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What are symptoms of exposure to household mold?

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Quick Answer

Exposure to household mold presents a variety of symptoms, including eye and skin irritation, wheezing, shortness of breath, fever and inflamed nasal passages. As with other allergens, reactions to mold varies widely among individuals. Some people tolerate exposure to large quantities of mold on a regular basis without demonstrating symptoms, while others react upon encountering small quantities of mold.

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Full Answer

Mold exposure triggers troublesome but non-threatening reactions in some people, and it triggers severe reactions in others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more severe reactions include fever and shortness of breath. Mold exposure can worsen symptoms for people with chronic lung diseases and respiratory illnesses, including asthma. In healthy people, indoor mold exposure may produce symptoms of respiratory illness, such as wheezing, persistent coughing and nasal congestion. Many molds germinate in warm and humid climates. Indoors, mold can develop in bathrooms, basements and showers, and other areas wherever humidity levels run high.

People can reduce exposure to mold by opening doors and windows, using dehumidifiers and cleaning mold-prone areas with disinfectants. Removing waterlogged carpeting and refraining from carpeting bathrooms, basements and other mold-prone areas helps too. When experiencing symptoms, people often arrange for mold tests of their homes. Special mold removal companies then remove mold, if present, regardless of species.

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