Can Mold Grow On Your Lungs?

Can mold grow on your lungs?

SPOILER ALERT!

Yes, it can!

but it’s not exactly what you may think…

Read through this whole article, especially if you have a lung condition….

Some of what you read may shock you, but it’s important to know.

In this article, we will cover:

  • How mold can grow on the lungs
  • How mold on the lungs can be treated
  • Is mold growing on the lungs fatal
  • Is there a way to prevent mold growing on the lungs

How Mold Can Grow On The Lungs

I’ll cut right to the chase:

Mold generally won’t grow on everyone’s lungs.

Not that it can’t, but you can breathe easily (literally) because there is a good chance that you do not have mold growing on your lungs.

BUT…

If you do, it can be quite devastating and you will have some recovery ahead for you.

The American Thoracic Society says this about mold growing on the lungs:

 

Once in the lungs’ alveoli
(air sacs), the fungus is engulfed by macrophages and other cells involved in
the primary immune response. Macrophages are usually able to neutralize and
destroy the pathogens that they attack, but many fungi have developed a way to
disable the macrophage’s weapons, and some fungi have actually developed
the ability to grow and multiply inside macrophages.

Who Is Susceptible?

It’s no secret that mold can make you sick if you are exposed to large amounts. It’s also no secret that exposure to Stachybotrys aka Black Mold can make you really sick.

Mold inhalation or ingestion can affect everyone differently.

Now:

While fungal infections aren’t quite as common as viral or bacterial infections, just about anyone can acquire such diseases as tuberculosis or fungal meningitis. But we are not talking about just any lung diseases. We are talking about people that actually have mold growing on their lungs.

So here’s who will generally have it:

People who have abnormally large spaces in their lungs. This can be caused by lung diseases such as Tuberculosis or Emphysema. That’s not to say you have to have lung diseases to have mold growth, but your chances increase greatly.

mold growing on lungs

What Species Of Mold Is Most Likely To Grow On The Lungs?

The most common type of mold that will grow in the lungs is called Aspergillus.

Look:

Aspergillus is a very common species of mold. If you live in hot and humid state than it will be very common to not only find some Aspergillus spore types in your home but also outdoors.

But just like anything in life, it’s all about it being present in moderation, although I will say if you have an allergy to Aspergillus you would want to keep that number to as close to zero spores as you possibly can.

The only way to truly know if you are allergic to Aspergillus is to get tested by a doctor who specializes in mold-related illnesses.

Aspergillus will generally be at high levels in your home when water damage to building materials is present which is why it is extremely important if you experienced any kind of water damage in your home, you call a water damage restoration company or mold specialist immediately!

More on Aspergillus later.

How Can Mold On The Lungs Be Treated?

mold doctor

So here’s the thing:

I am not a doctor nor do I  pretend to be. This information cannot be treated as medical advice.

Now that we got that out of the way I am going to give you what I know about how doctors treat it and then I will give you some lifestyle tips that may help you.

But first things first:

Before you can have mold treated on your lungs you first need to be diagnosed. Medical professionals can generally determine if you have mold growing on your lungs by taking samples of tissue and or blood tests. Sometimes even tissue from a piece of your lung can be investigated to determine if mold growth is present or not.

Medical Treatment For Mold On The Lungs

antifungal medicine

Anti-Fungal Medicine

The most common type of treatment for lungs that incur microbial growth is anti-fungal medicine. It usually involves taking prescription medication whether it be in pill or liquid form.  Some of the names of the medications that are usually used are:

  • Itraconazole
  • Voriconazole
  • Posaconazole
  • Micafungin
  • Corticosteroids

Lot’s of azoles!

Anti-fungal medication is generally for the mildest cases.

Surgery

Another option which is for the mod severe cases of a condition which we will get more into below called Aspergillosis is to have surgery. Surgery can be risky and can even involve removing a lung which is the last resort option.

I know, scary stuff!

But…

At least we have two lungs right? Truth is, you can actually breathe perfectly fine with just one functioning lung.

Boosting The Immune System

While this can be done with many types of disease’s, boosting the immune system can help fight infections that are associated with mold growing on the lungs.

