ZocdocAnswersCould mold in my apartment be causing my chest congestion?

Question

Could mold in my apartment be causing my chest congestion?

I wake up during the night coughing frequently. Also, my breath is really wheezy sometimes, and I feel like I can?t catch my breath. Could something in the air be causing this?

Answer

You should definitely go to see your doctor about this! There are several likely causes of your symptoms. One cause would be allergies. Mold or mites can often be concentrated in the bedroom, and it is certainly possible to have a cough that is provoked by sleeping in that environment. This could also be asthma, especially if you already have a history of asthma (say, as a child). Poorly controlled asthma tends to wake one up at night with wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing. Of course mold or mite allergies and asthma might be related, as many people with asthma symptoms feel worse when exposed to these or other allergens in the air. Another possible cause of coughing or wheezing like this would be bad acid reflux or heartburn; when you lay down at night, the acid may be washing up into your throat and irritating your lungs. More serious causes of night time coughing would include heart problems. I think this is unlikely, but if you have any leg swelling, chest pain, palpitations, or other similar symptoms this might be more likely. Start by setting up an appointment with your primary care doctor, who will be able to help you figure out what is going on.

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