Seniors that are aging in place and have older homes should be aware of the symptoms of mold exposure. Many older homes have mold that may or may not be visible. Water can get inside through a wet basement, a leaky pipe, leaking windows, a small hole in the roof, or any number of other small openings. When your loved one has home care providers, they can notice changes in their health due to this issue.
Mold can cause a wide range of health problems. And it can make existing health problems worse, particularly for seniors who are already vulnerable because they have underlying health conditions. If your senior parent who is living alone at home starts to complain about any of these symptoms you should take them to a doctor to be screened for mold-related illness. You should also call in a mold specialist to test the house for mold.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for.
When seniors live in a home with mold they can inhale the mold spores, which can cause respiratory illness. Seniors may have symptoms like coughing, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a lot of nasal congestion. The symptoms of mold exposure can be similar to the symptoms of allergies or asthma, but only a doctor can determine the actual cause.
Mold is a common allergen, and exposure can trigger allergic reactions. Allergy symptoms may include itching eyes, runny nose, skin rashes, and general irritation. Some seniors may develop or worsen allergic rhinitis or hay fever due to mold exposure. Home care providers who work with your senior parent should always know where your senior’s Epipen is in case of an extreme allergic reaction.
Eye And Vision Changes
Mold spores and mycotoxins can irritate the eyes, leading to redness, itching, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light. Persistent exposure may contribute to chronic eye problems. Seniors who are experiencing eye problems or vision changes should ask their elder care provider or a family member to take them to an eye doctor right away.
Direct contact with mold or mold-infested materials can cause skin irritation. This may manifest as redness, rashes, or itchiness. Seniors who have sensitive skin or existing skin conditions are more likely to develop a rash or get skin irritations.
Some people exposed to mold may experience headaches or migraines. While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, it is believed that the release of mycotoxins by certain molds could contribute to these symptoms.
Mold exposure has been associated with feelings of fatigue and weakness. Prolonged exposure may lead to chronic fatigue, impacting an individual’s overall well-being and daily functioning. Fatigue can be a symptom of many different health conditions, but if your senior parent is having extreme fatigue and other symptoms of mold exposure it’s time to take them to see a doctor.
Cognitive effects, such as difficulty concentrating and memory issues, have been reported in individuals exposed to mold. These symptoms may interfere with work or daily activities. Because seniors often have some age-related memory loss or cognitive slip they could think that their cognitive symptoms are normal aging, but they could be caused by mold exposure.
Mold exposure can contribute to sinusitis, causing inflammation and infection of the sinuses. Symptoms may include facial pain, pressure, nasal congestion, and a persistent cough.
In some cases, mold exposure may lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. These symptoms may occur if mold spores are ingested or if mycotoxins are present in contaminated food, like canned goods that aren’t properly sealed or food items kept in a basement.
Mold exposure has been linked to joint pain and muscle aches. While the exact mechanism is not well understood, inflammation triggered by mold-related toxins may contribute to these symptoms.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Millburn NJ, please get in touch with the caring staff at Helping Hands Homecare today. Call (908) 418-4299
Helping Hands Homecare provides Senior Home Care Services throughout Northern and Central New Jersey, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside, Short Hills, Millburn, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Kenilworth, Summit, Chatham, Madison, Metuchen, and surrounding areas.
- How To Help A Senior Parent That Is Struggling With Hygiene - February 22, 2024
- Ways to Better Support a Spouse Who’s Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s - February 6, 2024
- Common Causes of Poor Nutrition in Seniors - January 18, 2024