- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
The Problems of Mold Allergies
Seasonal allergies often involve hayfever-like symptoms and reactions to certain types of pollen in the air. While these sllergy symptoms can leave many people feeling miserable for a number of days, mold allergies can be more serious, often life-threatening in some people. For people with asthma or other types of chronic respiratory illnesses, mold allergies are a serious matter. Mold allergies can also cause a reaction in otherwise healthy people that is often unexplained until a source of mold is discovered.
Mold is a common problem in many homes and office buildings, but it should be eliminated promptly when it is discovered because of the risk of health problems. There are several types of conditions that can be brought on by the presence of mold. There are also several different types of mold that homeowners should be concerned with, but aspergillus (black mold) is the most-threatening of all species.
Mold-induced asthma refers to exacerbated asthma symptoms brought on by the presence of mold in the air. People with asthma are often much more sensitive to airborne mold particles that the general population. Mold is often caused by standing water or moisture on hard surfaces. However, these particles can also be found in the air in environments where moisture is not properly regulated. Mold particles that are allowed to penetrate ventilation systems are then circulated throughout the home or even an entire office building unknowingly, leading to unexplained asthma symptoms. People with asthma should be especially careful in buildings where mold may be present. Dust masks that are commonly sold in home improvement stores can provide some protection from mold particles in the air.
There are two types of infections that can be caused by mold in the air that affect not only people with respiratory conditions, but others as well. In allergic fungal sinusitis, mold particles that are inhaled can become lodged in the sinus cavity, where the reproduce. The mold growing in the sinuses can lead to a severe sinus infection that is not remedied with the use of antibiotics. In some cases, antifungals can be prescribed to treat the infection, but surgery may also be required in more severe cases.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is a condition caused by aspergillus mold specifically. This kind of black mold is one of the most common types of mold found in homes, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Respiratory infections caused by aspergillus mold can be deadly in some people. In aspergillosis, the mold particles penetrate the airways and lining of mucous membranes. There, these particles reproduce, causing an infection that leads to severe breathing problems. In people with asthma and other types of respiratory conditions, a case of aspergillosis is even more life-threatening than in the general population.
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