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Mold Learning Center
Mold Learning Center

How Does Mold Cause Allergic Reactions?

Mold Allergies

Mold, especially when levels rise above about 10,000 spores per cubic meter, is responsible for a long list of health issues.

Mold spores are so small you can't even see them without a microscope. They are so light they can float on the slightest draft. This, of course, means we inhale mold spores every day, without even knowing.

Unfortunately, some strains of mold produce a substance that is often irritating to sensitive individuals. Some molds even produce toxic substances, leading to deadly consequences. 

Not everyone is allergic to mold spores, but more people become allergic as concentration levels rise. People who are sensitive or who are not in good health, or have preexisting respiratory issues may be more greatly affected by high mold spore levels in the air.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Mold Test

Mold tests are typically done by exposing a petri dish to air for a specified number of minutes. The dish is then capped and mold levels are monitored for the next 3 or 4 days. Mold levels are extrapolated from the amount of mold that grows in the dish.

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing and or sudden respiratory issues
  • Wheezing
  • Nose bleeds
  • Tearing and red eyes
  • Skin irritation, rashes, and sores
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Asthma attacks for people with asthma
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Constant fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Lung or sinus infection for those with chronic lung disease
  • Infections in body tissues, ears, and internal organs
  • Sexual dysfunction

Toxic Mold Spores and Strains

Some mold spores produce a chemical byproduct called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are what some species of mold use to compete for space with other species by essentially waging chemical warfare on other mold strains. These compounds can affect our respiratory systems, even making us sick. You can't see the spores or the mycotoxins, but a lot of people can smell their musty signature, which can often be the first indication for homeowners that there may be a mold issue in the home.

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