Infants raised in moldy homes are 300 percent more likely to have asthma by age 7 than children who are not, according to a 2011 study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology cited by WebMD. Severe allergic reactions to mold exposure can include mold-induced asthma, states Mayo Clinic.
An inflammatory reaction to fungus in the sinus passages, called allergic fungal sinusitis, occurs as a severe response to mold, adds Mayo Clinic. Individuals with asthma or cystic fibrosis are at risk for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis in the lungs upon exposure to mold. A rare condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis is the result of lung inflammation from airborne mold spores. Immunosuppressed individuals, such as HIV/AIDS patients, are susceptible to systemic infections caused by mold, such as skin or mucus membrane infections.
Individuals with asthma may experience the triggering of an asthma attack when exposed to mold spores with tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and wheezing, explains Mayo Clinic. Less severe reactions to mold exposure include irritation of the nose, throat and skin. An allergy to mold can cause sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and cough. Symptoms may occur only at certain times of the year or during specific weather conditions, such as humidity or dampness.