Phialophora is a brown or black mold often found on rotting wood, both indoors and out. It grows a bit more slowly than some other types of mold, but can still spread easily throughout a home. It likes a lot of water and might be found growing on water-damaged wood under a leaky sink, on attic eaves beneath a leaky roof, or anywhere else wood has suffered water damage. Outdoors it is sometimes found in soil and on rotting leaves or other vegetation.
All types of mold can cause illness and this one is no exception. It has been known to cause serious, sometimes life-threatening, health problems, including:
Mold-related infections are most common in people with compromised immunity, such as those with serious health problems, those recovering from surgery or serious injuries, those suffering from illnesses like HIV or AIDS, those taking medications that decrease immune functioning, and those who have undergone an organ transplant. However, that does not mean you’re safe if you’re relatively healthy. Doctors don’t know why mold makes some people sick and doesn’t seem to affect others.
If you’ve been exposed to mold and begin to experience signs of illness, see your doctor right away. Symptoms of mold-related illness may include:
Be sure to let your doctor know you’ve been exposed to mold.
Treatment for mold-related illness will vary depending on your symptoms, the severity of your illness, and other factors relating to your health. Treatment may include:
While many mold-related infections can be treated on an outpatient basis, hospitalization is sometimes necessary. You may be referred to a specialist, such as an allergist, infectious disease specialist, or pulmonologist (lung doctor), if needed.
As you can see, mold-related infections vary in severity and the treatment of these conditions ranges from fairly simple to complex. These are all reasons why you need to see a physician as soon as possible if you think mold might be making you sick. The sooner you see a doctor and get the treatment you need, the more likely you are to avoid serious illness and the need for costly and possibly painful medical care.
In addition to receiving medical treatment, you’ll need to arrange to have the mold removed from your home as soon as possible. Even with the best medical care, your condition may not improve and could even worsen if you continue to suffer exposure to mold. If you are experiencing mold-related health problems or have other medical problems that might be exacerbated by exposure to mold, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends consulting your physician before beginning the cleanup process yourself. That’s because the process of cleaning up mold will further exposure you to mold spores that can make your condition worse.
We suggest scheduling a free consultation with a mold removal professional regardless of whether you want to hire someone to do the work for you or plan to handle the cleanup yourself, because either way you will benefit from some expert advice on the work that needs to be done and the safety precautions you can take to prevent further exposure to potentially hazardous mold. Follow this link to find mold removal professionals offering free consultations in your area.