Yes, having Mold at home can bring complications. Most allergic responses to mold involve hay fever-type symptoms that can make you miserable but aren't serious. However, certain allergic conditions caused by mold are more severe. Complications with mold include:
Mold-induced asthma. In people allergic to mold, breathing in spores can trigger an asthma flare-up. If you have a mold allergy and asthma, be sure you have an emergency plan in place in case of a severe asthma attack. Allergic fungal sinusitis. This results from an inflammatory reaction to fungus in the sinuses. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. This reaction to fungus in the lungs can occur in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis. complications with mold also include Hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This rare condition occurs when exposure to airborne particles such as mold spores causes the lungs to become inflamed. It may be triggered by exposure to allergy-causing dust at work.
Other problems caused by mold
Besides allergens, the mold may pose other health risks to susceptible people. For example, the mold may cause infections of the skin or mucous membranes. Generally, however, mold doesn't cause systemic infections except for people with impaired immune systems, such as those who have HIV/AIDS or who are taking immunosuppressant medication.
To reduce mold growth in your home, consider these tips:
- Eliminate sources of dampness in basements, such as pipe leaks or groundwater seepage.
- Use a dehumidifier in any area of your home that smells musty or damp. Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Remember to clean the collection bucket and condensation coils regularly.
- Use an air conditioner, and consider installing central air conditioning with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attachment. The HEPA filter can trap mold spores from the outdoor air before they're circulated inside your home.
- Change filters on your furnace and air conditioners regularly. Have forced air heating ducts inspected and, if necessary, cleaned.
- Be sure all bathrooms are properly ventilated, and run the ventilation fan during a shower or bath and immediately after to dry the air. If you don't have a ventilation fan, open a window or door while you're showering or bathing.
- Don't carpet bathrooms and basements.
- Promote groundwater drainage away from your house by removing leaves and vegetation from around the foundation and cleaning out rain gutters frequently.
- Keep organic plant containers clean and dry, such as those made of straw, wicker or hemp.
- Toss or recycle old books and newspapers. If left in damp places, such as basements, they can quickly become moldy.
Note: This article is informational only. When making purchasing decisions, conduct your own research.