A 61-year old widower from Scotland is suffering from the effects of damp and mould almost a year after reporting the cause of the problem to his landlord.
Mould spores identified as a trigger for asthma
Mould allergies are more common than you may realise and around 42% of people surveyed by Asthma UK reported that their asthma was triggered by mould spores.
What is mould?
Mould and mildew are microscopic fungi that are present almost everywhere on Earth. They play an important role in our ecosystem as they decompose dead organic material like wood and paper. However, when they take hold in the home or workplace, they can have a negative effect on peoples’ health - particularly those with asthma.
How does mould make asthma worse?
Whilst visible mould in your home is unsightly, it is actually the invisible mould spores that are a potential trigger for asthmatics. As is the case with other common allergens like pollen and dust, some people may be totally unaffected by the presence of mould spores in their home, whilst others are considered more sensitive. Common side-effects to mould exposure include sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, watery eyes and the general worsening of asthma symptoms.
How do I prevent mould spores from making my asthma worse?
Just because mould spores are invisible doesn’t mean that there aren’t actions you can take to decrease their impact on your health. Mould spores are the result of mould reproduction, so preventing mould from growing in your home should be your first step.
Mould requires warm, damp conditions in order the thrive, so you should make sure that your home is well ventilated, especially during the winter when you are more likely to keep doors and windows closed. Using extractor fans, drying your clothes outdoors or with a window open and using a dehumidifier are all methods you can use to prevent condensation and the build up of moisture in the air.
What do I do if I spot signs of mould in my home?
If you have asthma or believe that you may be sensitive to mould spores, then it is important that you do not attempt mould removal yourself. This is because as mould is aggravated, for example, through attempted treatment or cleaning, it releases even more spores into the air as a defence mechanism. This can put your health at even further risk.
Instead, you should contact a team of experienced damp experts such as ourselves to deal with your mould problem, especially if it is the result of rising or penetrating damp. A trained damp specialist will be able to recommend not only the best method for mould removal, but a long-lasting solution to prevent its reappearance in the future.
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