What Are the Symptoms of Black Mold Illness?

The most common symptoms related to exposure to black mold are allergic reactions, such as sneezing and a runny nose; coughing and wheezing; red, itchy, watery eyes; and skin irritation or rash, reports MedicineNet. Black mold may trigger asthma attacks. In severe cases, fever and breathing difficulties occur.

In people with impaired immune systems, such as those with HIV or AIDS, and those who take immunosuppressive drugs, black mold may cause infections in the skin or mucus membranes, states Mayo Clinic. These people may also be at an increased risk of developing opportunistic infections or fungal lung infections, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People exposed to mold and dust at work may develop hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an inflammation of the lungs, according to Mayo Clinic. People with asthma or cystic fibrosis may develop allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. As of 2015, the CDC advises that proof does not exist to link black mold to adverse health issues such as acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants, memory loss or lethargy, notes MedicineNet.

Some people experience no symptoms when exposed to mold, states MedicineNet. Predicting the severity of health risks when mold is present in a building is not possible. Nasal corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants, immunotherapy and nasal lavage may treat allergy symptoms related to black mold exposure, explains Mayo Clinic.