Mold Induced Asthma: Are Inhaled Mold Spores to Blame?

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Wheezing, as you inhale and exhale trying to catch your breath. The difficult task of trying to regain your breath is an ongoing battle for those with asthma. Asthma is a growing health condition that plaques more and more people each year. Currently, 26 million people suffer from this condition, with 18.9 million adults and 7.1 million children affected. Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs and is one of the most common long-term diseases for children.

Researchers have been perplexed by the potential causes of the growing number of cases of asthma, especially in children. Some experts attribute growing asthma conditions on the rising level of pollution, with the production of pollen being a contributor to the 70 percent of people with asthma that also have allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Even the environment that kids are being raised in today can be another potential factor for asthma, as more home’s are being built to be well-ventilated fortresses. Tight-ventilated home’s, although economically sustainable, can also create a breeding ground for mold to grow. Can there be a potential link between the increase in asthma and exposure to mold?

list of severe allergy symptoms

What Triggers Asthma?

Asthma can be triggered by a number of different factors from allergens, irritants in the air, respiratory illness, exercise, and even the weather. Doctors categorize asthma into two types, allergic and nonallergic asthma. Allergic asthma can be caused by exposure to an allergen that you react to unfavorably, whereas nonallergic asthma is caused by stress, exercise, illnesses like a cold or the flu, or exposure to extreme weather, irritants in the air or potentially a medication. If you develop asthma it is important to monitor the potential causes and triggers of your asthma symptoms to better be aware of when your asthma symptoms will strike again.

Can Mold Cause Asthma?

How does mold affect your health? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when you are exposed to mold it can have a direct impact on the development of asthma. Researchers believe mold and fungus in the home might be responsible for worsening asthma, and in some cases might even cause asthma. There about 1,000 different species of mold that have been recognized here in the U.S. and the odds of one of these species of mold eliciting asthma-symptoms is highly-likely. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says that the most common allergy-caused mold includes Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.

Mold Spores a Potential Culprit

Molds produce small spores and other fungal particles that get released into the air, which can, in turn, lead to possible asthma symptoms. You may not realize it but you are surrounded by spores in your air. The mold spores are so small, about three to 40 microns in size, and can easily affect your asthma. Mold spores can act as an allergen and when ingested through your nose or mouth it can cause a reaction, this reaction can be an asthma-related symptom that is triggered by the spores.

Black Mold & AsthmaBlack Mold & Asthma

Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as black mold, is known as one of the most toxic forms of mold that you can be exposed to in your home. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the correlation between black mold and asthma depends on the length of the exposure and how sensitive you are to the mold. You could have a more severe reaction to the black mold because of the higher volume of spores released from this type of toxic mold. In a study published in the journal, “Allergy”, researchers found that people that were exposed to black mold, who developed asthma-type symptoms continued to show symptoms for at least three years after the first exposure to the mold. This research shows that lung damage caused by black mold can have long-term effects on your health.

Mold Asthma Symptoms

Allergic reactions to mold are common and can be your first signs of the potential onset of asthma. Mold related asthma symptoms, similar to those of allergies include;

  • Wheezing
  • Rash
  • Watery Eyes
  • A Runny Nose
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Coughing
  • Redness of Eyes

How to Get Rid of Spores in Your Indoor Air

Mold spores do a good job of filtering into your home’s air and eventually settling on surfaces in your home. When these spores make a “home”, in your home it can significantly affect your health and lead to a potential outbreak of asthma. The difficult part of removing spores from your environment is that even if you remove the mold from your home, spores can still hang around and make your environment toxic. Once you have had a mold remediation specialist come out and extract the mold from your home, your next line of defense is to clean the air in your home. The best method to accomplish this goal is through an effective air purifier, that will help filter out particulates from your home’s air. The EnviroKlenz UV Mobile System was designed with a double filtration process, including a patented earth mineral technology cartridge that removes odors and chemicals, as well as a hospital grade HEPA filter that filters out particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. The added benefit of this UV air purifier is its ultraviolet germicidal radiation lights (UVC lights) that flash onto the top of the HEPA, killing any particulates and mold spores that are trapped by the cartridge and the HEPA filter. These lights have the capability of killing these particles with a high-efficiency of kill, making your job easy to filter out and clean your home’s air of toxic spores.

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Mold spores can be a potential hazard to your environment and can lead to an array of health conditions like asthma. Protecting your home and air from mold and mold spores will help you to purify your air to aid in the betterment of your overall health.

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Dawn Dalili, 

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Nancy Dunne
Executive Director of Montana Association of Naturopathic Physicians

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