What causes mold allergies?
Before we get into details about mold allergy symptoms, first we want to talk about what causes the reactions that we feel. Molds produce mycotoxins that are created to fight off other molds. There are over 200 recognized mycotoxins that molds produce, each of which are harmful when ingested (eaten), inhaled (breathed in) or absorbed through skin.
It is these mycotoxins that cause mold allergy symptoms. Although many of the symptoms are similar in those who are allergic, they can vary from person to person. One person may experience one form of allergic reaction while another can experience something completely different. Even the frequency of reactions can vary as some people can show symptoms year-round while others may only show symptoms seasonaly or periodically.
General mold allergy symptoms
- eye, throat, nose and skin irritation (itch or rash)
- coughing or wheezing
- runny or stuffed nose
- watery eyes
Other health effects caused by mold
Mold does not only effect those who are allergic to it. It can effect anybody at any time. Those with weakened immune systems though are often at the highest risk. Other health implications caused by mold include:
- mycosis: fungal disease with actual mold growth in the human host
- mycotoxicosis: intoxication due to ingestion or inhalation
- immunosuppression: lowering of the bodies immune (defense) system
- Carcinogenic diseases: disease and organ failures linked to cancer
Common health effects caused by mold
- Cold and flu like symptoms
- Sore throat
- Allergic rhinitis
- Diarrhoea and digestive problems
- Infections (eye, ear, skin)
- Nose bleeds
- Respiratory problems