Mushroom spores are all around us, and we breathe them in every day. Most are harmless unless you have compromised immunity.
Though harmful side effects are rare, exposure to certain poisonous mushroom spores may require treatment to prevent toxic mold syndrome.
What Happens If You Breathe In Mushroom Spores?
Exposure to mushroom spores brings with it the potential for ill health. And prolonged exposure can result in many ailments, from pneumonitis to kidney failure and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Like plants, different mushrooms affect our bodies in different ways, and while some are safe, others are highly toxic and can lead to death.
Are Mushroom Spores Safe To Inhale?
It may surprise you to learn that mushroom spores are everywhere, meaning that we continuously breathe them in.
While most are harmless, they can cause reactions in people who develop allergies toward them. Furthermore, as a wide range of spores have a diameter of fewer than five microns, they can enter your lungs.
Are Spores Bad For Your Lungs?
Every spore that invades our body holds the potential to do catastrophic damage to our insides through its presence in our lungs.
Luckily for us, our immune system prevents this from happening by surrounding the spores with cells to destroy them.
However, people with compromised immunity can not always fight against the mushroom spores, leading to severe lung and breathing conditions.
Can Mushroom Spores Grow In Your Lungs?
Mushrooms cannot grow in your lungs, though there are a variety of fungi such as yeasts and molds that can infiltrate your lungs and cause serious health problems.
Do We Breathe in Mold Spores All The Time?
According to Ars Technica, we breathe in anywhere between 10,000 and 10 billion mold spores per day.
Mold is the term used to describe a whole host of fungi, ranging in color from black to green and white, that can develop into a physical organism when grouped on a surface.
Mold is so abundant in our air supply because it can spawn anywhere that moisture is present, combined with the fact that it reproduces by sending its spores through the air.
How Do You Know If You Have Mold Spores In Your Lungs?
As you inhale mold spores, they begin to gather in your lungs. If continuously exposed to large amounts of spores over some time, you may start to show symptoms of aspergillosis.
A reaction or infection caused by mold spores, aspergillosis is unlikely to develop in individuals with a healthy immune system. However, for those with compromised immune systems, the condition may display one or more symptoms:
Coughing or wheezing (which can be accompanied by blood or mucus), chest pains and difficulty breathing, fever, fatigue, or asthma.
How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick?
Aside from aspergillosis, there are a host of reactions that exposure to mold spores can trigger.
Traditional allergy symptoms such as runny, red, or itchy eyes combined with a runny nose and rashes can present themselves in individuals who come into close contact with mold spores.
Exposure also comes with a host of more significant risk factors such as migraines, joint pain, and tremors.
What Do You Do If You Inhale Spores?
Though it is impossible to totally avoid breathing in spores, limit close or prolonged contact with any direct sources when possible.
If you become aware that you have breathed in potentially damaging spores such as black mold, take immediate steps to reduce its impact.
Use a nasal rinse to flush out as many spores and take antihistamines and decongestants to alleviate allergy symptoms.
How Do You Detox From Mold?
According to Rose Wellness, ‘mold doctors use a variety of binders to help remove toxic spores from your body.
Sourced from volcanic ash, Bentonite clay aids in detoxifying the body by absorbing heavy metals and toxins while providing antiviral properties to the body.
Chlorella is an alga that does an excellent job of removing toxins from the body by binding them in the digestive tract to remove them safely. An additional benefit of chlorella is that it does not draw any minerals from the body as some other binding agents might.
In addition to these kinds of binders, you can use a nasal spray to help reduce inflammation.
But mold detoxing lacks scientific evidence and is therefore unlikely to be covered by your health insurance. Nevertheless, if you present with allergy symptoms from mold exposure, it’s worth consulting your doctor to formulate a treatment plan.
How Long Does It Take To Detox From Mold?
The length of mold recovery is dependent on three fundamental factors: length of exposure, mold type, and sensitivity.
Most significantly, the length of mold exposure will have the most significant impact on the time it takes you to recover. If you’ve been living in moldy dwellings for years, you may have a build-up throughout your body that could take a significant amount of time to detox.
Additionally, the type of mold can determine the length of detox. 90% of molds are deemed non-poisonous. While representing a large majority, there is a remaining 10% that are poisonous. This latter minority can lead to a slow poisoning of your body over time, the effects of which may take longer to rectify.
Finally, sensitivity is vital as, for many of us, our immune systems do a perfectly adequate job of breaking down the mold spores that enter our bodies.
However, for the unfortunate few whose immune systems lack this capability, the effects of mold spores are likely to be more potent.
What Is Toxic Mold Syndrome?
Toxic mold is a colloquial term used to describe molds that produce mycotoxins, which can be extremely harmful, even fatal, to humans.
While mold-related illnesses primarily display allergy-related symptoms, toxic mold can cause cognitive and emotional impairments. Memory loss, depression, and anxiety, amongst other neurological disorders, have been linked to toxic mold syndrome.
How Can I Test Myself For Mold Exposure?
If you experience symptoms such as headaches, sore throat, runny nose, or rashes that you think may be caused by exposure to mold, consult your doctor.
They can administer a skin prick test or blood test to determine your sensitivity to specific types of mold.