- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Mold Allergy Symptoms: Foodborne and Airborne
What is Mold?
Mold allergy is a result of exposure to mold. There are symptoms associated with mold allergy and these will be explained later in this article.
Mold can make you sick. Mold is a living organism or fungi that grows where there is dampness, moisture and bacteria. Mold grows on food and surfaces such as bathroom walls, under kitchen sinks and many other places that are damp or moist.
Mold has what are called spores and when consumed or inhaled in certain quantities can affect your health. These spores are airborne and can enter your environment and not be seen with the naked eye. The mold also reproduces through these spores.They can attach themselves to anything they come in contact with like a cup, your clothing, a pair of shoes, just about anything.
Have you ever noticed that clothing hanging in a closet for a long time will have some weird grey spots that when touched they come off on the hand like dust? Or have you ever noticed your shoes showing some growth of what appears to be mildew but a little more dusty and not as dark? These might be mold.
If your environment has a musky scent then maybe you have mold.
Eating moldy foods
According to the UDSA, some food borne molds can be dangerous such as those molds that grow on vegetables, grain and fruits such as grapes and apples. Consuming some of these foods can produce mycotoxins which are poisonous substances. Not all food borne molds are bad but you must be aware of what you are eating.
Some other molds are even more dangerous and are found to be cancer causing agents, these are called aflatoxins. Foods such as peanuts and corn carry this type of mold. Sometimes the molds grow on the corn and peanuts while they are still in the fields before they are harvested, depending on the weather conditions. Usually after a long rainy weather some crops grow mold.
In most cases food gathers mold when it has gone bad or rotting and so may make you sick if consumed. Due to the break down of nutrients while foods are spoiled or rotting, it is best not to consume them.
Mold Allergy Symptoms
If you are allergic to mold you will likely show some signs that mold is in your environment by your allergic reaction. These symptoms are similar to an allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and the common cold. Here are some mold allergy symptoms to look out for.
Itchy, watery and (maybe) red eyes.
Skin irritation, such as itching and hives
Shortness of breath and a constricted airway (difficulty breathing)
Asthmatics, persons with bronchitis and other lung conditions will find it difficult to function in such an environment as breathing becomes very difficult and often resulting in hospitalization.
Toxic mold symptoms are
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Forgetfulness and memory loss
Not to frighten you but very severe toxicity to mold can also lead to pulmonary hemorrhage or even death.
How to control mold
Control mold growth by:
- keeping your areas dry.
- Fix leaking faucets and wall pipes.
- Keep air conditioning panels dry
- Clean out storage rooms occasionally and keep dry
If you have a small mold problem, for instance a small area under the kitchen sink, no worries you can clean it with some vinegar solution. But if it is a widespread problem you need to call the mold control people to have them deal with it because mold is very dangerous and can cause a toxic shock. It is best to let professionals deal with it then.
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