Runny nose? Uncontrollable sneezing? Watery eyes? You can blame the weather or even hay fever for these symptoms but chances are, you might have a mold allergy. Different types of mold are present in millions of households and offices worldwide, and while some mold or mold spores are relatively harmless, there are many types of mold, like black mold or toxic mold, that can cause severe mold symptoms like rashes, sneezing or even diarrhea and dizziness. Have you been exposed to dangerous or toxic mold? The following lists common mold symptoms that may occur because of mold exposure.
1. Red, watery eyes and uncontrollable sneezing. The most common adverse reaction to mold is an allergy. Mold spores can cause continuous sneezing, watery eyes and an itchy, irritated nose. According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic in 1993, mold allergy was the cause of fungal sinusitis in about 93% of cases of chronic rhinosinusitis in 37 million Americans.
2. Skin rashes. Sometimes, mold allergy can manifest itself through red rashes and itchiness on your skin. Mold spores on bed sheets, clothing and pillows can irritate your skin and cause rashes. There have also been cases of skin rashes in people who have inhaled mold spores.
3. Headaches. If you regularly experience migraines, maybe stress isn’t the only culprit. Headaches are yet another one of the many severe mold symptoms you may experience due to exposure. Molds, or fungus, can release microbial volatile organic compounds, and these harmful compounds can irritate your eyes, respiratory tract and can cause headaches and migraines.
4. Fatigue. Not all molds are bad (a certain type of mold puts that distinct flavor in blue cheese, for instance) but some mold spores can be deadly. Toxic mold (like strachybotrys or chaetomium mold) can cause fatigue and even memory loss. If you are tired all the time, even if you’re not stressed with work or chores, then it’s best to test your home or office for mold.
5. Diarrhea. Another type of mold, called fusarium, can cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. This type of mold is usually found in plants, humidifiers and water-damaged beds and carpets as well as other building materials that have been wet. The inhalation of this type of mold spores can also cause severe stomach problems.
6. Nose bleeds. Toxic mold and black mold spores can cause more severe mold allergy reactions. Strachybotrys can cause severe bleeding in the lungs and other serious respiratory tract infections. The elderly, the weak and infants can be very sick or can even die from infections caused by this type of mold. It’s always safe to get checked by your doctor if you experience nose bleeding regularly.
7. Shortness of breath. If this happens to you often, even if you have not been exerting much physical effort, then mold spores might be to blame. When you inhale or breathe in mold, these can affect your respiratory system. This, in turn, may develop into something more serious like asthma.
If you find yourself getting sick often or experiencing skin rashes everyday, maybe mold spores are to blame. If you experience any one of the above mold symptoms regularly, it’s advisable to go to a doctor and get yourself checked. You might want to test your home for mold as well to prevent you and your family from developing mold allergy or even other more serious infections and reactions.