If you’ve been exposed to household mold, you’re probably wondering what to do if you breathe in mold. Mold can cause a number of different symptoms. It can affect your respiratory system, your nervous system, and your immune system.
The symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on how much exposure you had and how long it lasted. However, breathing in mold spores is not typically life-threatening.
But if you happen to breathe in some mold spores, it can cause some serious health problems. In this guide, we will discuss what to do if you breathe in mold and how to protect yourself from its harmful effects.
Mold: The Basics
Most people think of mold as a fuzzy green substance that grows on food, but there are actually thousands of different types of molds, including black mold and white mold. While most types of mold don’t pose a health risk, some varieties are toxic.
Mold thrives in damp environments and reproduces via spores, which are similar in size and shape to plant seeds. These tiny spores float through the air until they find a suitable environment for growth.
Mold exposure can occur both indoors and outdoors, but if you have a visible mold problem in your home, it’s important to take care of it immediately before it gets worse.
Mold removal and prevention
One of the most important things that you can do is remove all signs of mold from your home or office. This will help prevent further exposure to those who are sensitive to it. You should also take measures to prevent mold growth in the future.
There are a few simple things that you can do to accomplish this:
- Keep the humidity level in your home below 50%. Molds thrive in moist environments, so reducing the moisture level in your home can keep them at bay.
- Use a dehumidifier (or air conditioning) during humid months.
- Ensure that there is proper ventilation for bathrooms and laundry rooms and that these rooms have moisture barriers installed if applicable.
- Fix leaky pipes or faucets as soon as possible.
- Wipe down shower walls after each use with a towel.
- Dispose of any water damage immediately.
What to do if you breathe in mold
In most cases, breathing in small amounts of mold spores will not cause any serious health problems. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after exposure to household mold, please see a doctor:
- Chest congestion or tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Sinus problems
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
- Reduced sense of smell or taste
Mold spores can cause serious health issues if inhaled by humans and animals alike. They can even trigger asthma attacks in people who already have asthma or other respiratory problems. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, please seek medical attention immediately.
How to protect yourself from its harmful effects
If you breathe in mold spores or fragments, they can settle into your lungs and start to grow. This can be dangerous both to your health and to the structure of your home. It’s important to know what to do when you inhale mold to prevent further respiratory problems.
Vacuum the area thoroughly with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. HEPA filters are specifically designed to remove microscopic particles from the air. Mold spores are extremely small and need a strong vacuum cleaner to remove them from the air. You may need more than one pass with the vacuum to get enough of the mold out of the air.
Clean your ductwork if you think there is mold within it. If the ducts have been contaminated, they will continue to spread mold throughout the house each time you run the heater or air conditioner. The ducts should be professionally cleaned if this is the case.
Remove any wet carpeting or furniture from inside your house as soon as possible so that mold does not start growing on it outside of your home as well. Dry everything completely before bringing it back inside, then place it in a different location from where it was originally, preferably somewhere that gets direct sunlight for several hours each day.
If you have been exposed to mold, it is important to seek medical attention right away. There are a few things you can do to help improve your breathing until you can get to the doctor. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Try to rest and avoid any strenuous activity. You may also want to use a humidifier or have a steam shower to help loosen up any secretions in your lungs.
If your symptoms persist, or worsen, go see a doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment are key in preventing any long-term health complications from exposure to mold spores.
Mold exposure can cause respiratory problems, asthma attacks, sinus infections, and even pneumonia. So if you think you may have been exposed, don’t wait – see a doctor right away.