What are Black Molds
Actually, the black mold (better known as the toxic black mold in the United States) is a name for the Stachybotrys genus of filamentous fungi (or molds).
The species that are of interest to us here is the Stachybotrys chartarum and S.chlorohalonata. But it will also interest you to know that not all molds of the Stachybotrys are black or even toxic in nature. Only these two that have been mentioned are known to be of medical significance because of the havoc they wreak on humans.
These molds are very common in our buildings and they are easily found in the environment. The spores enter our houses through the doorways and windows.
So What Are the Black Mold Symptoms
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some really amazing information on the black mold. In 2004, the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) gave a detailed breakdown of the black mold symptoms.
When there is an exposure to the black molds over a short period of time, these are the symptoms that are seen
- Pruritus (itchy skin)
- Irritation of the skin
- Watery discharge from the eyes
As mentioned, these are the symptoms seen over a short period. However, over a longer duration, the following which are considered medium-term symptoms are seen:
- Headaches of greater severity
- Joint and muscle pains
- Infections of the respiratory tract (like chronic bronchitis)
- Pain-associated infections of the ears
- Constant fatigue
- Bleeding from the nose
- Coughing up blood
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Infections of the sinuses
- Sexual dysfunction
- Breathing disorders
- Memory loss
- Gastrointestinal symptoms: diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
Other medium-term symptoms are confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, hampered reflexes, trembling, anxiety, depression, shock and anxiety.
The hematological (blood) system can also be affected with the following symptoms: irregular heartbeats, improper blood clotting, internal bleeding, low blood pressure (hypotension), inflammation of the heart and many more. However, if the exposure continues and becomes more severe, then there is what is referred to as the late stage symptoms of the black mold exposure. These include:
- Eye problems (blindness)
- Damage to the central nervous system
- Memory loss
- Bleeding from the lungs
If these symptoms are not properly addressed and managed, they can even result in malignancies and yes, death. Therefore, you cannot just brush it aside.
What Can You Do About Black Mold Symptoms
Well, if you happen to come down with any of these symptoms, there are measures that can help. The primary way by which these symptoms are managed is for them to be handled one after the other. The treatment for these symptoms depends on the type of exposure, the duration of exposure and the severity of the symptom in question. Reporting black mold symptoms to the appropriate authorities is always the best idea.
Toxic Black Mold Syndrome I YouTube clip