Black Mold Exposure
Black mold is a fungus that thrives in warm and moist areas. It has a greenish-black appearance and is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. Before now, many people believed that exposure to black mold resulted in chronic health conditions like lung disease and cancer. Newer studies have pointed out that these claims are baseless.
A report from the CDC shows that black mold isn’t linked to any serious health conditions but, this doesn’t mean it’s are harmless. Exposure to a small or large number of black mold spores may result in some mild respiratory issues like coughing or a stuffy nose. People with underlying health conditions, like severe mold allergies and asthma, may experience more severe symptoms.
Categories of Black Mold Exposure
Black mold exposure is categorized based on its severity. The condition is regarded as mild when associated with mild symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, and coughing. Black mold infection is only severe when it affects people with chronic respiratory diseases, asthma, or mold allergies.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
For some, it doesn’t cause any black mold symptoms. For others, like those who have mold allergies, it may cause a range of issues. Below are a few of them:
- Itchy eyes
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
- Skin rashes
- Red eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Difficulty breathing
Diagnosis of Black Mold
To determine if one has black mold allergies, health experts may have to review the patients’ symptoms and check their medical and family records. Below are some tests they may also carry out:
A sample of your blood will be taken to a laboratory. There, a phlebotomist technician will examine the blood and measure the rate at which your immune system responds to black mold.
Skin Prick Test
Here, your health care practitioner will take a small sample of black mold and place it on your skin using a special needle. If your skin reacts and breaks out in a rash, chances are you are allergic to black mold.
More tests may be carried out to diagnose a fungal infection, particularly for patients with a weakened immune system.
How to Treat Black Mold
Health experts may recommend the following to address black mold exposure:
Antihistamines are a group of drugs that help quell the symptoms of allergies. Taking them will help minimize inflammation, running nose, itching, and sneezing. These medications are usually recommended when patients cannot breathe properly because of their allergic reaction to black mold.
This is a medication that helps clear the airways. It also addresses some of the symptoms of mold allergies.
This is an over-the-counter medication that helps to reduce the symptoms of black mold exposure, like airway inflammation. If you can’t get your hands on a nasal spray, you can use a solution of saline and distilled water to rinse your nasal passage. The solution will wash away mucus, allergens (black mold spores), and other debris.
Your health care practitioner may recommend getting allergy shots. A small amount of the allergens may be added to the shot to help your body build immunity over time.
How to Manage Black Mold Exposure
The symptoms associated with this can be quelled with the following natural remedies. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying any of them.
- Garlic – Garlic is a herb that has antifungal properties. Taking it will help kill unwanted mold, yeast, and fungi in your body. You may have to take 2 to 3 grams of fresh raw garlic daily to get the best results.
- Dark Green Vegetables – Dark green vegetables (i.e., kale, spinach, collard greens, and bok choy) contain chlorophyll, a pigment present in the leaves of plants. Research suggests that chlorophyll has antifungal and antibacterial properties. So consuming foods that are rich in it may help reduce the symptoms.
- Can black mold exposure lead to severe health conditions? No, it can’t. However, you may experience symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and a stuffy nose.
- When should I seek medical attention? The symptoms linked with mold exposure are usually mild, so you might not need to go to the hospital. However, if you have trouble breathing or are experiencing severe pain and fever, you should seek medical attention.
- How do I prevent black mold from growing in my home? Black mold thrives in humid areas. To prevent their growth, you have to monitor your home’s humidity levels closely. Make sure it isn’t higher than 50% during the day. If your home is already infested with black mold, you should hire a professional to help you remove it.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!