exposure.
You can also consider a few of these methods:
- Monitoring the humidity level of your home and switching on the air conditioner or dehumidifier depending on the humidity level
- Installing exhaust fans around your home for better ventilation
- Being alert to possible mold growth and attending to mold remediation using effective products designed for asthmatic people
- Identifying the source of mold and resolving the situation promptly
To protect your health, it pays to be vigilant to mold exposure, especially when you have a mold allergy and asthma. If you suspect your home of having the presence of mold, contact Markham Services today. We will inspect your property and advise you on the following steps you should take. It’s better to be safe than sorry!