Can Mold Grow In Your Lungs?
Unfortunately, this is a possibility with certain infections, especially aspergillosis. However, it is treatable in most cases with some oral medications and, less frequently, surgery.
Mold spores spread through the air; any time you’re around a mold colony, you’re breathing in some of those mold spores and introducing them to the sensitive tissue inside your trachea (windpipe) and lungs. The longer you breathe them in, the longer the spores have a chance to find an open cavity in your lungs to settle down and colonize.
For most people with healthy lungs, there really isn’t any open space inside, meaning the risk of this happening is relatively low. For individuals who have had recent surgeries or other diseases that can cause open cavities in the lungs (emphysema or tuberculosis), the risk is much higher.
Fortunately, your doctor can prescribe you oral corticosteroids to help bring down inflammation and reduce symptoms. For more invasive cases of this disease, an oral antifungal may be prescribed.
Especially severe cases may require surgery to physically remove mold from the lungs, though this is less common and typically only done if side effects become dangerous (causing excessive internal bleeding, for example).
How Can You Tell if There’s Mold in Your Lungs?
If your exposure to mold is fairly minimal, chances are you may not even experience any symptoms. For more prolonged cases of exposure, the symptoms are generally recognizable across the board: sneezing, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or discomfort, and shortness of breath are all strong indicators that there are mold spores in your lungs.
The issue here is that all of these symptoms can be found in various illnesses or allergic reactions, so it can be difficult to directly pin down mold exposure as the cause. Pay close attention to your symptoms, as well as when they started and how they change.
Make a mental note of when you discovered mold growing around you, how long you were around it, and whether or not you had any protection (like a medical face covering).
If you fear at all that there may be mold in your lungs, don’t hesitate — to contact medical professionals and let them know what’s going on. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Mold exposure can potentially cause serious problems, but most healthy people have nothing to worry about aside from some uncomfortable, temporary symptoms.
If you’re worried about mold in your home, contact the Sponaugle Wellness Institute to schedule a consultation to learn your treatment options.