Mold's Effect on Hypersensitive People
By Brian Karr
Let me start by saying this...
Hypersensitivity is Very Real and Very Debilitating.
In my time with The Mold Guy I’ve seen several types of indoor air quality related issues, but the ones that stand out the most are those that involve hypersensitive clients. The truth is, I had studied about hypersensitivity during my education, but it didn’t seem real to me. I guess that can be said by a lot of people when it comes to diseases that they have not witnessed or experienced first hand. I’ll be honest, even after meeting my first client that suffers from hypersensitivity, I still questioned the extent of her symptoms.
The unfortunate thing is that I believe most people have the same reaction I initially did. “My throat (or eyes, or nose, or whatever) feels fine.” “It can’t be THAT bad.” “Can this all be in their head?”
Now I know better, and I feel guilty for the thoughts that went through my head...
Last week I got a phone call from a new client who was hypersensitive. She described a problem area in the cabinet under her sink that was causing even more severe reactions than normal. We set an appointment to check it out, and she asked me not to wear deodorant because the chemicals affect her.
I arrived on the day of our appointment, no deodorant applied, and stepped out of my car which was across the street from her home. She was waiting on the driveway for me because her home caused her too much pain. As soon as I shut my car door she yelled across the street, “Do you use hair product? I forgot to tell you…” She could smell my hair product from across the street, and it made her throat burn.
Once inside, she directed me to the sink cabinet and I began my assessment of the area. There really were no indicators that suggested a mold issue. No staining. No buckling, peeling, or elevated moisture on the building materials. No suspect mold-like growth. That said, there was obviously something going on that was causing her discomfort, so I developed a sampling strategy based on her description of the problem area.
When I shared her results, which showed elevated levels of Aspergillus/Penicillium from the cabinet, a lightbulb clicked for her. She was recently diagnosed with severe allergies to both Aspergillus and Penicillium.
SHE ACTUALLY SMELLED THE MOLD GROWTH WHEN NO ONE ELSE COULD!
If you are hypersensitive, I know others may think that you’re “crazy” because they don’t understand why you complain of pain and discomfort. I wanted to share this story because I don’t think you’re crazy. We at The Mold Guy don’t think you’re crazy. We understand that hypersensitivity is a very real and debilitating, and our ability to test for not only mold, but mycotoxins, VOCs, bacteria, etc. can be a powerful tool to identify problem areas in your home or office and provide solutions that will allow you to breathe a little easier.
If you or someone you know suffers from hypersensitivity, give us a call (888-351-9565) or contact us here to speak to one of our certified experts. We see this a lot and will be able to help answer many questions that you may have.