The symptoms of mold exposure resemble symptoms of other upper respiratory allergies, and include coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, runny nose and itchy eyes, nose and throat, says Mayo Clinic. The symptoms of mold exposure range from mild to serious, depending on the exposure and the type of mold.
Mold exposure can result in an allergic reaction when an individual's immune system reacts to tiny, airborne mold spores and develops allergy-causing antibodies to fight them. In some people with mold allergies, the exposure to mold spores may trigger an asthma attack, says Mayo Clinic.
Mold exposure can also cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can cause infections, toxic reactions, irritant reactions, flu-like symptoms or pneumonia, says Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of irritant reactions include headache, hoarseness, eye irritation and skin irritation.
The Center for Disease Control says that otherwise healthy people can suffer respiratory symptoms when exposed to mold, and people who already suffer from chronic lung conditions may develop mold infections in their lungs. The CDC recommends that people who suspect they are suffering symptoms from mold exposure should first consult their general physician, who may then refer them to a specialist who treats patients with mold allergies or mold infections. Individuals who suspect mold in the home can reduce exposure by using a dehumidifier, removing carpets and ensuring that the home is properly ventilated.