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How Long Does It Take for a Person to Feel the Effects of Black Mold?

By Suzanne Alicie ; Updated July 27, 2017

Black mold causes many health problems. It is often difficult to tell exactly what the time frame is for a person to feel the effects of exposure to black mold. Some symptoms and maladies show up immediately, others take several days, and others can actually take years of exposure to cause a definitive health issue.

Immediate Reactions

An itchy nose and throat are indicators that you have breathed in some black mold spores. These symptoms are usually followed closely by a headache, itchy eyes, and coughing and expelling mucus.

Skin Reactions

Some people develop a rash or hives along with itching and burning of the skin after being exposed to black mold. This skin reaction can happen anywhere between a few minutes and 24 hours after exposure.

Lingering Effects

Headaches, coughing and other immediate symptoms can linger for several days, depending on the length of exposure and how many spores were inhaled. So while there is an immediate effect, you can also feel these effects for days or weeks after the exposure.

Severe Headache and Nausea

Blinding headaches similar to a migraine and nausea are common symptoms of a black mold allergy. Such symptoms can occur immediately, or after being exposed for a few hours. This is one way that many families find out that their homes have a black mold problem.

More Serious Effects

Lung and respiratory problems develop over time after exposure to black mold and, of course, worsen with repeated or continual exposure. Many side effects of continuous exposure to black mold lead to more serious problems, including eye and vision damage, lethargy and listlessness, and lack of appetite. In severe cases, black mold is thought to be associated with the onset of cancer.

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