ZocdocAnswersAm I breathing something bad in the air?

Question

Am I breathing something bad in the air?

My chest has started to get wheezy, especially in the morning. I had some water damage in my apt not too long ago. Are they connected? Am I breathing something bad like mold in the air? Can that make you wheeze?

Answer

Wheezing can be caused by many different things, including toxins in the air. In general, wheezing is most commonly associated with asthma. Any time a patient presents with new onset wheezing it is important to assess whether they may be developing asthma. Most people think of asthma as a disease of childhood, but it can actually present as a new diagnosis in adults. In patients who do not carry a diagnosis of asthma (and also in asthmatics), environmental triggers including certain chemicals, dusts, and microorganisms can cause wheezing. Molds and fungi are often very irritating to the lungs and so exposure can be a very potent trigger for wheezing. Whether or not your wheezing is due to mold in your apartment from the recent water damage will likely require two things. First, you should see your primary care physician right away for a thorough history and exam. It will be important to listen to your lungs and see if you are wheezing in the office as well as measure your lung function. You may or may not be started on medications to help with the wheezing. Second, based on what your physician finds on exam, you may want to speak with the management of your building to investigate whether you do have a mold issue. Hopefully you will be back to normal in no time!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.