Boosting the Immune System can involve any type of medication that raises your white blood cells which is essential in helping you fight off diseases and infections.

Is Mold Growing On The Lungs Fatal?

Just like anything else, if gone untreated, it can most certainly turn fatal.

However…

Overall it generally depends on the current health of the person affected. Remember, mold generally won’t grow on the lungs unless there are large spaces in your lungs.

You should already be on alert because you won’t have large spaces on your lungs for the most part unless you have had some type illness associated with a lung infection.

Here is the bottom line:

It needs to be taken seriously

The Low-down on Aspergillosis

aspergillosis

Aspergillosis, as you can probably guess, is caused by the type of mold spore mentioned above called Aspergillus. There are two different types of Aspergillosis. One we will refer to as the “normal” kind and then you have the “Superbad” kind.

The “Normal” Kind Of Aspergillosis

The medical community calls this Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis. With this diagnosis, the mold is not so much growing on your lungs. If you suffer from this, you are experiencing an allergic reaction to Aspergillus.

 

People with Asthma more likely to get this types of illness.

Some of the symptoms associated with ” Normal” Aspergillosis include:

  • Fever
  • Weezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest or Joint Pain
  • Excess mucus

The “Superbad” Aspergillosis

superbad aspergillosis

As you can probably imagine, this is much more serious than just the “Normal” kind.  The medical community has a much easier term, it is called:

Invasive Aspergillosis

Here’s the thing:

In order for it to get this bad, your immune system has to be really compromised. This is when Aspergillosis causes mold to start growing on your lungs.

If it is left untreated, unfortunately, it doesn’t just stop on your lungs. The mold can actually start spreading to other organs in the body.

The symptoms are very similar to “Normal” Aspergillosis except multiply it by two. The fever can get worse, the cough can include coughing out blood, the joint pain can be more intense.

Aspergilloma

Ok, what I am going to tell you about now is going to totally gross you out, but you need to hear it so I truly apologize in advance.

A big mucus/fungus ball can grow in your lungs, and when I say ball, I mean a giant mass bigger than a baseball.

Nasty right?

It is usually surgically removed if the client is healthy enough to have surgery in the first place.

aspergilloma

Is There A Way To Prevent Mold From Growing On The Lungs?

There is a simple answer to this:

Keep mold from growing in your house!

Oh, wait…

…. I forgot that there’s one big problem where you may not be able to avoid mold growing indoors.

It’s called life!

The hope if you are reading this thinking you may have mold in your system but you are otherwise healthy and are not confined to your home.

Unfortunately, unless you wear a mask everywhere you go, you cannot 100% guarantee that you will not inhale mold spores. I have actually read a story about a family that lived in a tent instead of living in their home with toxic mold.

So no, there is no sure fire way to prevent mold from growing on your lungs. If you do have any kind of lung infection or disease, you want to be proactive to ensure that mold is not growing in your home where you are spending most of your time

Get A Mold Inspection

If you have a compromised immune system, especially as it relates to your lungs one of the best gifts you can get yourself is assurance that you don’t have active mold growth in your home by having a mold inspection.

Here’s the thing:

Many people will decide to get an at home mold test kit to try and save money. There are two problems with this:

  1. Many times it will not be able to be determined if there is an actual mold problem by the test alone
  2. The visual inspection by a licensed mold inspector is just as important as the mold sampling itself

Having a mold inspection performed by a licensed professional will not only indicate if you do indeed have a mold problem, but he/she will also be able to identify the source if there is a mold problem.

Install An Air Purification System

Air purification systems can both be external and installed in your air conditioning system if you have central air. They have become more advanced over the years to not only just remove harmful mold particles on a filter but actually destroy them on point of contact.

Pretty cool huh?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have actually came out and said that there can be up to 5 times more pollutants indoors compared to the exterior so these types of air purification systems can be great.

Only problem:

They aren’t cheap!

But how much is your health worth to you?

It may be a good idea for you to investigate installing one if your home.

What Are Your Experiences?

Can mold grow on your lungs?

If you got through this article, you know the answer in yes.

Have you gotten sick from mold or actually had it growing on your lungs? Tell us your story!

How was it treated? Do you know what caused it?

 

Call Today For A Mold Remediation Estimate