How Does Mold Affect the Elderly

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Phot by Antony Sendall

Mold and Its Effects on the Elderly

Indoor mold can be an enormous health risk, especially for those with weakened or stressed immune systems.  Elderly are more susceptible to developing illness from exposure to indoor mold.  The elderly can be considered at a higher risk, especially those who already suffer from other ailments.

Mold exposure is known to cause several adverse conditions, even in healthy people.  Common conditions caused by mold in elderly individuals are listed below, but are not exclusive (See also How Common Molds Can Affect You):

  •      Allergic reactions, such as inflammation of the throat, sinus and nasal regions
  •      Tightness in the chest
  •      Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis
  •      Upper respiratory infections
  •      Headaches
  •      Inflammation in eyes and skin
  •      Asthma
  •      Dizziness

In addition to these common conditions, sometimes molds can cause more severe reactions.  For seniors, this can mean the difference between life and death.  Some molds can produce toxins that are exceedingly vigorous. These toxins are called mycotoxins, and can be easily dissolved in liquids and absorbed by epithelial linings in intestines and airways, as well as absorbed by skin. Elderly persons have higher risk of developing more serious conditions from exposure to these molds and their mycotoxins.

Some of the more severe health effects for elderly folks might be hepatic and renal disorders, cancers, or severe pulmonary disorders.  Sometimes the amount of exposure can be a factor in how severe the symptoms develop.  If your senior loved one suffers from any of these symptoms mentioned here, please consult a physician at the earliest sign of discomfort.

It is important to remove all mold and maintain clean, dry, and dust free living condition with proper ventilation for all elderly individuals.  When symptoms of mold exposure are suspected in your elderly loved one, take it seriously and contact a professional immediately.

See also Most Deadly Mold

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