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What symptoms are caused by exposure to black mold?

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Quick Answer

Some of the most common symptoms associated with black mold include allergy symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, stuffy nose and watery eyes, according to WebMD. Because these symptoms do not change with the seasons, it is possible to distinguish black mold exposure from hay fever and similar seasonal allergies.

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Full Answer

While the mold spores in and of themselves are not poisonous, allergies to them can be serious, especially in young children and elderly people. WebMD notes that as well as milder symptoms that mirror those of a head cold, allergies to the mold can cause tightness in the chest and trigger asthma attacks. Black mold exposure can also lead to lung hypersensitivity, which can scar the tissues of the lungs and cause permanent damage.

Referencing a 2004 Institute of Medicine study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people may indicate mold exposure. This study also suggests a link between exposure to black mold and respiratory illnesses in healthy children.

In addition to respiratory issues and allergic reactions centered on the sinuses and associated systems, a rash may appear in some instances of experiencing an allergic reaction, according to MedicineNet. This is due to the presence of mycotoxins, which irritate tissues located both inside and outside the body.

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