Toxic Black Mold is no carnival. Even the scientific classification Stachybotrys chartarum strikes fear in the heart of your toughest ironman, and in a few instances, Superman himself.
Finding traces of black mold in your home is probably one of the most difficult problems to address. Dealing with black mold is an obstacle in its own right, requiring thorough remediation.
But the bigger question is, what are the symptoms of black mold?
Black mold is toxic and affects just about every area of your life. Serious symptoms and health problems as a result of black mold include mental impairment, breathing problems, damage to internal organs, and sometimes even death.
The main groups of symptoms toxic black mold causes are:
Mental and Neurological Symptoms
The trichothecene mycotoxins produced by toxic black mold are neurotoxic. This means they can kill neurons in the brain and impair a person’s mental ability. They also cause nervous disorders such as tremors and can cause personality changes such as mood swings and irritability.
- Brain fog
- Shortened attention span
- Difficulty concentrating and paying attention
- Slowed reflexes
- Memory loss and memory problems
- Impaired learning ability
- Aggression and other personality changes
People living in homes with toxic black mold are mainly exposed through breathing in toxic black mold spores and mycotoxins. Toxic black mold mycotoxins create irritation and a burning feeling in a person’s air passages such as the nasal cavity, mouth and throat.
- Difficulty breathing (breathlessness or shortness of breath)
- Pulmonary edema (swelling of the lungs)
- Pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding in the lungs)
- Sore throat
- Burning sensation of the mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose
- Stuffy, blocked nose
- Nose bleeds
Toxic black mold mycotoxins can be breathed in, ingested, or absorbed through a person’s skin or eyes. Eventually the mycotoxins find their way into the person’s blood. This leads to heart damage, as well as problems with blood clotting and internal or external hemorrhaging.
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart inflammation
- Damage to heart
- Low blood pressure
- Bone marrow disruption
- Bleeding tendency
- Blood not clotting properly
- Hemorrhage (internal bleeding)
- Vomiting up blood
- Bleeding in the brain and in other organs
Vision and Eye Symptoms
Black mold mycotoxins that are in the air can enter a person’s eyes. The mycotoxins are cytotoxic (toxic to cells). When they come into contact with eye cells, they cause inflamed and injured eyes, thus creating vision problems.
- Eye inflammation and soreness
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Eye damage
- Blurry vision and vision worsening
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes)
One of the three main ways that toxic black mold mycotoxins enter the human body is through the skin. There have been cases in the past where people have handled hay contaminated with toxic black mold and developed severe rashes and skin problems on their body where they touched the hay, as well as on sweaty areas like the armpits.
- Crawling skin
- Dermatitis (skin inflammation, rash, blisters, itchiness)
Immune System Symptoms
Toxic black mold puts out chemicals which suppress the immune system. In fact, many immunosuppressive drugs are actually created from toxic molds.
- Immunosuppression (immune system not functioning properly)
- Reoccurring infections and sicknesses
Reproductive System Symptoms
Mycotoxins from toxic black mold are teratogenic. This means they can cause problems in the fetus during pregnancy which then leads to birth defects. Toxic black mold mycotoxins are also cytoxotic and mutagenic (cause cell mutations) and inhibit protein synthesis including DNA and RNA.
- Fetal development problems
Tiredness and Discomfort Symptoms
When a person is around toxic black mold, the immune system may release a sedative called Chloral Hydrate. This is used as a defense to try to slow down the effects of toxic black mold. However, this also makes a person tired. Toxic black mold can also cause soreness of the muscles and joints.
- Chronic fatigue
- Aches and pains
- Muscle pain
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Malaise (general discomfort)
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Hearing loss
- Liver disease
How Doctors Treat Black Mold Symptoms
As mentioned, exposure to black mold could lead to a person experiencing mold-related allergies and symptoms. The appropriate treatment for these conditions may include the following:
- Using nasal sprays or rinses: People can purchase over-the-counter nasal corticosteroids like Flonase to minimize airway inflammation due to black mold allergies. Meanwhile, rinsing with a warm water solution and saline might help cleanse the nasal passages of the potential presence of mold spores, thereby getting rid of congestion.
- Taking over-the-counter medications: Well-known antihistamines like Claritin and Zyrtec are capable of reducing one’s immune system response. This could help eliminate airway inflammation and provide relief to the patient. Additionally, taking decongestants such as Sudafed can lessen the swelling caused by allergic reactions.
- Allergy shots: A physician can provide individuals with regular allergy shots that contain allergens so that their immune systems can improve over time.
Although these treatments are effective, keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. Staying away from areas where black molds are present can help individuals avoid experiencing its symptoms in the first place.
Severe Complications Caused By Toxic Black Mold
Most of the allergic reactions to toxic black mold, such as those similar to hay fever, can make peoples’ lives miserable but shouldn’t be severe. However, there are specific conditions that could be worse. These are:
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: This is a person’s allergic reaction to fungus that is present in the lungs. It commonly happens to individuals with cystic fibrosis or asthma.
- Allergic fungal sinusitis: This condition is caused when the body carries out an inflammatory response when it detects fungus in the sinuses.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: This is one of those rare conditions that happens when a person is exposed to mold spores that result in the lungs being inflamed. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is often triggered by dust as well.
- Mold-induced asthma: Individuals who are allergic to the presence of black mold can trigger an asthma attack when they breathe in mold spores. That’s why it’s important to have an emergency plan at the ready at all times.
How to Avoid Experiencing Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
Prevention is the best way to avoid experiencing the symptoms associated with toxic black mold. Reducing the presence of this type of mold as well as its ability to spread is, therefore, vital for homeowners.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Get rid of sources that would result in the basement being damp. Fixing pipes that have been leaking and resolving groundwater seepage are beneficial ways to eliminate these sources.
- Install a dehumidifier in areas of the house that has a damp feel or musty smell. Keeping humidity levels lower than 50% is ideal. It’s important to keep in mind to keep the condensation coils and collection bucket of the device cleaned regularly.
- Use an air conditioning system. Installing a central air conditioning system that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can be helpful. This type of filter is known for trapping mold spores from outside that could circulate and cause harm indoors.
- Constantly change air conditioning and furnace filters. Keeping these systems inspected by the appropriate experts each year can ensure that they are clean and safe to operate.
- Bathrooms and other areas that have a high potential for moisture should be well-ventilated. Running a ventilation fan before and after a bath or shower can help dry the air quickly, which is beneficial in preventing toxic black mold. Cracking a window open is one alternative for homes that don’t have ventilation fans.
- Avoid installing carpets in bathrooms and basements. Carpets are significant areas that can attract mold growth because of their ability to retain moisture.
- Ensure groundwater drains away properly. Removing vegetation and debris where water flows can promote its drainage and help prevent stagnant water that could cause molds.
- Get rid of old newspapers and books. Leaving these items in damp places could cause them to grow molds that can be harmful to their health.
After all this bad news, we’re left to wonder:
Are Toxic Black Mold Symptoms Permanent?
When you’re no longer around toxic black mold, most of the symptoms should gradually decrease. Unfortunately, some of the health problems caused by toxic black mold are permanent. For example: after a person has lived with toxic black mold, their immune system won’t be as strong as it used to be and they’ll be more sensitive to mold and mycotoxins in the future.
If you have a mold problem in your home, it’s best to consult a mold removal professional.
Our state of the art dry fog technology is a guaranteed, go-to solution for your mold remediation needs. Our method is non-toxic, eco-friendly and hassle-free.
Is Toxic Black Mold Affecting Your Health?
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