Mold sickness is a recurrent and intermittent illness which is caused by excessive exposure to mold. It presents itself in various ways, including physical symptoms like sore throat, nasal congestion, coughing, fatigue and skin irritation.
Tune in to your body. Observe the frequency and location of symptoms to determine the frequency of mold exposure. Are you coughing during a certain time of day when mold is present in your home? If so, this could be an indication that mold plays a role in your respiratory symptoms.
Observe the changes in your physical appearance. Look closely at your skin and hair, and consider any new or worsening discoloration or hair loss.
Resist the urge to “fix” symptoms – instead, seek a mold allergy testing that can confirm if you are allergic to mold.
Mold symptoms have been linked to other illnesses such as autism and asthma. Many people with black mold illness also report having asthma symptoms before they develop severe asthmatic reactions to the mold infection.
Gather information to determine what types of mold they may be exposed to
Use proper testing equipment and methodology to determine the type and levels of mold spores in your home. If your test is unable to detect any mold, this may help eliminate one possible cause of your symptoms.
It is important to distinguish between a “moldy” or “musty” smell versus a noticeable odor that can be detected by baby powder or a bad odor that can be detected by good air filters.
Consider that the patient may have been exposed following an environmental event such as a flood, hurricane, or severe storm. These events can expose many people to molds and their spores.
A variety of tests are available for exposure to fungal molds including nasal and sinus cultures and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to detect fungal DNA.
Laboratory testing of the blood is a good option for differentiating between allergic and non-allergic causes of respiratory symptoms, however, it may not be able to help confirm a diagnosis of invasive illness caused by fungi.
Testing should be performed to determine if mold material can cause an infection in the body. A complete mold test should include a mold culture as well as a fungal stain such as silver to detect airborne spores.
Patients with chronic respiratory symptoms should have a mold test performed on their nasal mucus. Indirect immunofluorescence staining of nasal mucus using monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometric analysis is most commonly used to test for the presence of fungal IgE antibodies within nasal mucus. A positive result indicates that the patient is allergic to molds, and may suffer from mold allergy.
Patients should be tested for mold related allergies and possibly other illnesses. It is important to distinguish between a “moldy” or “musty” smell versus noticeable odor that can be detected by baby powder or a bad odor that can be detected by good air filters. Mold testing should include mold culture and fungal stain such as silver to detect airborne spores.