The destructive capabilities of mold are well known. Mold is a substance that is capable of causing significant structural damage to any home in which it is found. However, many people are unaware that mold also has a destructive effect on a person's health.
Mold can be found in numerous places in one's home. Mold is most commonly found in places in the home in which there is active plumbing. These are places such as the kitchen, laundry room, which includes the washing machine, and bathroom. Showers are a huge hotspot.
Mold requires both moisture and nutrients in order to grow, and whenever there is a leak or an overview, it creates the conditions necessary for mold to grow.
Mold spreads in the home by emitting microscopic spores into the air. When this happens, there is a major possibility that you or your loved ones can inhale the mold spores. This can cause severe respiratory illnesses along with other problems.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Mold exposure has many symptoms ranging from mild to severe if left untreated. The symptoms are usually among these lines:
- Respiratory issues – Difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain
- Allergic reactions & Sinus issues
- Sore throat
- Other irritations – Irritated skin, rashes
What Causes A Sore Throat From Mold Exposure?
A sore throat from mold exposure is typically the result of the person with the sore throat having a prior, potentially unknown, allergy to mold. Mycotoxins in the mold trigger the immune system response in the mold-allergic person.
Mold travels by emitting spores, often inhaled by those unaware of what they are breathing. This is how mold makes its way into someone’s system, to begin with.
What Else Causes a Sore Throat?
Numerous other things can cause sore throats. Most commonly, sore throats can be caused by viruses or bacteria. These are different from the sore throat caused by mold exposure because mold is neither a virus nor a bacteria; it is a fungus.
This means that the treatment you would use for a sore throat caused by a virus or bacteria may not necessarily work because they do not address the same cause.
Who Is At Risk for Mold-Related Sore Throat?
It must be said that the presence of mold doesn't necessarily endanger all people, however, those who are could develop serious symptoms. Among those who are most at risk for mold-related sore throats are individuals with mold allergies, individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as children, and the elderly.
How to Diagnose the Cause of a Sore Throat
It is not too difficult to tell whether or not you have a sore throat. However, should your sore throat become chronic or unresponsive to normal sore throat treatments or medications, it would be wise to speak with your doctor to determine a cause.
If normal medications are not treating sore throat issues, then it is entirely possible that the sore throat was brought upon by mold exposure.
How to Treat a Mold-Related Sore Throat
If you suspect that your sore throat was caused by mold exposure, you should first speak with your doctor to confirm or deny your suspicion. Suppose your sore throat was brought on by mold exposure. In that case, your doctor is likely to recommend antifungal medications which are made specifically to combat illnesses brought on by mold exposure.
It needs to be said that certain over-the-counter medications can help to temporarily alleviate symptoms. Home remedies, such as warm water mixed with honey, can help soothe your throat, even if temporarily.
How to Prevent a Mold-Related Sore Throat
To begin with, it is difficult to prevent a mold-related sore throat if you are in an area that you are unaware has mold. However, if you are entering an area or environment that you know has mold growth, there are things you can do to protect yourself. First of all, you need to be wearing some form of facial covering.
Preventing mold growth in your home in the first place is your best defense against mold-related illnesses. The best way to prevent mold growth in the home is to fix water leaks, no matter how small, use dehumidifiers when humidity is high, inspect your roof and attic for any potential leaks, and to remove any mold that may be in your home.
Having a mold-related illness is obviously not something that a person plans. However, by utilizing the proper protections, forward-thinking, and scientific knowledge you can give yourself a better fighting chance in the event that you were to develop such an illness.