Fungi are predominantly available in the air which leads to allergic reaction inside at home and outside at work. The term mold consists of various kind of fungus which can be eukaryotic micro-organism. Molds are unique in a structure which could be fruiting body also called spores which cannot be seen with naked eyes. If a person inhales the spores of the mold, hypersensitivity or allergic reactions occur in the lungs. These reactions cause symptoms such as rhinitis, cough, and inflammation of the airway. Mold allergy causes more severe symptoms in patients who are already suffering from breathing disorders such as asthma.

How Can You Tell If You Have Mold In Your Lungs?

The molds infection adversely affects human health, including hypersensitivity reactions, irritant and toxic effects due to the presence of by-products with infections

The symptoms include

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Toxic mold syndrome

Hypersensitivity Reactions. The term "hypersensitivity" refers to immunological conditions, in which the patient exhibit an abnormal immune response to a variety of stimuli, accomplished with inflammation and symptoms. A hypersensitivity reaction is basically IgE-mediated allergy.

There are several defined disorders that involve hypersensitivity reactions to molds, including allergic rhinitis and asthma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and allergic fungal rhinosinusitis.

Asthma. Asthma defined as tracheobronchial hyperresponsiveness to a variety of allergen leads to viscous mucosal edema, mucus plugging, inflammation and narrowing of the air tubes of respiratory airways. Asthma include some features like

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Mast cells (present in the lungs) and inflammatory cells recruited as a result of the initial reaction occur
  • The release of substances stored in granules (immediate). histamine, protease enzymes, TNFα.
  • The release of cell membrane phospholipids followed by mediator synthesis (within minutes). LTs, PGs, PAF.
  • Activation of genes which are associated with protein synthesis (over hours). Interleukins.

Allergic Rhinitis. IgE-mediated sensitivity to fungal allergens could be a cause of allergic rhinitis. Few symptoms which describe the infection of allergen included

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • A cough and postnasal drip
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry, scaly skin

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is an immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction to Aspergillus in the lower airways, often in patients with underlying asthma or cystic fibrosis. Patients develop recurrent episodes of malaise, fatigue, mucous plugs, cough, and fever, sometimes blood in sputum.

Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis. Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis patients typically present with recurrent or chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, which is often refractory to prolonged antibiotic therapy. Elevated serum immunoglobin E and thick mucus are often positive in surgically-obtained specimens.

Molds

Mold does not have chlorophyll, a coloring agent which generally found in plants to gives a green color.

The shape and size of the spores, produced by molds are generally irregular biomasses and oblong. These spores can rapidly spread in the air and can be reached from outside environment to inside of the house that can affect the normal health of the individual. Due to a different size, shape and color can be differentiated from each other microscopically. The texture of the spores appears as granular, smooth, warty, cup-shaped, spiny, and reticulate and pie-crust shaped under the microscope.

There are various indoor molds taxonomically classified that have been identified as potentially hazardous to human health, out of these classified molds few are medically induced immunoglobin E (IgE), although only a small subset of molds is commonly found in the air and dust in household environments.

Conclusion

Molds allergy produces a variety of symptoms in the lungs leading to various allergic reactions. These allergic and immunological reactions reduce the breathing capacity of the patient and lead to a poor quality life. Cough, inflammation, difficulty breathing, runny nose and fatigue are some of the symptoms that indicate that there might be allergic reactions due to mold. Patients suffering from breathing problems and compromised immune system should take good care of themselves against mold allergy.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 25, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest