How to Test for Mold in Humans


According to the Mold Tests website, more than 10 million Americans are sick with mold related illnesses. Many don’t even know why they are sick or have been misdiagnosed. Consult your family doctor if you suspect mold exposure. They may then refer you to a specialist if needed. Immunotherapy injections & antifungal rinses are two possible treatments for mold infections.

Mold can grow indoors or out.
Mold can grow indoors or out. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Step 1

Take a blood test. IgE, IgA, IgG, and IgM tests all search for mold. Doctors may also use urine or saliva to test for mold as well. Tests that determine your level of antibodies only tell you that you have been exposed to mold at one point. It does not give you information on where you were exposed or how much of the mold you were exposed to.

Blood test.
Blood test. (Image: angellodeco/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 2

Take skin or body samples. In a typical test, the skin is exposed to several allergens - including mold. If an allergic reaction is triggered, you will get an itchy red bump that resembles a mosquito bite. The larger the welt, the more severe the allergy.

Skin sample.
Skin sample. (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 3

Take X-Rays. X-rays would not be able to determine whether or not you have been exposed to mold, but they would show problems with the lungs or respiratory system. X-rays paired with other tests may help your doctor determine whether or not mold exposure is to blame for your symptoms. If your doctor does suspect mold, he may order a lung biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

X-ray. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Step 4

Run a CT scan. A CT scan may pick up images that an X-Ray will miss. Your doctor may choose to run a CT scan of your lungs or possibly your sinus area.

CT scan.
CT scan. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • Symptoms of mold exposure include hair loss, skin rashes, nausea, nose bleeds, breathing disorders, weight loss, constant headaches, open sores on the skin, vomiting, swollen glands, chronic sinus infections, ear infections, pain in the joints and muscles, and loss of appetite.
  • Molds can be found both indoors and outdoors. If you suspect you may be sick from mold, you can also get your home tested. Mold grows in warm, damp and humid conditions. Longtime exposure to mold can lead to chronic conditions and infectious diseases - especially for those with already compromised immune systems.


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