Our expert says:
Yes, mold can trigger asthma attacks in sensitive people. Children are often worse affected by asthma, because their airways are narrower and an asthma attack can cause them to narrow significantly.
People sensitive to mold in the environment may also experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation or wheezing. Some people - usually those exposed to very high levels of mold through their work (e.g. farmers) - may have more severe reactions, which may include fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic lung diseases like COPD or chronic bronchitis, or who have lowered immunity (e.g. people on chemotherapy or with HIV/AIDS) are at increased risk for opportunistic infections and may develop fungal infections in their lungs.
If mold is a problem in your home, you need to clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. You may need to get in a contractor to deal with the problem, or you can try the following measures yourself:
* Wash mold off the walls and dry them thoroughly. Use detergent, bleach mixed with water, or soap and water.
* If mold has affected absorbent materials, like carpeting, these may have to be replaced.
* Fix leaky plumbing and check other water sources. Get water-damaged areas or items dried as soon as possible.
* Open windows and let in air and sunlight whenever possible, but especially in kitchens and bathrooms, and especially when cooking, washing or using appliances like the dishwasher or tumbledryer.
* Keep indoor humidity low, ideally between 30-50% relative humidity. Humidity levels can be measured with a hygrometer - ask at your local hardware stores. Consider installing a de-humidifier to reduce air humidity.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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