Physical Symptoms of Mold Illness

Fact Checked

iWavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Molds are a type of fungi, and they can be found in houses and buildings and outdoors. Inside, they are commonly found in moist, dark areas such as corners of a bathroom or basement. They also commonly grow along water-damaged walls. Outside you may run into mold in a pile of leaves that have been sitting for a while or in dusty grass clippings. Many people react to mold spores, and the reaction can be from a few sneezes to lung trouble. According to Bio-sign Laboratories, makers of mold test kits, there are different degrees of mold illness symptoms, and the severity of the symptoms depend upon how long you have been exposed to mold spores.

Mild Mold Illness Symptoms

Common symptoms of light mold exposure can resemble allergy symptoms. They include itchy, watery eyes, itchy and red skin, sneezing and headaches. These mild symptoms are usually a result of temporary exposure to mold spores, such as a one-time raking of moldy leaves. According to the Washington State Department of Health, if you do not have underlying medical conditions and have a healthy immune system, you may not experience a reaction to mold spores.

Moderate Mold Illness Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control reports that if you have a mold allergy or are sensitive to mold, the symptoms of mold illness can be a bit more severe. Some of these symptoms are eye irritation, nasal stuffiness and wheezing during breathing. If you are exposed to mold on a regular basis or on and off for a longer length of time, reactions can consist of shortness of breath, fever, and lung problems due to lung infection.

Severe Mold Illness Symptoms

Severe mold illness symptoms are often experienced if you are exposed to high levels of mold over an extended length of time, such as over the course of several years. The symptoms include severe eye damage, including blindness, long-term memory loss, severe lung trouble such as bleeding lungs and possibly cancer.

If you are concerned about mold exposure, check your home to make sure there are no hidden areas of mold growth. Speak to your doctor if you have had previous mold exposure, and discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing.