My cat umbrie . The day I found him as stray kitten. He ate and slept in the plate. Finally he had found a home of his own.” Love you Umbrie forever,”

My sleepy baby . #sleepybaby #sleepykitten https://www.instagram.com/p/CPaXKf_HXyL/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Happy Sunday my dear kind fellows.

Watercolor minimalist line art. This one I did last winter.

Happy Thursday my dear kind fellows.

These are my summer tenants. Building their first home this year. Last summer they built a big settlement just above our gate and gave us some annoying time. Still I love them for some mysterious reason.

 How much mold is harmful to our health?

Let me define what is mold first, I think that is the best approach. Mold is a type of fungi that thrives on living matter, both plants and animals. Mold needs humidity to grow and its reproduction is possible through spores. Mold grows both indoors and outdoors. The spores of mold travel through air and when they land on a damp surface they start growing and multiplying.  

Mold often looks fuzzy, smudge like or discoloration. The most common molds are green, black and white. There are many other colors too and that depends on the age or the stage of their growth

Structure of Mold

Molds consist of long, branching filaments of cells called hyphae. Molds are part of the natural environment and play an important role by breaking down and digesting organic material, such as dead leaves. They are classified neither plants nor animals. They only belong to the kingdom, fungi.   

 How does mold differ from yeasts?

Molds are classified with yeast and mushrooms. The major difference between yeast and mold is that mold is multicellular filaments of the fungi whereas yeast is a unicellular type of fungi. Yeasts are microscopic fungi that reproduce by budding or asexual reproduction. But under stress conditions they can produce spores. Molds on the contrary grow by apical extension of hyphae.

Reproduction of Molds through Spores

Molds reproduce through their spores. These spores are very tiny; microscopic. Their small size makes them easy to spread through water and air  

Why mold grows indoors during winter?

During winter, there is enough moisture and dampness in the environment. Therefore, molds generally grow in basements, and in the areas with less ventilation, in closets or even on furniture. Molds produce musty smell and damage to walls and floors. In addition to hideous looks, molds are health risk.  During extreme winter if the temperature is below zero, mold goes inactive. When the temperature rises again mold starts growing and scattering.  Mold spores love cellulose to grow. The truth is we can not stop spores entering our homes. But we can keep our environment clean and healthy  

image by pexels

Here are some damp areas of our homes, where mold most likely grows

  • Damp kitchen walls due to condensation
  • Showers curtains and mats
  • Leaky roofs and walls
  • Broken pipes
  • Damp laundry
  • Flowerpots
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Cupboards
  • Wooden floors
  • Carpets
  • Wallpapers
  • And storage areas

How does mold enter our living areas?

Mold is everywhere and it’s impossible to evade it entirely. Nevertheless, the good news is that the mold in low density is not harmful. By low density is that kind of mold, still not visible to the naked eye. Once it gets visible, we have to remove it. The spores of mold can enter through doors, windows or even ventilation systems. They attach themselves to our dresses, pets or vehicles and stay invisible

How far mold is potentially harmful?

Mold can trigger sneezing, cough, wheeze, respiratory infections and nasal congestion. A person with asthma can feel his condition worsened after coming into contact with it. Also immunocompromised people may be at risk of fungal infections. For very old or very young people, mold exposure is potentially fairly harmful. The health problems of  prolonged  mold exposure include as under.

  1. Allergies
  2. Severe asthma (mold does not cause asthma, just makes it severe)
  3. Weakened immune system
  4. Respiratory infections
  5. Skin rashes

Mold can harm our respiratory system

 Mold spores are poisonous and inflammatory. Mold harms the respiratory system by causing inflammation in the mucous membranes. Our bodies react by sending antibodies to the inflamed areas, increasing the pressure and inflammation.

Does mold grow in old homes only?

No, mold does not grow only in old homes.  The source of mold spores is not age dependent of the place. A house of any age can develop mold. The damp and moldy environment may cause some health issues. Some people are sensitive to molds, especially those already having some respiratory conditions. Prevention is always better than cure.

Damp and closed environments help mold to grow

 In homes mold usually develops after water damage and then the surface is left damp. It is best to fix leaking pipes and dry wet areas. We must regularly check the dampness, make it dry and clean it. These days we can use air purifiers to remove mold spores from the air.

There are 11 most common types of molds. Only few  are threat to our health.

  1. Aspergillus
  2. Alternaria
  3. Aureobasidium
  4. Fusarium
  5. Cladosporium
  6. Penicillium
  7. Chaetomium
  8. Stachybotrys  chartarum
  9. Trichoderma
  10. Serpula Lacrymans
  11. Ulocladium

What is aspergillosis and what it has to do with molds?

It is an infection or allergic reaction caused by molds. Aspergillus fumigatus is the type of mold that is most likely to cause aspergillosis in certain people when they inhale mold spores.

Who are the victims of aspergillus mold ?

Aspergillus mold is not harmful to the people who have normal immune system. That means majority among us will not fall ill due to its exposure. only people with weak immune system or people with respiratory problems maybe at higher risk for developing infection.  Especially, persons who are going under chemotherapy or those who had organ transplant have weakened immune system. It is estimated that about 10 % of people with asthma or cystic fibrosis experience an allergic reaction to aspergillus  

How can we reduce the formation of mold at our places?

The easiest and direct solution is we must not provide moisture to mold ‘s growth. We should keep rooms dry and ventilated. Not all mold is visible but it has specific smell. Mold damages the surfaces. The moment you notice or smell it, take action to remove it. You must wear gloves and protective clothing, mask and keep the place ventilated when you are removing mold. Use detergent and warm water to wash the moldy places. After the surface dries, use bleach. Repeat this process three times. Vinegar is also good to clean mold from surfaces

Mold and mildew, what is the difference?

Mildew is a certain kind of mold that usually grows flat on a surface. While molds are all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae. Mold grows and spreads into porous material and causes substantial damage. Molds exhibit darker colors such as black and green. Molds are often fuzzy in concentration; mildew is often white, gray or brown. Mildew is less toxic than mold. Mildew has dry smooth and papery look, while mold can be even slimy. Again, vinegar is found rather effective surface cleaner, both against mold and mildew.

   Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Molds are very common and natural but we have to keep them away from our homes. While it is nearly impossible to avoid contact with molds. Anyone with compromised immunity should try to stay away from places where they are most likely to encounter mold. Such places can be construction sites, lawns, compost piles and storage buildings for grains.  To keep our places clean and to stay healthy, we need to identify types of molds and prevent their growth

Happy Friday my dear kind fellows. God bless you all.

My acrylic painting ” abstract flowers”

Little dude at my home. The size of my finger nail. In the close up looks a giant. When I released it, it ran back to the place it was hiding.

Earth is our homeland and so to other amazing life.

The fruit of our hearts

Oh , baby , so sweet baby

waiting ! just waiting for you

since ages

Midnight prayers , filled with tears and sighs

Never ending hopes against all odds

Yes, you are the miracle baby

Our sweet sunshine ,and our precious prize

Fruit of our lovely yearnings

Right through so many hearts of us

Still tiny , in another world of nature

You don’t know us yet

But we know you pretty well ,

Precious evening talks , and our beaming faces

He must have dresses with buttons and pockets

Don’t forget to buy cotton socks

And your granny suggests a white swaddle

Things so small , yet so huge

For ages , we have been waiting for you.

Note : This poem I wrote for my sister’s pregnancy and all odds she has faced to carry this precious baby .We as a family are waiting for the baby soon get to be delivered .

                                                Neck pain and its Causes

 Our neck or cervical spine is a complex web of nerves, bones, muscles and joints. Neck provides support and mobility to head, but sometimes it can become sore or rigid. Neck pain makes every day life difficult .  

There are a number of problems that cause pain in the neck. Some irritation along nerve pathways in the neck can cause pain in the shoulder, head, arm, and hand.

Neck pain usually goes away within a few days or weeks, but pain that lasts for months could signal an underlying medical cause that needs to be addressed. Early diagnosis and treatments are  key for the best results.

The intensity of the neck pain

Neck pain can be negligible and easily ignored to unbearable and interfering with daily life.  Sometimes neck pain can lead to a rigid neck and reduced movement in the neck. Neck pain can be either acute or chronic depending on how long it lasts.

 The Types of Neck pain

 Neck pain can be intense and located in one place, or it might feel less severe but spread across a broader region. Sometimes the pain radiates to the head. Other times it can be with a muscle spasm in the neck. But less common one is shock -like pain or tingling may travel down into the shoulder or arm.  

‘A doctor should be consulted if pain does not go away and life becomes difficult.’

  Signs and symptoms of Neck pain

Some signs and symptoms associated with neck pain could indicate a pinched nerve. Maybe there is an underlying disease or infection. The concerning signs and symptoms include fever or chills, pain or tingling in the limbs. Also, if the person has problem with balance or coordination. Severe neck pain can originate from an injury, such as a hard fall or car crash and needs emergency care of the person affected.

Neck pain usually involves one or more of the following symptoms and signs.

  • Headaches
  • Rigidity in neck
  • General sore feeling
  • Difficulty of picking objects
  • Intense pain  
  • difficulty to bear the head high

The development of neck pain

Neck pain is common among grownups, but it can happen at any age. It can develop suddenly, such as from an injury, or it may develop slowly over time, such as from years of poor posture or wear and tear.

