Exposure to mold can cause many symptoms, including a sore throat and a chronic cough, similar to the symptoms of other environmental allergies. If the mold is growing in your home, these symptoms will continue all year round.
Many people are allergic to mold. When you’re allergic to something, your immune system perceives it as potentially harmful, even when it’s not harmful, or at least not harmful in small amounts. Your immune system begins to mount a defense against the perceived threat, including an inflammatory response. That response can cause inflammation or swelling in the throat, airways, and lungs. The inflammation in the throat can cause throat pain or discomfort.
In addition, tiny mold spores are easily inhaled, and they can cause irritation to the nose, throat, airways, and lungs. This can also lead to a sore throat.
Finally, the inflammatory response and irritation in the nasal cavity and sinuses often leads to a runny nose. That can cause post-nasal drip, a condition in which excess mucous drips down the back of the throat. This further irritates the throat, causing additional pain.
You can use throat lozenges to soothe throat pain. Warm drinks, especially tea with honey, can help, as can cold treats like popsicles. You can purchase numbing spray for your throat at many drug stores and over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also help relieve pain. Your doctor can prescribe antihistamines to help dry up post-nasal drip or you can purchase over-the-counter allergy medications which will do the same thing. In most cases, though, these measures will just provide temporary relief and symptoms will continue and even worsen as long as you continue to be exposed to mold.
When mold spores are inhaled, they irritate the throat, airways, and lungs, triggering the urge to cough. If you develop post-nasal drip, the excess mucous in the throat also triggers the urge to cough in order to clear the throat of debris that isn’t supposed to be there. If the irritation to your throat, airways, and lungs is chronic, then your cough may become chronic, as well.
Exposure to mold, especially long-term exposure, can cause infections in the airways and lungs, like bronchitis and pneumonia. Coughing is a common symptom of these infections, as your body tries to clear its airways of the infection.
Long-term exposure to mold can sometimes cause scar tissue to develop in the lungs. This can lead to chronic coughing as the scar tissue interferes with the movement of air in the lungs.
Throat lozenges can soothe a cough. So can hot tea with honey. Your doctor can prescribe a cough suppressant if constant coughing keeps you up at night, but often doctors prefer not to suppress a cough because coughing serves a purpose. Coughing helps to remove irritants, debris, excessive mucous, and fluids from the lungs and airways, and removing these things from your airways is a good thing. That’s why doctors sometimes prescribe expectorants instead of cough suppressants, which help thin the mucous or fluids in the lungs and airways to help you cough it up. If you’re coughing due to an infection like pneumonia, you may be prescribed antibiotics, as well. However, even with treatment, you’ll probably continue to cough as long as you continue to suffer exposure to mold.
As you can see, in order to really relieve sore throats and chronic coughing related to mold, you’ll need to remove all mold from the home. Follow this link to find an experienced mold removal professional in your area that can assist you. They will come to your home for a free consultation, inspect the premises carefully, and advise you about the extent of the problem and what needs to be done to correct it.
CDC: Molds Facts
Mayo Clinic: Mold Allergy Symptoms