Black mold as a threat to your eyes:
Stachybotrys Chartarum and other toxic molds produce mycotoxins which are cytotoxic (meaning they are toxic to cells). Since mold spores and mycotoxins are airborne, one of the ways they can enter your body is through your eyes, inflaming or injuring your eye cells on their journey into your bloodstream. The effects are the eye disorders listed below.
Symptoms of eye disorders from toxic black mold can include:
- Red eyes (bloodshot looking)
- Blurry vision
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Eye damage
- Eye inflammation
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes)
- Light sensitivity
- Worsening vision or vision problems
Our eyes are a very vital yet very sensitive organ which is in direct contact with the harsh environment. The mold spores contain many irritating substances which can be the cause of many eye disorders. The volatile organic compounds produced by mold include alcohols, ketones, hydrocarbons, lactones, carboxylic acids, sulfur, nitrogen, etc.
These compounds cause an irritating effect on the mucous membranes of the eye. How much irritation is experienced depends on the concentration of mold spores you are exposed to. These particulates of mold cause inflammation or a burning sensation in the eye after being attached to the mucous membranes of their mannans and glucans. Mold spores can cause the eyes to become bloodshot and watery. If you’ve been sleeping in a room contaminated with mold spores but have not had direct contact with spores, you can still suffer from sore eyes.
A threat to vision:
Because of increased inflammation, the eyes appear red or bloodshot, and the person starts to experience blurred vision. This blurry vision also causes light sensitivity. Once in the bloodstream, mold spores also can cause another eye disorder called jaundice, which is the yellowing of the eyes. Continued exposure to mold spore particulates can cause temporary or permanent eye damage as well.
Eye infections related to toxic black mold:
Eye disorders caused by mold exposure include conjunctivitis, which is also known as pink eye. This eye infection causes a reddish or pinkish color to appear in the eye. It can also cause discharge from the eyes, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light.
Another common eye disorder caused by molds is known as keratitis. This disorder infects the cornea or the clear tissue that covers the iris and pupil. If the eye is treated without delay, it can save the eye from permanent vision loss. In case of vision loss, the only way to restore vision would be by undergoing a corneal transplant.
Endophthalmitis is yet another eye disorder that causes inflammation in the fluid-filled spaces of the eye and can lead to loss of vision. Perhaps the most severe of eye disorders, Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis causes swelling around the eyes and nose. A severe headache, vision problems, excruciating pain and sinus pressure, are part of its symptoms. The severity of this eye disorder is due to its ability to affect and eventually damage the brain.
The intraocular inflammation that affects the vitreous and anterior chamber of the eye is known as Endophthalmitis. In most cases, endophthalmitis results from contact with a bacterial organism such as a mold spore. Endophthalmitis, which is also referred to as fungal mold, can be divided into two categories which are the less common endogenous infections (caused by something within your body that was previously dormant) and the more common exogenous infections (caused by something entering the body from the environment).
An exogenous endophthalmitis infection is often caused when the skin of a person comes in contact with mold contaminated surfaces. It spreads when the person exposed touches other parts of his body or rubs his eye with the same contaminated area. If it is left untreated, this condition can lead to potential blindness. Recovery can take as long as two to three months, but 100% recovery of vision is not guaranteed. Endogenous infections usually occur in people who are prone to the following risks:
- intravenous drug abuse
- bacterial sepsis
- prolonged hyperalimentation
- systemic antibiotics
- corticosteroid therapy
- recent abdominal surgery
- diabetes mellitus
One common cause of endogenous fungal endophthalmitis is Candida albicans. Other pathogens include Aspergillus, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, Blastomyces, and Sporothrix. Aspergillus is a mold that especially affects immunocompromised patients and increases their risk of serious infections.
Eliminate the source:
Any kind of mold anywhere in your home should not be taken lightly. Elimination of the mold is the first step to disease prevention. In case of exposure to black mold, make sure to seek the necessary medical attention at once, especially if the exposure affects a particularly susceptible individual such as a child, a pregnant woman, or someone with an immunodeficiency disorder. Exposure to black mold can cause severe health consequences and eye disorders should not be taken lightly in any situation. No one should have to suffer from damaged vision.
Mold Badger is here to serve however you need us. Contact us for help regarding locating a professional inspector or a remediation contractor or with any questions or concerns you may have.