Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does black mold cause asthma?"
The apartment building my friends just moved into (in Brooklyn) has black mold on the bathroom walls. I want to live with them, but I had childhood asthma. Is the mold dangerous to me? Does having had asthma as a kid make me likely to get it again?
You should discuss any concerning symptoms you have with your physician and have a complete examination. Asthma is a disease of the airways that has two components: airway muscle spasm and lots of secretions that can plug up the airways. Both of these things can make it difficult to breathe.
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The signs of asthma can include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. People who have childhood asthma can sometimes outgrow it completely but, in other circumstances, it makes you higher risk to have asthma as an adult. If you have never had formal testing for triggers for your asthma, you should consider having full testing. It is very possible that mold can be a trigger for your asthma but you will need to be formally tested in order to establish this. Other common triggers can be cold, exercise, heartburn, environmental triggers and certain foods. Asthma can be a dangerous disease that should receive prompt treatment in order to prevent it from progressing. If you feel that being close to mold in the bathroom is making you feel short of breath, you should get formal testing and have asthma medications close by so that you can treat your symptoms promptly if they happen.
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