Symptoms of mold and mildew exposure include sneezing, runny nose, coughing, wheezing, watery and itchy eyes, and skin rash. These symptoms are caused when an individual is allergic or sensitive to the mold. This reaction may occur immediately or develop at a later point, according to MedicineNet.
The severity of the allergic reaction varies from person to person based on the individual's immune system. More serious symptoms include fever and difficulty breathing, notes MedicineNet. People with compromised immune systems or chronic lung disease may develop serious infections from mold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some individuals are not allergic to mold and do not exhibit symptoms when exposed. However, Stachybotrys, or black mold, contains mycotoxins that can cause skin irritation and difficulty breathing in people regardless of whether or not they have a mold allergy, reports MedicineNet.
Ultimately, reducing mold growth stops allergic reactions. At home, using a dehumidifier and air conditioner, getting rid of old books and newspapers, making sure there are no sources of dampness in the basement, properly ventilating all bathrooms, and changing the filters on furnaces and air conditioning units regularly are ways to prevent mold and mildew growth from occurring, according to Mayo Clinic.