If you have just discovered a mold problem in your home or you suspect you might have been exposed to mold, you may want to know the length of time it will take before you notice its symptoms. This article discusses how long it takes for mold to affect you and what to do if you have been exposed to airborne mold.
Level of Mold Exposure
- Mild Exposure
People who are non-allergic or have a strong immune system may take longer to notice the effects of mold when they accidentally breathe in the airborne mold. You may be exposed to some level of mold when you are weeding your backyard, cleaning a room with hidden mold, or performing other activities that might cause exposure. If you have a strong immunity, it may take a few minutes or hours to start noticing early symptoms of mold exposure. Sensitive individuals may notice the symptoms as soon as they are exposed to mold, which includes sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and itchy skin.
- Long-Term Exposure
Severe mold exposure occurs when you are exposed to mold for a long period. Some of the symptoms of severe mold reactions include fever and difficulty in breathing. Patients with chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems may develop serious lung infections if they are exposed over a long time. You may be exposed regularly if you are constantly working in an environment that is affected by mold. It continues to accumulate over time into greater quantities that cause serious damage to your respiratory system.
What Causes Mold Sickness?
The toxins released by mold spores that enter your respiratory system add to the total amount of toxins present in your body. This increases the burden in your system before you start experiencing the symptoms. Some people may experience a higher toxic load that is too much for the body to eliminate. If your detoxification process is poor, these mycotoxins may recycle or get reabsorbed into your system causing more problems. Inhaled mold spores get deposited in the lungs and sinuses where they accumulate for a long time. This can lead to serious respiratory infections and illnesses if nothing is done to mitigate the problem.
How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last?
The symptoms of mold exposure are different for each person. Your symptoms may persist depending on how long you have been exposed to mold, what type of mold you have been exposed to, and how well your body can eliminate toxins. Some of the factors that determine how long your mold symptoms last include:
- Time Length of Mold Exposure
The more mold continues to build up in your body, the longer it will take to remove it from your system. Symptoms of mild exposure to mold can take a few days to clear if you receive early treatment. If you have been exposed to mold over a long time, you may require a powerful anti-fungal to stop your symptoms. It is also important to get rid of the mold problem. You could also consider moving out of the affected area for your symptoms to improve.
- Type of Mold
The type of mold that you inhaled or ingested determines how long you will recover from your symptoms as it disrupts the normal cellular activity in your body. Toxic or poisonous mold causes severe symptoms that require intensive treatment and care to clear the toxins from your system. People who are sensitive to mold may take longer recovery periods because of their compromised immune system.
What To Do If You Have Been Exposed to Mold
It is important to seek immediate medical help if you suspect you have been exposed to mold. Besides your symptoms, your doctor may check your medical history, do some blood tests and allergy tests to diagnose any mold-related illnesses. You may have to change your work environment or eliminate the mold problem in your home to prevent any future exposure to mold.
Many people who are healthy or have a strong immune system can withstand mild exposure to mold but often realize its effects within a few hours or days after exposure. However, individuals who are highly sensitive to mold may experience immediate reactions the moment they have been exposed to mold. During recovery, it is important to live and work in a clean air environment to prevent re-exposure to mold.