Mold can grow just about anywhere. It sounds like a nightmare to deal with and in a way it sort of is. If you are a homeowner, finding out that you have mold can be the last piece of news you want to hear. While it isn’t as bad as say, termites, mold can still be destructive. What sets it apart, however, is the harm it can do to your health. Breathing in mold can have serious negative health consequences both short and long term.
How Can I Breathe In Mold?
Although mold appears to us as a solid, fuzzy, growth, it is much more complex. Mold spreads by sending tiny, invisible spores into the air. They then land on other surfaces and allow new colonies to grow. If you have mold growing in your home, these spores can travel through the air, even in the ventilation, and you breathe them in.
What If I Don’t See Any Mold?
Unfortunately, just because you don’t see mold doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Mold is an expert at hiding in the places you can’t see. It can live behind drywall, in the ceiling, in your ventilation, and even in your home’s insulation. Regardless of where it lives, if you have mold growing in your home, its spores will be airborne. Being constantly exposed to those in the air that you breathe can have many negative effects on your health.
Short-Term Health Effects From Breathing In Mold
Depending on what type of mold you have been exposed to, you can experience a wide range of different symptoms. One of the common ones is allergies. Since mold spores are allergens, many people have an allergic reaction when they breathe them in. This can include red, itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itching, headaches and more. Although these symptoms are not life threatening, they are a major inconvenience if you are experiencing them every day. Just imagine being sick every day. Other short-term effects include difficulty breathing or worsened asthma symptoms. Breathing in mold can cause the tiny passageways in your lungs to constrict, making it very hard to breath. For patients who already suffer from asthma, breathing in mold can trigger an attack or make them more severe.
Long-Term Health Effects From Breathing In Mold
Once again depending on what type of mold you have breathed in, there are potentially deadly long-term risks involved. Specifically, if you are exposed to toxic black mold for a prolonged period of time. People who breathe in mold over the course of months to years can experience insomnia, anxiety, and confusion. In many cases, the person doesn’t know what is causing their symptoms, making it even more frustrating. If large amounts of black mold are breathed in for a prolonged period, it can even cause death.
What To Do If You Are Breathing In Mold?
If you suspect that you are breathing in mold or experiencing symptoms discussed above, getting your home checked for mold growth is a good first step. For non-toxic mold symptoms (allergy symptoms) an over-the-counter antihistamine can help reduce the itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose. A decongestant can also help relieve some of the nasal congestion that is associated with breathing in mold. However, the only way to truly remedy symptoms from breathing in mold is to stop breathing it in, meaning that you need to have it removed from your home.