My apartment is suffocating me
January 18, 2009 7:35 PM   Subscribe

It seems that I may have asthma and all my symptoms started after I moved into my apartment. Can anyone tell me the things I should look for to trouble shoot the problems causing my cough?

Also, considering its a "loft" like space with no other rooms to sleep in, is it okay to break a lease (in NYC) if it seems that my apartment is making me sick?
posted by Unred to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dust mite allergy.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:43 PM on January 18, 2009

Roaches and mice can aggravate asthma as well.
posted by orme at 8:04 PM on January 18, 2009

Mold, dust, pollen.
posted by gramcracker at 8:05 PM on January 18, 2009

I doubt you could break your lease based on there being allergens in the loft, but you could maybe try doing some intensive cleaning in your space with a hepa filtered vacuum. Could just be some remnants of past occupants that need cleaning up.
posted by orme at 8:18 PM on January 18, 2009

carpet, and all those mentioned above.

I'm particularly affected by roaches, dust mites and a lot of that gets trapped in carpet.
posted by wingless_angel at 8:25 PM on January 18, 2009

When I lived in Seattle, the American Lung Association would send a person to your home to assess it for allergens and other general hazards to your lung health. You might want to call your local folks and see if they do that where you are.
posted by jessamyn at 8:37 PM on January 18, 2009

I've had this a lot with dust mites. Although, oddly enough, I once had an apartment that had an oak tree growing so close that it butted up against the windows and into my balcony. Before I moved out (less than a year) I had developed an allergy (and the asthma that goes with it) to oak trees. YMMV.
posted by bristolcat at 8:42 PM on January 18, 2009

Before you do anything else, you should probably just replace the air filter. (If you already have, pretend I never posted anything.)
posted by ErWenn at 10:29 PM on January 18, 2009

I suspect this is more of a "little buggy things in my apartment" thing than sudden asthma.

If you do think it's asthma, get your lungs tested for capacity. (Note: I had a weird medical ailment for a year that they finally gave up and decided "well, it must be asthma, here, go to asthma clinic." Where they finally figured out that my lungs were fine. So I would make sure the doctors don't immediately hop on that one.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:44 PM on January 18, 2009

Best answer: Having some funny atypical allergy stuff myself, I'd caution that confirmation bias is soooooo easy. First thing: get yourself to an allergist and find out exactly what your allergies may be, and get a medical diagnosis of asthma. If you do need to break your lease, best to establish the medical history sooner rather than later.
posted by desuetude at 10:53 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Type of heat. Forced air, steam?
posted by jara1953 at 6:12 AM on January 19, 2009

Response by poster: Hey thanks for all the help. I'm actually being tested for air capacity on Wednesday. I have steam heat (radiator) and I think there is something to the "dust mite" theory. The apartment I live in is a converted store front in a really old building. They didn't take a lot of care in the renovation and so there are lots of cracks in between the linoleum (yes, that's what I said, linoleum) and the wall where I can never get all the dirt out, and I have a drafty front window and door with an expressway just a half a block away, so I'm vacuuming constantly. I just think its a situation where even if I cleaned for hours every day, it'll never be clean.
posted by Unred at 6:43 AM on January 19, 2009

Best answer: mold. moldmoldmold. mold.

when i spent 6 months in a moldy apartment, my childhood asthma reared its ugly head something fierce. it was insane.

check it out.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:26 AM on January 19, 2009

Nthing dust. Buy a Dyson vacuum.
posted by notned at 10:04 AM on January 19, 2009

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