The following article provides an overview about the severe long-term effects of black mold exposure, as well as a few tips on getting rid of black mold infestation.
Black mold is one of the most dreaded causes of indoor pollution. Also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, it is a greenish-black slimy organism that grows on warm and moist surfaces like leather goods, food items, bathroom tiles, shower heads, clothes that have not been in use for a long time, etc. Exposure to black mold usually affects the respiratory system of the body. The byproducts known as mycotoxins, when inhaled, start interfering with the immune system of the body, thus giving rise to several unpleasant symptoms.
Health Effects of Black Mold
The signs and symptoms caused by exposure to this toxic mold can easily mimic the symptoms of other medical conditions. That is the reason, most people do not suspect that a black mold invasion has taken place in their home. Instead, they would take medication for bacterial or viral infection. But no matter how much medication you take, the symptoms do not resolve unless the source of the problem is uprooted. The effects of long-term exposure to black mold have been described below.
- The most common effect of black mold in children and adults, is an allergic reaction that comprises hives, skin rashes, constant sneezing, watery eyes, itching, burning eyes, etc. Some people may experience a burning sensation in the mouth and throat.
- Further exposure can also cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, and pain in the muscles.
- In addition, the mental health of people living in homes infested with black mold, is also affected. They may experience poor concentration, short-term memory loss, mood swings, and increased irritability.
- Some more long-term effects may include breathing trouble, chronic cough, frequent nosebleeds, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
- If the person who is being exposed to black mold infestation, is suffering from urinary tract infection, then his/her symptoms may grow worse.
- Other side effects may include low sex drive, vision problems, strange taste in the mouth, hair loss, eye irritation, excessive perspiration at night, choking sensation all the time, muscle cramps, easy bruising, and acid reflux.
In most cases, once the black mold infestation is cleared, such side effects tend to diminish with time. But this may be true for people who are otherwise healthy. The story is different for people who are already ailing from some other medical conditions. If such people are continuously exposed to black mold, their symptoms tend to aggravate, and treatment could become difficult.
How to Counter the Effects of Black Mold Exposure
The best way to do this, is to uproot the cause of the problem. First, look for places which might have a water leakage problem, and a possible infestation. Fix the water leakage, locate the black mold colonies, and use the following steps to get rid of these colonies.
- Fill an empty spray bottle with vinegar. Do not add water to it. Generously spray the vinegar on mold colonies. Wait for an hour, and then scrub the mold using a hard-bristled brush. Wear a mask and a pair of disposable gloves. After you are done with the scrubbing, wash the area with a soapy solution, followed by a wash with clean water. Wipe the surface using a clean washcloth. Ensure that the surface is dry. You can use a hair dryer to dry the surface, or leave the doors and windows open to increase air circulation.
- Mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil with a cup of water. Fill it in a spray bottle, and spray the solution onto the surface. Wait for an hour, and wash off the solution. Tea tree oil would not only kill the colonies, but also help to reduce the unpleasant smell.
Sometimes, a black mold infestation can be way too gruesome for you to handle it. So in such cases, seek professional help to get rid of the mold colonies.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.