Elevated Levels of Mold: Common Health Effects

If someone in your home is experiencing specific health concerns, could it be due to elevated levels of mold in the home? First and foremost, any concerning health issues should be discussed with your physician before attributing undiagnosed symptoms to mold.

Mold In The House

Mold spores are present everywhere in nature. Microscopic and airborne, spores readily infiltrate indoor environments and may accumulate to high levels. When exposed to moisture, dormant spores convert to active growing mold that releases mycotoxins, a known trigger of allergic responses in certain individuals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are no established standards or criteria for unhealthy levels of mold inside a structure. Air samples taken inside a mold-contaminated house may reveal a spore count that is more than 150 times the count in an uncontaminated house. However, symptoms reported by residents of the contaminated home may range from absolutely none to severe, depending on the specific type of mold present, as well as the varying individual sensitivities of the people exposed to it.   

When physical reactions do occur in a home with confirmed high levels of growing mold, symptoms experienced by residents tend to follow certain patterns. Here are some of the typical responses seen in these cases:

Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptons represent the most frequently reported consequences of mold exposure in enclosed indoor environments.  These symptoms fall into the general category of upper-respiratory issues, including sneezing, coughing, a runny nose and a sore throat. More acute responses to airborne spores may resemble asthma attacks that include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Persons who already have some form of obstructive lung disease or those with compromised immune symptoms may exhibit more severe forms of these symptoms such as frequent chest colds and lung infections.

Long-Term Complications

Living in an indoor environment continuously contaminated with high levels of mold spores may be a factor in certain chronic health conditions. Some of the common denominators reported by affected individuals include symptoms such as:

  • Chronic fatigue and lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Poor sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss

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