Black mould lung problems

Written by taylor divico
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Black mould lung problems
Black mould can cause respiratory problems. (phototake/iStock/Getty Images)

Black mould can multiply and spread throughout the body, causing a plethora of debilitating lung problems and health conditions. Prolonged effects of black mould inhalation can include infections, fungal masses, asthma and allergies. Black mould effects cause permanent lung scarring, tissue damage and deterioration of the breathing passages, leading to long-term respiratory and neurological complications if left untreated.

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Asthma

Asthma is a lower-respiratory, inflammatory disease that can develop or become aggravated when mould is inhaled through the eyes, nose or mouth. Black mould irritates the lungs, causing bronchial spasms that trigger swelling and mucus blockages that obstruct normal breathing. As mucus begins to coat passages, air is blocked from being exhaled and remains in the air sacs, causing asthma symptoms of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, sore throat, and asthma attacks as symptoms worsen. Black mould-induced asthma can be treated through doctor-prescribed inhalers, steroids, antihistamines and immunotherapy. Limiting exposure to high concentrations of black mould is effective in decreasing chronic asthma complications.

Allergic broncho-pulminary aspergillosis

Allergic bronco-pulminary aspergillosis is an allergic reaction within the lungs that occurs with the inhalation of black mould fungus, aspergillus. Individuals with asthma or cystic fibrosis are at risk for developing allergic bronco-pulminary aspergillosis due to increased amounts of mucus within the airways. The fungus accumulates in mucus, lining airways and causing chronic inflammation. Symptoms of allergic bronco-pulminary aspergillosis include coughing up blood, wheezing, hacking and asthma attacks. Prolonged exposure to aspergillus black mould can cause permanent scarring of the lungs.

Fungal infections

Black mould inhalation can lead to serious lung conditions in individuals with damaged lungs due to diseases such as tuberculosis, asthma, cystic fibrosis and emphysema. Aspergillus black mould inhalation can cause respiratory infections, bacterial infections, sinus infections, pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. Aspergillosis infections resulting from black mould in the lungs can be asymptomatic. Those with symptoms may experience coughing up blood, wheezing, fever, chest tightness and constricted breathing.

Aspergilloma

Aspergillus black mould can develop into aspergilloma, which is a fungal mass of mould fibres, blood clots and white blood cells. Pulmonary aspergilloma typically develops in air spaces within the body that were created by previous lung-damaging diseases. These air cavities fill with fungal balls, causing bleeding in the lungs and long-term tissue deterioration. Invasive aspergilloma spreads throughout the body, affecting the lungs, blood and organs resulting in organ failure, severe discomfort and death, if left untreated. Surgery and anti-fungal medications are recommended for individuals experiencing progressive aspergillosis or aspergilloma.

Prevention/solution

Black mould is an environmental inhalant, entering the body through the eyes, nose or mouth. Black mould thrives in moisture and in dark spaces with little ventilation. Detecting and treating mould within a home or building can reduce symptoms of allergies and asthma and can be effective in preventing serious lung problems. Air purifiers, dehumidifiers, regular cleaning and bleaching can increase the air quality while decreasing the growth of mould. Home testing kits and professional mould detectors can identify levels of mould, types of mould and spaces where mould is concentrated. Structural repairs, refurnishing and new flooring or carpeting may be required to eliminate mould in order to sustain healthy lung function.

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