With a family full of asthmatics, I have always been keenly aware of toxic and dangerous conditions for people with asthma to be around. Currently, I have two sons with asthma. My oldest has it worse as he needs to take daily medication for his asthma, such as Singulair (Montelukast), Zyrtec (Cetirizine), Qvar (beclomethasone), and Flonase as well as albuterol on an as-needed basis.

His little brother’s asthma is prevalent when he is not feeling well or if there are unhealthy breathing conditions, such as smoke from wildfires or black mold in the cottage up north Michigan. When these conditions arise, he needs to utilize albuterol in the rescue inhaler or with a breathing treatment where a liquid form of albuterol is used in a nebulizer.

A nebulizer is a medical device that converts liquid medication into a fine mist, allowing it to be inhaled directly into the lungs and is commonly used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and cystic fibrosis.

The liquid medication, often bronchodilators like albuterol, is placed in the nebulizer’s chamber. To further clarify or in other words, the device then uses compressed air or oxygen to convert the medication into a mist, which the patient inhales through a mask or mouthpiece.

A lot of times, doctors or pediatricians will give their patients a breathing treatment with a nebulizer while in their office. However, when patients have more difficulty breathing or managing their asthma symptoms, doctors may prescribe a nebulizer machine to do breathing treatments at home. My oldest was first prescribed his when he was in first grade.

He needed the nebulizers controlled and efficient method of delivering medication directly into the lungs, ensuring better absorption and effectiveness than his daily oral medications. Nebulizers are very effective for asthmatics as they allow the medication to directly target the affected areas, reducing symptoms and improving breathing quickly, especially during an asthma attack.

With two sons and a family full of people with asthma, I must always diligently check for mold in our home. The mold typically found in homes can be hard to remove permanently, and considering there are more than 100,000 types of mold spores, it’s even more challenging to identify. Below are some easy-to-identify signs of common household molds and some suggested steps to consider in preventing health issues for your family if you spot one.

  • Seeing mold – is obvious, but if you see mold growth, act immediately. Mold spreads fast, especially in conditions that allow it to thrive, so nipping the problem in the bud will promote positive health in your home and save you a significant amount of money during the remediation and restoration process.
  • Musty odor – mold produces gases called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). While many MVOCs are odorless, some have a musty odor, a telltale sign of mold. If you smell mold, it means you’re also potentially inhaling mold spores, so be sure to prevent a negative impact on your family’s health by swiftly responding.
  • Allergic reactions – if you don’t typically have allergy issues, but you’re experiencing common allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, a runny nose, and/or sore eyes (especially in the winter), there may be mold in your home.
  • Psychiatric symptoms – toxic mold can cause various symptoms, including depression, anxiety, brain fog, and insomnia. If someone exhibits any of these conditions, contact a medical professional immediately.

Should you suspect mold may be present in your home, or if you’re unsure whether mold is present but want a professional opinion, contact a mold remediation expert. Most professional mold remediation companies will not only help to identify and remediate mold, but they can also guide you through the complex insurance claims and restoration processes to rehabilitate your home and help you rise above the unexpected as quickly as possible.

10 warning signs of mold toxicity

Even people without respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and cystic fibrosis will have trouble with mold or, at the very least, side effects of a toxic mold condition. Here are a few warning signs to consider:

  1. Itchy, watery eyes
  2. Headaches
  3. Wheezing or asthma attacks
  4. Frequent coughing
  5. Hives or rashes
  6. Episodes of vertigo
  7. Diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain
  8. Metallic taste in your mouth
  9. ” Brain Fog” or trouble concentrating
  10. Joint pain, aches, or muscle cramps

Ok, so clearly, these “symptoms” could be related to a million other things, hence why it is essential to contact a professional to receive a proper mold inspection.

The term “metallic taste in your mouth” refers to a sensation that some individuals experience as if they have a metallic substance in their oral cavity, often described as a bitter or unpleasant taste.

When exposed to mold, certain species produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), gases, or vapors released into the air. These VOCs can be inhaled or ingested, potentially leading to various health effects in susceptible individuals. The weird taste could result from toxins affecting the taste buds or sensory receptors in the mouth and altering the perception of taste.

Additionally, mold exposure can lead to inflammation and irritation in the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract, which could contribute to a metallic taste. The toxins released by mold can also impact the central nervous system, leading to neurological symptoms such as altered taste perception.

Note information within this article is meant for educational purposes only and is in no way a replacement for professional contractor advice or medical support. Seek immediate and appropriate care from a healthcare professional should you deem it necessary.

Mold toxicity and mold allergy

Molds that grow inside our dwellings prefer dark and damp places, which is harmful to some people with immune systems that develop responses against mold. Some people, like me, are allergic to mold the way others are to pollen. Our immune systems overreact to the spores, causing itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing, a stuffy nose, and other common allergy symptoms such as developing rashes.

And people with asthma, like my sons, could also experience asthma attacks or intense trouble breathing, so I must keep our home clear of mold spores so we can all breathe better.

Black mold and asthma

To sum it up, should you have upper respiratory conditions that require medication to manage, it is vital to take proactive steps to prevent and address mold issues in your home, such as maintaining proper ventilation, managing humidity levels, and promptly addressing water damage or leaks, is essential for safeguarding your health and well-being. By being vigilant and responsive, you can mitigate the risks of mold toxicity and create a healthier living environment for yourself and your loved ones.

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