Asthma caused by damp?: Hi all. I’m... - Asthma UK communi...

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Asthma caused by damp?

Hi all.

I’m looking to tap into your experiences and expertise to help me with some questions. I’ve always been an allergic person but my symptoms were always nasal and in the throat- never anything to do with my lungs.

18 months ago was when my respiratory symptoms began- mainly shortness of breath and as time progressed, these symptoms evolved to tight a chest, lung pain and now a cough too. A few weeks prior to my symptoms appearing, I was exposed to damp but didn’t realise damp was an issue until I was symptomatic and the damp was eradicated shortly after this.

I know that damp can cause asthma but I didn’t think that just 3 shorts months of exposure could have such lasting damage.

Have any of you developed asthma due to such exposure? Also, do any of you have any literature where I can read some good solid research into this.

It makes me sad that something as simple as exposure to damp has completely taken over my life and also my quality of life.

Thanks in advance!

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I don’t know anything about research into it but I do know that my asthma kicked off again when I moved into a new house and I had a very damp room (ground floor room above a flooded basement) and even though I’ve moved since my asthma is still unruly!

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That’s interesting and also sucks that it’s taken over your life!

I’ve been so wrapped up in my asthma that I totally forgot how it all started until recently. The next time I’m with my specialist I’m going to mention it. It seems so unfair that quality of life can be taken away like that 👎🏽

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As well as asthma, I suffer from a condition called ABPA which is a severe allergy to aspergillus. It's a potentially very serious risk to asthmatics & not to be taken lightly. You might well have SAFS (Severe Asthma with Fungal Sensitivity) but only detailed tests will confirm that.

I'd need to a bit of time to put together links to literature, but have a look at (I think) aspergillus.org.uk. Let me know if you want more info.

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Oh wow- thank you very much for sharing and sorry to hear that you’ve been suffering from this. I’m going to do some reading over the weekend and to see if I can make some sense as to why I suddenly became so unwell and why it’s evolving to a condition that is slowly getting out of control

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SAFS is very similar to ABPA but (I think) is less severe & shows lower IgE levels (it's all complex stuff & I don't pretend to totally understand it). The Aspergillus website is run by the Fungal Infection Trust & the key people are very knowledgeable so you'll find a lot of information.

At this stage though, don't panic. There's a wide spectrum of possibilities & as long as the damp has been eradicated it may turn out to be nothing of concern.

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So interesting. I just had a quick read and there are some similarities but I don’t think my situation is as severe as that, it does present really similar though

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There are various forms of Aspergillosis. Some are more serious than others and some more treatable. The main way as fast as I know to assess if mould is an issue is through blood tests. So in my case, I breathe in the spores, but the damage to my lungs is such that they can’t be expelled, nor can they be destroyed by drugs. I am allergic to the spores so the net effect is a constant asthma attack.

But that’s just one, quite rare, version. If a blood test shows that you have raised levels of IgE to aspergillus, that will give you some clues and hopefully trigger further tests &/or treatment. If not, then the root cause of your problems is likely to be something else.

As always though, be aware that I’m not medically qualified & don’t even really understand my own condition properly, so getting good advice is key for you at the moment.

Good luck.

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I moved into a house in Feb, did lots of decorating etc, became ill in apr/may. Now diagnosed copd/asthma & having to sell & move back to my mum’s.

Maybe i’ll never know if it truly caused my illnesses but seems a massive coincidence & sadly a costly mistake.

I hope you find your answers.

Can i ask do you live in M.Keynes? I do 😀

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That sounds like such an ordeal- so sorry to hear this! I hope you start to feel better soon.

And PS: I’m some miles away from MK I’m afraid

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Not sure about damp. But my throat problems and silent reflux kicked off with dust. We had a house fire and I think all the dust from the renovation caused it. The silent reflux has settled down but now I have vcd,vocal cord dysfunction and soon as I wake up and move about it get the shortness of breath symptom. My best time is at night when I'm in bed, I can breath normal. Hope you get better soon

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My goodness- a house fire?! Sorry to hear this. Sending you well wishes also!!

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I am a tad puzzled from what you say. We essentially live in a damp climate here in Britain, and if so it is a constant exposure just by living here. I increasingly think damp plays a part for me, but not because I have had a sudden increase in damp as such, but because I feel notably better any time I spend time warm dry climate, something I don’t have access to most of the time.

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The damp that I was exposed to was from damp within a very large area flooring in my house that I was not aware of and discovered by chance. At the time, I did not know what was causing my symptoms and once the damp was discovered, it was obvious- the timing was all too fitting too.

I agree, damp weather can be a bit of a killer. That recent period of heat, turned rain, turned heat was awful. It does make one wonder if moving abroad to a dry climate is a sensible idea? 🤷🏽‍♀️ It’s certainly something I’ll be strongly considering if next summer plays out like this year and last year

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I seem not to suffer lungs wise from heat (but my legs is another matter), but damp with cold is not great. More quiet undermining that then really takes it out of me, sometimes more than I realise (people fairly often comment on my heavy breathing - which I am often not aware of, looking unwell, even coughing I don’t notice/ignore etc). Having spent a warm dry month in north Scandinavia feeling well, I fear those subtle undermining factors are creeping back again. (By the way we also had significant damp in our house - not great!)

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Damp of any kind can increase the number of mould spores in the air and these can cause health problems, including allergy.

nhs.uk/common-health-questi...

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I’d love to move to a drier climate. My best breathing days are very crisp cold winter ones. (Sighs) Roll on winter

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It was devastating to me after just 28 days of exposure, changed my life, nothing has been the same since, not even my breathing. Yes mold exposure is associated with CPOD and asthma, causes pulmonary haemorrhage also, especially in infants.

Once sensitized the body doesn't forget and it wants to block what's out there from coming in.

Tell me, was there a possible cross contamination? Spores move fast and 3 months is a long time, possibly other porous and semi-porous items could still be triggering you? I had to throw everything. Got to the stage that even one piece of clothing held near me would start symptoms, so everything went. I'm a minimalist now, it's critical for me to have a clean environment now, I need to be able to see and get to it to keep it in a state of clean.

I did not want to live like this. I couldn't survive any other way, I started having haemorrhages, that's a very dire stage of the illness.

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You've probably always had asthma but it was underlying and mould associated with damp kicked it off. Mould is one of my worse triggers, it takes very little exposure for me to be made ill and then takes ages for it to settle down again.

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Hi there

Dampness causes mould and that triggers respiratory problems. NHS online cover this subject. As with most things, it affects the young, elderly, asthmatics as well as healthy individuals. This is definitely something that we have to be vigilant about, and take measures to get rid of it. It’s a mine field out there unfortunately.

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Coincidence or not after 6 months living in a house full of dump I had pneumonia and developed asthma . I had 29 y.o then. Never have problems before...

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Damp is very much associated with asthma. I'm moving house and my consultant told me pick the house not the area, you cannot live in a damp house. I'm taking his advice.

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You may find it is just a coincidence. People can develop asthma at any time and sometimes the causes are very difficult to discover. I suspect that now you've got it, you'll have to find ways to deal with it. However, if you're lucky it might just clear itself up at some point: it has been known.

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Hi all. Thank you for all of the advice and snippets on info- I’m surprised that a short window of damp exposure can actually have a lasting impact on respiratory health but at least it answers my original question.

One thing I do know is that if I ever have a leak in my house again, I will be taking charge of the actions of my insurance company to ensure that repair work is carried in a timely manner and will also be taking myself on a holiday until it is complete- haha.

As always, wishing you all good health ☺️

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