Black mould is a toxic form of mould that is identified by its greenish-black appearance. Black mould can be found on wet objects such as ceilings, floors, insulation, wood, panelling and drywall. It thrives in areas with high moisture or humidity from water damage, leaks, condensation or flooding. Black mould can lead to what is known as black mould illness. This illness can cause health problems ranging from mild to severe, depending on length of exposure.
Symptoms of black mould illness are broken down into stages. Stage one, or short-term exposure, is associated with symptoms such as red, irritated or itchy skin, sneezing, headaches and itchy, watery eyes. Stage two, or on-and-off prolonged exposure, has symptoms that include nose bleeds, excessive and constant fatigue, short-term memory loss, rashes and sores, chronic sinus infection and bronchitis, ear infections and pain in the joints and muscles. Stage three produces more serious symptoms such as long-term memory loss, blindness, brain damage, cancer, bleeding lungs and even death.
Mold is an environmental issue, according to BioSign Laboratories Corp., which means doctors will often misdiagnose symptoms as being those of something other than black mould illness. Fibromyalgia, chronic lung or sinus infections, emphysema, asthma and fatigue are often considered as the cause of such symptoms because the symptoms of those ailments are similar to black mould illness.
Symptoms of black mould can be a higher risk to those with immune deficiencies and chronic lung disease. If left untreated, the symptoms associated with black mould can progressively get worse, eventually leading to new illnesses and symptoms, such as a fungal growth in the lungs, that can affect the heart, bones, lungs, skin, eyes, muscles, sinuses or central nervous system.
Symptoms of black mould illness come about when a person breathes in mould spores that have become airborne. Even if a person gets rid of the physical mould in her home, microscopic mould spores might still be present in the air. Symptoms will continue if mould is still in the air and as long as moisture in the area is not controlled. An air filtration system can help remove spores from a home. The duration of symptoms from black mould illness ranges anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on length of mould exposure.
Black mould illness symptoms can be treated by avoiding mould spores and smoke. A doctor may place a person on a nebuliser (albuterol inhaler) to treat symptoms that may affect his lungs. Steroids can also be used to treat many of the symptoms of black mould illness. If a person displays symptoms of black mould illness, he should speak with his doctor about testing and treatment.