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Is my painful coughing related to mold exposure?
April 29, 2007 4:29 PM   Subscribe

Does my painful chest cough have anything to do with likely exposure to mold during my previous living arrangement?

All my stuff has been finally moved out of my old basement windowless room. I went back this morning to do last minute cleaning and as soon as I entered the room, I could smell the mold. Before, I didn't notice it with all my stuff in the room. The house is two floors with the first floor and then the basement level. I've lived here for a year and 4 months and I didn't think there might be a mold problem till recently when there was a leakage problem from first floor fridge and funky black stuff at the corner of the bathroom downstairs. The house is near DC so the humidity is quite high.

My concern is that I have also started coughing quite a bit recently. Once I get started it takes me a while to stop and my chest hurts and my neck/throat is irritated. I have to try to suppress coughing or my throat would hurt too much.

I figured that the place smells in general because my landlords are just smelly people since they have stuff laying around (they live in the other basement room), but I am thinking it has to do with the mold problem.

Is my coughing related to the mold? If so who should I go see to treat or determine what kind of damage it may have done? Even if it's not the coughing, should I be concerned that my clothes might have been exposed to spores and I've been wearing'em?

How long am I going to live?:)

On a serious note, I'd appreciate your help.
posted by icollectpurses to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, mold can mess with your lungs. Mold can actually do really gross things, but that's likely not the case, unless you have preexisting serious lung or immune system problems.

If the coughing is causing you chest pain, and you're actively trying not to cough, you really should go to a doctor anyway. Start with your GP, or if you have an ENT, you could start there. They'll probably refer you to an allergist or a pulmonologist, depending on what's around and who they know.

The high levels of mold may have set off an allergic reaction. At the very least, long-term exposure to an irritant has, well, irritated you. It probably doesn't help that the tree pollen count in DC (and the east coast in general) is very high right now.

Also, you should probably move out (if you aren't - the language is kind of vague on that - are you moving within or out of the building?), since I'm thinking your landlords won't exactly do corrective measures. Mold is horrible and gets into the walls and requires a good outlay to get rid of.

As for your clothes, I wouldn't worry too much, but give everything a good hot wash, with allergen-reducing stuff if you like.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:59 PM on April 29, 2007


It might also be allergies (or allergies in addition to the mold). I am also in DC and had the same problem last summer (awful fits of coughing for about 2 mos that not even my doc could figure out). I also just started coughing a lot this week and it coincided with the rest of my allergy symptoms. Just a thought...
posted by echo0720 at 6:31 PM on April 29, 2007


Black mould is a health hazard, apparently. It might be worth getting your cough checked out by a doctor.
posted by hot soup girl at 11:36 AM on April 30, 2007


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