Most allergic responses to mold involve hay fever-type symptoms that can make you miserable, but aren’t serious.
However, certain allergic conditions caused by mold are more severe.
Mold-induced asthma. In people allergic to mold, breathing in spores can trigger an asthma flare-up. If you have a mold allergy and asthma, be sure you have an emergency plan in place in case of a severe asthma attack.
Allergic fungal sinusitis. This results from an inflammatory reaction to fungus in the sinuses.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. This reaction to fungus in the lungs can occur in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This rare condition occurs when exposure to airborne particles such as mold spores cause the lungs to become inflamed. It may be triggered by exposure to allergy-causing dust at work.
Other problems caused by mold
Besides allergens, mold may pose other health risks to susceptible people. For example, mold may cause infections of the skin or mucus membranes. Generally, however, mold doesn’t cause systemic infections except for people with impaired immune systems, such as those who have HIV/AIDS or who are taking immunosuppressant medication.
Exposure to mold may also irritate eyes, skin, nose and throat in some people.
Other possible mold reactions are the subject of ongoing research.