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Do you have a sore throat, and you can’t understand why? There’s a chance that a common organism could be growing in your home and making you and your family members sick.
Read on to learn if you’re getting a sore throat from mold, and what you can do about it.
Mold is part of the fungus family. It’s neither plant nor animal. Rather, they’re very simple organisms that feed off of dead or decaying matter. Molds reproduce through spores. You can think of spores as microscopic seeds that travel through the air and land and surfaces, where new mold will grow.
While mold plays an important role in our ecosystem, it has a negative impact on humans, especially if it’s growing inside their homes.
Mold spores release chemicals known as mycotoxins. Mycotoxins lead to allergic reactions.
How do mycotoxins cause allergic reactions? When you breathe in mold spores, they irritate the nose, mouth and throat. You’ll feel a burning sensation.
To some people, a sore throat isn’t so bad. It’s a minor irritation, but they’ll get on with their day.
However, a sore throat is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the damage mold can cause to the human body. The allergic reactions spurred by mold can lead to infections, hypersensitivity disorders, difficulty breathing, organ damage, mental impairment, and in extremely rare cases, death.
Do you have a sore throat and/or other symptoms of a mold allergy? An allergy specialist can test you to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.
You can figure out where the mold is by tracking how you feel over a two week period. Let’s say that you notice your throat starts to get sore and you start coughing whenever you go down to the basement. These symptoms get better whenever you come upstairs.
Antihistamines and decongestants help relieve mold allergy symptoms. However, in order to get rid of the symptoms completely, you need to get rid of the mold.
Mold thrives in places where there’s poor air circulation (such as basements). Better airflow throughout your home will reduce mold’s ability to reproduce and thrive. In addition, a dehumidifier will help lower the humidity in your home (which mold loves). And using an air conditioner with a HEPA air filter decreases the number of mold spores that can enter your home.
What if you find the source of the mold? You can clean it yourself, but you might find it’s easier and more effective to bring in a professional to do the job. Professionals know what chemicals to use and how to remove mold safely so that it won’t affect them as they’re cleaning. Make sure that the contractor has experience removing mold – otherwise, you might be liable for any damage that occurs to your home or any injury that befalls the contractor.
Dr. Nguyen is a national expert in the treatment of nasal allergies. Let us use the newest technology and our vast experience to customize a solution for your health needs. Houston Sinus and Allergy has over a decade of experience in treating nasal allergies. Our practice has won numerous awards, including being voted the Living Best of Reader’s Choice Award in 2015.