The pain can usually be eased with self-care, such as rest, icing the painful area, or improving posture. Sometimes medical treatments are needed, such as medication or physical therapy. If nonsurgical treatments are not helping, surgical options may be considered finally.

                The most common causes of acute neck pain

  1. Poor posture
  2. Repetitive motions
  3. Injury

The most Common causes of chronic neck pain

  1. Cervical herniated disc
  2. Cervical osteoarthritis
  3. Cervical degenerative disc disease

Some Other neck pain causes

1.  infection.

2.  myofascial pain syndrome

3.  fibromyalgia

4.  spinal tumor

5. Stress

Risk factors of neck pain

Psychological risk factors, such as stress, lack of social support, anxiety and depression are the most important risk factors for neck pain. In terms of the biological risks, neck pain might happen as a result of certain diseases, such as neuromusculoskeletal disorders or autoimmune diseases.

Neck pain is multifactorial disease .and is a major problem in the present society. Although neck pain may not be the most common musculoskeletal disorders, it is still very important and common.  

 Since there is inclination for neck pain to become a chronic problem, it is important to enable prevention and early diagnosis. There are a number of risk factors which can contribute to its development. However, there is more indication for some risk factors, such as lack of physical activity, duration of daily computer use, perceived stress and being female.

some common Psychological factors behind neck pain

Overall, factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, low sleep quality, and alcohol consumption might play some role in changing the central pain processing within the spine, brainstem, or cortical levels.

  1.  Stress is related to pain and disability.  Studies have found that persons with neck pain had significantly more symptoms of stress than those without neck pain, and that constant and/ or regular feelings of stress was significantly associated with an increased chance of reporting neck pain. 
  2. Anxiety is related to different kinds of chronic pain as well as disability. People with neck pain have reported higher levels of anxiety, and anxiety has also been found to intensify pain and disability.
  3. The relationship between sleep quality and neck pain is cyclic as both can lead to the other. People with low sleep quality are at a higher risk of neck pain

 Furthermore, poor sleep quality can lead to an increase in the symptoms of depression for people with high intensity neck pain.

 Computer work related neck pain 

 Working with a computer is considered to be a professional condition that causes neck pain. Multiple factors have been suggested to play key roles in the development of computer-related neck pain, including posture, duration of working at a computer, psychological stress, tedious movements, lengthy static loads, and the psychosocial effects of the working environment.

Neuromusculoskeletal disorders

Neuromusculoskeletal disorders target the bones, muscles, and nerves, and can manifest themselves in numerous ways. Neck pain is one of the most common and obvious complaints of patients with these disorders. Some of the neuromusculoskeletal disorders are the following.

  1. Cervical spondylosis
  2. Fibromyalgia
  3. Cervical radiculopathy
  4. Whiplash – associated disorders

Autoimmune diseases and their role to cause neck pain

Autoimmune diseases are a chronic and clinically varied group of diseases that occur in immunocompromised individuals. These diseases affect various organs and tissues throughout the body. With some autoimmune diseases, the muscles, joints and nerves can be the target of the immune system. Therefore, they are also likely to affect the cervical spine. The most important autoimmune diseases are ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriatic spondylitis and   myositis,

The role of Genetics  

Genetic vulnerability plays an important role in the development of complex diseases. Finding the genetic contributions to complex traits is one of the greatest challenges facing modern medical genetics. The identification of the genetic factors of complex diseases can help provide some understanding of the pathogenesis of the diseases. These genetic factors seem especially important in the development of neck pain in early youth, while their role could be considered negligible at older age.

Age as a risk Factor

Aging is the most important risk factor for the most chronic pain, so identifying protective and risk factors is significant for raising awareness about effective preventative measures. To reduce the damage and suffering of the patient early diagnosis is essential.  Naturally, the normal anatomy of the cervical spine changes at advanced ages. Which can cause neck pain and disability in the long run.

Conclusion

There is high prevalence of neck pain around the world. Unfortunately, neck pain and chronic neck pain, is often multifaceted and cannot be easily managed. There are many potential risk factors, such as history of previous neck injury or medical history of low back pain. Some researchers have shown that people with chronic neck pain were more likely to suffer from psychological disorders compared to those without neck pain. Physical inactivity in youths was associated with an increased risk of cervical pain. Then there are some occupational factors that are preventable. Patients of musculoskeletal disorders should benefit from rehabilitation services. Therefore, it is important to find a cost-effective diagnostic method and treatment plan. Health should be the first priority for every person. After all, our body is the only place we can live.

Disclaimer.

The content here is for your information only. It is not an alternative to professional medical advice. likewise, it should not be used to diagnose or treat a disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. The information I have provided here does not guarantee benefits.