How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure?
If you have molds in your home and you’re not paying any heed to your surroundings, you are putting your health in jeopardy. Molds are fungal species known to create havoc in your life. It is the moisture to be blamed for insidious mold growth in your homes. Having molds in homes and buildings is a pressing problem that should not be overlooked.
Wherever there is high humidity, these spores grow abundantly. Not only humidity feeds molds but also the puddles and the damp materials in your homes give these molds a safe and favorable place to live. Therefore, living in a water-damaged home or building can lead to serious health issues. This allows the tiny bubble of fear to expand in the heads of landowners and business owners.
If you have a hunch that molds are thriving at your place, take it seriously. The best way to get to these molds is by noticing water stains on walls, discoloration of paint, surface deterioration, flaky wallpaper, musty odor, etc.
Before we let you know how doctors test for mold exposure, it is of supreme importance to first get you acquainted with the mold-centered health problems for which you’ll turn to your doctor.
Molds are capable of producing many substances that can be detrimental. Allergens, irritants, and biotoxins (mycotoxins) are a threat to human health.
It has been stated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that longer exposure to mold spores can irritate the skin, nose, throat, eyes, and lungs of individuals. Even if you’re not allergic to mold spores, you can still experience these symptoms.
If you are someone having a mold allergy, your immune system gets triggered when you inhale quite a lot of mold spores. The signs and symptoms shown by individuals mirror those of other allergies which include:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Postnasal drip
- Stuffy or blocked nose
- Itchy eyes, skin, and throat
- Dry, scaly skin with rashes
If you’re an asthma patient, your condition will worsen upon exposure to molds. You’ll experience chest stiffness, shortness of breath, fever, flu-like symptoms, runny nose, watery eyes, etc.
Black Mold Exposure – Mold Poisoning:
These are molds that are green or black in appearance. The most common species of the black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum. It has been speculated that many black molds are toxigenic, which means they release mycotoxins that are particularly harmful to people with preexisting conditions.
When these mycotoxins begin to accumulate in the body, it may lead to a condition known as mold poisoning which affects the upper respiratory system adversely.
Common mold poisoning symptoms are the same as that of mold allergies. People who are suffering from asthma or any other chronic lung disease, these mycotoxins will make their condition miserable. They will exhibit severe symptoms such as:
- Headache or migraine
- Chest colds
- Persistent coughing
- Breathing difficulty
- Muscle cramps
- Hand and feet numbness
- Stomach pain
After becoming conversant with the health issues caused by molds, it’s high time to discuss how doctors test for mold exposure.
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure?
If you ever experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, immediately see a doctor.
Several tests are recommended by the doctor to test for mold exposure. To diagnose mold poisoning or allergies, your doctor will go for blood or skin test.
Let’s shed some light on these tests.
- Blood Test: In this test, the sample for testing is the patient’s blood. Your doctor withdraws your blood and sends the sample to the testing laboratory. A blood test can measure the response of your immune system to biotoxins by checking the number of certain antibodies (IgE) in your bloodstream.
- Skin Prick Test: This is a test in which your skin is punctured and then diluted amounts of suspected allergens (molds) are applied in that area. If you get a raised bump or hive at the test location, you’re allergic. But if no such bump is observed, you’re not allergic to molds.
However if the above tests confirm a positive reaction, you’ll immediately have to get your condition treated.
Treatment For Mold Exposure:
The best treatment is to avoid places that trigger your allergic reactions. To put you at ease, your doctor may suggest the following:
- Nasal sprays – used to reduce nose stuffiness. Also, a solution of warm, sterile water and saline may be prescribed to irrigate your nasal passages to get rid of entrapped mold spores.
- Anti-histamines – used to block histamine (inflammatory chemical) that mediates allergic reactions. They are also helpful in alleviating airway inflammation.
- Oral Decongestants – used for the relief of blocked/stuffy nose.
Sharing a life with molds is like endangering your existence. Molds inhabit every place that is damp or wet. They are a constant source of stress and anxiety for the home and business owners. To do away with molds, you’ll have to control moisture. If you turn a blind eye to these molds, they will grow profusely to make you sick. Always call an expert like Dry Effect if you need assistance.
“Health is wealth.” Take measures to remove the burden of these molds and save your life.
Always remember: “Prevention is better than cure.”