Mold Toxicity Illness Treatment

What is Mold & How to Identify Mold

Because there are so many misconceptions about mold before any discussion can take place about mold, it is necessary to clear a few things up. Such things include what specifically is mold, how does it differentiate from fungus’ or mildews, can mold be beneficial, and how do you identify mold. Without being too confusing let’s get some answers.

What is Mold – Molds, mosses, and mildews are not plants or animals, but are all closely related types of fungi. A fungus is any of a group of unicellular, multicellular, or syncytial spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter. Not all molds or fungi are harmful. Edible mushrooms and yeasts for bread are but two examples. Penicillin, a life-saving drug is made from a type of mold derived from the Penicillium mold, would be another.

There are so many types of mold, well over 100,000 species, that identifying any specific type of mold by sight alone is nearly impossible. Experienced mold specialists should be called upon instead. Simply trying to clean an area overrun with mold could do more harm than good, by allowing for the release of harmful mold spores into the air.

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Mold Exposure Symptoms and Mold Illness Treatments

Molds are very common in buildings and homes and will grow anywhere indoors where there are both darkness and moisture. That being said, molds are also just as common outdoors. Believe it or not, molds have even been found in Antarctica! Molds that are harmful, are commonly classified into three groups:

  • Allergenic: Mold exposure symptoms include the production of allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks.
  • Pathogenic: Mold exposure symptoms include breathing difficulties and are particularly harmful to those suffering from an acute illness.
  • Toxigenic: Molds that produce toxic substances that can lead to dangerous or even deadly health conditions. These molds are sometimes referred to as “toxic mold.”

Mold exposure symptoms relating to some of the most common types of molds found in buildings and homes are:

Acremonium – is very dangerous and it can lead to disease in the bone marrow, immune system, and other organs. Because it is a carcinogen, it can also impair brain function.

Alternaria – is commonly in showers, bathtubs, and below leaking sinks. Alternaria is also a common mold species that appears as a result of water damage to a home or building. As an allergenic mold, Alternaria causes asthma-like symptoms including in the upper respiratory tract.

Aspergillus – Aspergillus is an allergenic mold capable of mutating and becoming more toxic, causing symptoms such as asthma attacks, lung infections, and respiratory inflammation. In addition, certain Aspergillus molds are capable of producing aflatoxins, a known and deadly carcinogen.

Aureobasilium – The dangerous health risks posed by Aureobasidium are its ability to cause infections of eye, skin, and nails. Also because of its potential to cause dermatological mold symptoms (skin rashes), it should never be touched directly with bare skin.

Chaetomium – is a mold commonly found in water-damaged homes and buildings. Exposure to Chaetomium mold symptoms can include skin and nail infections. Chaetomium favors chronically wet conditions and in many cases can produce mycotoxins that are especially dangerous in individuals with compromised immune systems.

Cladosporium – is an allergenic mold type, unique in its ability to grow in both warm and cold conditions. Cladosporium mold exposure symptoms can include allergic reactions to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Exposure to Cladosporium causes skin rash and lesions, asthma, lung infections and sinusitis.

Fusarium – Exposure to Fusarium may cause skin infections in addition to allergic reaction symptoms such as a sore throat, running nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and dermatitis. Prolonged exposure may cause other severe and life-threatening conditions such as bone infections or brain abscesses (pustules on the brain). Fusarium can produce toxins that are damaging to the nervous system and can potentially lead to hemorrhages and internal bleeding.

Mucor – is an extremely dangerous allergenic type of mold. If exposed to Mucor mold, symptoms can involve the development of or worsening Asthma, flu-like fever, and malaise. In the most severe instances of prolonged exposure, there is the risk of developing Mucormycosis, resulting in the damage of the sinuses, lungs, eyes, and brain, ultimately becoming systemic in the blood, digestion, or renal systems.

Penicillium – Although an integral part of antibody production and healing, prolonged exposure can result in pulmonary inflammation, asthma, chronic sinusitis.

Stachybotrys – Also called “Black Mold”, is one of the deadliest toxogenic molds, due to its production and release of mycotoxins. When exposed to Stachybotrys mold symptoms can include any number of these:

  • Severe difficulties with breathing
  • Sinusitis
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Dull aches
  • Pains in the mucous membranes of the sinuses
  • Burning sensations in the airways
  • Tightening of the chest
  • A persistent cough
  • Nosebleeds
  • Fever
  • Painful Headaches

In addition, Stachybotrys is linked to neurological problems in children and pulmonary bleeding in infants.

Mold Illness Treatments – Due to the wide variety of common molds, in addition to a wide range of mold symptoms they present, there is no one size fits all cure. If you have been exposed to mold, your best course of action is to seek medical advice immediately.

To find out more about mold-related illnesses and symptoms or to talk to a mold specialist, call us at 813-445-8770 or request an appointment.

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