A growing health concern rapidly spreading across the United States is the problem of black mold symptoms, caused by exposure to toxic black mold in the home.
This dangerous toxic mold causes many health problems, the majority of a respiratory nature, due to the porous state of mold. Because spores from mold are airborne, toxic spores travel through the air and into the lungs, causing black mold symptoms in even the healthiest people. Those with allergies to mold and the young, old and infirm(especially with weakened immune systems) are especially at risk.
What Does Black Mold Look Like?
Black mold can often look splotchy, fuzzy, velvety or slimy, consisting of black or blackish-green coloration. Black mold can also dry and be especially dangerous when stirred without proper black mold removal techniques first implemented. It’s important to note that not all black molds are toxic so you should either purchase a mold testing kit or hire a professional mold inspector to come and test your home for toxic mold.
Most commonly, the highest incidents seen with black mold health symptoms are the effects of black mold poisoning. These include:
- Watering eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Swollen glands
- Inability to concentrate
- Shortness of breath
- Memory failure
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Open sores on the body
- Chronic sinus infections
- Chronic bronchitis
- Coughing up blood or other substances
While certain people do react to black mold differently, any of the above black mold health symptoms are serious and should be followed up by visits to the doctor and the eradication of black mold from a person’s living area.
Other Black Mold Symptoms
Of course, the serious side effects from exposure to toxic black mold are much worse and often attack those with weakened immune systems (like the young, elderly and infirm). In severe cases, black mold symptoms have been linked to:
- Bleeding lungs
- Memory loss
- Cancer (particularly of the lungs)
Misdiagnosis of Black Mold Symptoms
Complicating matters is the common misdiagnosis of black mold exposure with symptoms instead being diagnosed as asthma, sinus infection, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and emphysema. All of these have similar symptoms or can be caused by black mold exposure.
Black Mold Symptoms And Different People
One of the oddest things about black mold health symptoms is that it affects different people in different manners. While some people have absolutely no adverse effect from black mold exposure, others react violently.
This can often be the case where parents are unaffected and children suffer from black mold health symptoms (or the other way around). Some patients experience chronic black mold health symptoms and some experience more periodic or sporadic symptoms. There are many factors that go into this equation including:
- Amount of time exposed to black mold
- Amount of time away from black mold
- Where black mold is
- Age of victim
- Health of victim
- Allergies to mold
Stages of Black Mold Symptoms
The stages of black mold exposure are as follows:
- In Stage 1, irritated skin, blotchiness, sneezing, headaches and watery or itchy eyes occur. This is normally from short term exposure.
- During Stage 2, symptoms increase to nosebleeds, constant fatigue, short term memory loss, sores, rashes, bronchitis, ear infections, pain in the joints and muscles and chronic sinus infections. This comes from prolonged exposure, even if it is off and on again exposure.
- Stage 3 of black mold health symptoms can include long term memory loss, brain damage, cancer (typically of the lungs), blindness, bleeding lungs and possibly death.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and you’ve noticed black mold in and around your house, see the link below for information on black mold testing and black mold removal and make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Can Black Mold Cause Lung Cancer Over Prolonged Period?
There are cases which have been linked to toxic black mold causing lung cancer and lung bleeding.
Can Living With Black Mold Cause Cysts?
While it hasn’t been yet shown to directly cause cysts, more information is needed on black mold and prolonged exposure to it, because most people develop other symptoms or remove the toxic mold from their homes before cysts have time to grow. On the other hand, those with chronic lung disease are more susceptible to fungal growth in the lungs from black mold, something that can cause fibromyalgia (associated with cysts).
Who Is At Risk for Black Mold Health Symptoms?
Unfortunately, black mold doesn’t discriminate when deciding who it affects, though some people are more prone to be at a higher risk than others. For example, those with chronic lung disease or immune deficiencies are at a higher risk to experience black mold symptoms. People with these conditions can develop worsened symptoms as well as fungal growth in the lungs that directly affects the heart, lungs, eyes, muscles, skin and central nervous system.
How Long Does Black Mold Exposure Take To Show Symptoms?
The length of exposure to black mold directly influences the length of black mold health symptoms in a person. Symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks to a few months to a few years, progressively worsening. Unfortunately, even if the mold is physically removed, spores can still be in the air; therefore, moisture must be controlled and strictly monitored for symptoms to completely disappear. Air filtration systems and dehumidifiers can speed this process.
Treating Black Mold Symptoms
The only way to truly get rid of the symptoms is to treat the underlying cause, which are the black mold spores themselves. Doctors will also treat each symptom accordingly, oftentimes prescribing albuterol inhalers (nebulizers) to help with lung ailments. Steroids are also typically used to treat many of the symptoms.