Like any allergy, mold allergy symptoms are triggered by an overly sensitive immune system response. When you inhale tiny, airborne mold spores, your body recognizes them as foreign invaders and develops allergy-causing antibodies to fight them.
After the exposure has passed, you still produce antibodies that “remember” this invader, so that any later contact with the mold causes your immune system to react. This reaction triggers the release of substances such as histamine, which cause itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and other mold allergy symptoms.
Molds are very common both inside and outside. There are many types, but only certain kinds of mold cause allergies. Being allergic to one type of mold doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be allergic to another. Some of the most common molds that cause allergies include alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium.
Most allergic responses to mold involve hay fever-type symptoms that can make you miserable, but aren’t serious. However, certain allergic conditions caused by mold are more severe. These include:
Mold-induced asthma. In people allergic to mold, breathing in spores can trigger an asthma flare-up. If you have a mold allergy and asthma, be sure you have an emergency plan in place in case of a severe asthma attack.
Allergic fungal sinusitis. This results from an inflammatory reaction to fungus in the sinuses.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. This reaction to fungus in the lungs can occur in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This rare condition occurs when exposure to airborne particles such as mold spores cause the lungs to become inflamed. It may be triggered by exposure to allergy-causing dust at work.
Problems caused by mold
Besides allergens, mold may pose other health risks to susceptible people. For example, mold may cause infections of the skin or mucus membranes. Generally, however, mold doesn’t cause systemic infections except for people with impaired immune systems, such as those who have HIV/AIDS or who are taking immunosuppressant medication. Exposure to mold may also irritate eyes, skin, nose and throat in some people. Other possible mold reactions are the subject of ongoing research.
Mold Tip- Inhalation
Once mold appears people begin immediately asking, “How do we kill it?” That’s the wrong question to ask. In fact, be skeptical of anyone or any firm that suggests treatments based on “disinfecting” for mold or totally eliminating it.
Remember, mold is everywhere and you can’t totally eliminate it. That’s why it is essential to control temperature and relative humidity — creating conditions that don’t allow mold conidia to transform into vegetative forms.
Remember also that even if you kill the mold it can still be inhaled and still an allergen. It can still have health consequences, even after it is dead.
How Does Mold Reproduce?
Mold reproduces and spreads through its production of spores. These spores can quickly form large colonies through mitosis and meiosis. Some mold spores can be passed through the air as well, which is why it’s important to tackle mold stain removal sooner rather than later if you discover it in your home.
Very few molds are able to reproduce at temperatures of 39 degrees or lower, which is why we refrigerate our food at this temperature. Some species of mold will remain alive, but in a dormant state, even when it’s not able to grow. Mold’s ability to withstand certain conditions is one strong reason to consider investing in professional mold removal.