In some people, chronic exposure to mold can be linked to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and skin and eye irritation. People with asthma, allergies, or any chronic lung diseases may have even more serious reactions, such as shortness of breath, fever, or infection.
In the WebMD Ear, Nose & Throat Community, several members complain of unusual and persistent symptoms, including:
- Coughing fits
- Ear infection
- Hearing loss
- Painful breathing
- Sinus infection
Each of them wonders if mold exposure is the culprit, and whether or not antibiotics can help.
Health expert Rod Moser, PA, PhD, says that mold is certainly a possible cause of these kinds of symptoms. While antibiotics don’t treat most allergic reactions to mold, they can help if mold causes secondary infections like sinusitis or pneumonia. He recommends seeing an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor for symptoms that don’t improve or are recurrent.
The CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency advise people who are sensitive to molds to avoid cut grass, compost piles, and wooded areas.
To reduce mold indoors:
- Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to control the humidity in your home; no higher than 50%.
- Ventilate bathrooms and cooking areas.
- Avoid placing carpet in your bathroom, basement, or any other areas where moisture is an issue.
- Fix any water leaks or seepage problems you notice in and around your home.