Senior Health

6/8/2018 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Most homes will grow mold at some point, and the scary thing is that we usually don’t know it’s there. It likes to grow in dark areas that we probably can’t see or don’t often notice. But even though we don’t know mold is in our midst, it can have a profound effect on our mental and physical health.

It’s important for all of us to ask the question, “what are the signs mold is making me sick?,” so that if we mysteriously start feeling ill, particularly in a place we spend a great deal of time, we can be proactive about addressing the problem.

What are The Signs Mold is Making Me Sick?

Mold sickness and allergies can cause many mental and physical symptoms, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Sore throat
  • Itching of the skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Headache
  • Watery and/or itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bronchitis that won’t go away
  • Sinus infections that won’t go away
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

The most serious mold symptoms are blindness, bleeding lungs, brain damage, cancer, and death.

Symptoms vary in severity depending on the type of mold and the length of exposure. Age and immunity also impact the severity of symptoms from mold exposure. Many people have allergies to mold, causing them uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms, so while the mold itself may not be toxic, it is still threatening to those with an allergy.

Length of Exposure to Mold

If your local grocery store or a friends’ home develops a mold problem, you may experience symptoms when you visit, but it should only make you sick for a short time.

If you live in a home with mold, you receive constant exposure to it. The longer you live with the mold and the more aggressive the infestation, the more severe the symptoms.

Types of Mold

There are many, many types of mold. Many cause allergic reactions or a few not-so-serious symptoms, but others are toxic. Black mold, which refers to a particular species of mold rather than its color, is the most dangerous mold.

What to Do if You Suspect Mold is Making You Sick

First, ask yourself if you smell mold. The most common molds have a distinctive earthy smell, and most people discover they have a mold problem and where it is located by the smell.

Check common mold locations for an infestation. Around showers and sinks, particularly leaking ones, anywhere in the bathroom, basements, attics, and appliances that use water are all areas where mold loves to grow. Mold can unfortunately be anywhere that is dark or damp, so a leak or humidity in the home can cause mold to grow in rooms you’d never suspect, such as bedrooms or living rooms.

Only attempt to clean up mold infestations that are small, in a location that is easy to thoroughly clean, and you can be 100% sure are relatively safe molds.

Schedule a mold inspection to determine the exact mold present in your home and then have it removed by a professional.

You may not be able to find the source of mold by yourself. If you have the symptoms of mold exposure, you should have a mold inspection completed to determine if that is the cause and then take action.


Molds love to grow in the dark, damp areas of our homes, and these molds can make us varying different degrees of sick. Thankfully, most molds cause non-life-threatening symptoms. But some are life-threatening, and it is important to have any suspicion of mold exposure addressed as soon as possible to prevent the most dire consequences. If you find suspect that mold is growing in your home, act right away. You’ll probably eliminate some symptoms that are hampering your life, and you might save yourself from a very serious illness.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff