The Hidden Dangers That Mould Can Pose to Your Lungs and How To Avoid Them
Why Mould and Other Indoor Air Contaminants Are So Dangerous
In today’s world, where the average person spends a lot of their time indoors, indoor air quality is a top concern.
Mould, and other contaminants in the air, can cause serious problems for a person’s health. They can cause respiratory problems and allergies. The article gives insights on the different types of asthma caused by indoor air pollutants.
Every single person needs to be aware of what they are breathing in when they spend time indoors and take precautions to ensure their health is not put at risk.
What are the Health Hazards of Mould?
One of the most common health hazards in the developing world is mould. The problem tends to occur in water damaged buildings, and in places with poor ventilation.
Mould can cause lung disease caused by Aspergillus, It has also been associated with chronic respiratory failure and decreased lung function. These diseases can be Pulmonary aspergillosis, Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and Chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABA)
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is an allergic reaction to mould antigens from Aspergillus fumigatus.
6% to 20% of people with asthma may get Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis and it mostly affects people under 45.
The symptoms of Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis are low-grade fever, cough, wheezing, brown mucus plugs, and progressive shortness of breath.
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA)
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is a rare but deadly disease, and it’s characterized by the proliferation of fungal mycelia in the pulmonary parenchyma. It’s treated mainly in people with immune suppression, such as those with cancer.
Factors that predispose to the development of invasive aspergillosis include neutropenia, hematopoietic stem-cell and solid organ transplantation, prolonged and high-dose corticosteroid therapy, hematologic malignancy, cytotoxic therapy, advanced age.
Chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis (CNPA)
Peiople with CNPA have a chronic recurrent infection in their lungs. They experience frequent respiratory symptoms and often produce antibodies against Aspergillus sp which enters the lungs, often resulting in aggressive invasive disease. These individuals usually experience fever, cough, sputum production, and weight loss for several months. This may change based on the symptom severity though.
How to Avoid Contracting a Mould-Related Disease?
When you find water-damaged areas, make sure to clean & dry the affected area within 48 hours. You should also make sure that you put on a mask and protective clothing before entering the affected area if there is visible growth, and stay away from it if the level of mould is high.
If you want to avoid contracting a lung disease due to moulds, then it’s important to avoid homes that have visible mould growth (especially black mould) and wear personal protective equipment.
Is It Possible to Reduce Your Risk for a Lung Disease Caused by Mould?
Most people don’t know what they are breathing in every day. If you don’t realise how dangerous your environment is, your health can be at risk. One of the most common causes of lung diseases is mould.
If you are concerned see your doctor BUT also hire a Building Biologist to conduct a mould and moisture assessment of your building (home/office). They will be able to do mould testing to confirm if there is mould in your home.
How Do Doctors Diagnose a Lung Disease from Mould?
Mould is a disease-causing organism that can cause harm to humans. It is found in places where there is a lot of humidity and moisture. There are certain ways doctors diagnose a lung disease from moulds with the help of a microscope.
Lung diseases caused from mould include aspergillosis, bronchitis, histoplasmosis, and pneumonitis. A common symptom of these diseases is coughing up mucus. In order for doctors to diagnose a lung disease from moulds properly, they need to use a microscope that would allow them to see the microscopic organisms on the sputum sample under the microscope. There are other immunologic diagnostic methods that can be done.
Doctors diagnose a lung disease from moulds via sputum sample analysis using special techniques such as cytocentrifugation or fluorescence spectrophotometry. Seek medical advice from your local doctor or medical practitioner.