According to the EPA, Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, and the Mayo Clinic has found that over 90% of chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold with mold allergies affecting about 10% of the population.
Molds are fungi that grow indoors and outdoors in warm, damp, and humid conditions, with some capable of producing toxic compounds (Mycotoxins) that have the potential to cause illness in humans. More than 400 mycotoxins have been reported, and they can cause health problems through inhalation, absorption through the skin or consumption if on a food product.
Exposure to mold can elicit an immune system reaction producing symptoms similar to allergies such as sinus congestion, runny nose, itchy skin and eyes, shortness of breath. Mold exposure can also manifest as chronic inflammation with the body producing a chemical and inflammatory reaction to mycotoxins.
Some symptoms that may be experienced include:
Mold tests assess samples of urine, blood, and dust from the living environment for a variety of known mycotoxins. A variety of mold tests are available through Rupa Health. Some examples from this category include:
In addition to the mold tests, a physical examination, a medical history of symptoms, and an environmental history would be helpful in determining the cause for the health issues.
Evaluation of home, work, and care environments are often included in treatment plans to identify source(s) of molds for elimination. Some treatment plans can include: