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Mystery respiratory problem...could it be mould spores or dustmites?

(11 Posts)
leatherlover Sat 08-Oct-11 22:07:40

Hello there. I'm 8 months pregnant with 2 small children so pretty tired and probably immunosuppressed because of this. Over the last 6 weeks I've started to cough and wheeze particularly at night to the point where my GP has prescribed a salbutamol inhaler. I'm gutted as I've always been very healthy and am worried about the effect this may have on the baby. After lots of investigation including thyroid function tests, ECG and lung xray I still don't really know what's going on. I recently went to see a Bowen therapist who specialises in respiratory ailments and he told me it was highly likely I was allergic to dust mite poo!! He said it was a common problem and could come on at any time of life and to go home and vacuum my mattress. After going mad with the vaccuuming, dusting, washing pillows, cuddly toys, buying an air purifier and a new filter for the vacuum cleaner, I still have the same symptoms. Granted it's only a week in to the new 'clean regime' but shouldn't things have improved by now. Does anyone else suffer with this problem? How long should it take for things to improve? Will I be allergic forever now? Could it actually be Asthma? The GP thinks not but he didn't have any answer other than to treat the symptoms with the inhaler and tell me to come back if things didn't improve. Appreciate advice...

PigletJohn Sat 08-Oct-11 22:19:23

If it is safe for you, you can try "hayfever and allergy" antihistamine remedies like Clarytin or the own-brand ones. I find they work with dust as well as weather-related itchy eyes that are probably pollen or fungal spores.

It takes a long time to get all the dust up. Have you got a modern vac with the extra filter (gorgotten what it's called) otherwise you are just recirculating the fine particles and blowing them around.

The Ionising Air purifiers with a quiet fan (Lloyds Chemist and Allergan put their names on them) truly are very effective at stopping fine particles. You actually get a dirty mark on the floor or wall by them where they have made fine particles clump up and fall out of the air. If you have ever noticed what a lot of dust gets attracted to the TV screen, they work the same way (also have a washable filter for large dust particles). You can often pick them up on ebay for a tenner or so.

You haven't got a cat/dog/hampster, have you?

PigletJohn Sat 08-Oct-11 22:23:06

p.s. if by "dusting" you mean using a yellow duster, or a feather duster, or anything similar, stop it at once. They just spread the dust into the air. Wet mopping and wet wiping is needed.

Your bedding, pillows and carpet could be saturated with dustmite dust, so very dificult to get it all out. So could your wardrobes, drawers, clothes and on top of the wardobes etc. You may have to invest in some plastic clothes-bags. Some people bin the carpets and go for hard flooring that can be wet-mopped.


freefrommum Sun 09-Oct-11 16:38:56

According to DS's consultant, mold spores cause lots of breathing problems at this time of year (especially for asthmatics or those with allergiess) so it is possible that this is the cause.

KatyMac Sun 09-Oct-11 16:46:21

Hoover your mattress too

You can buy 'bags' for your pillows & quilts (& mattresses) to contain the mould spores (which grow on the dustmite poo & is the most likely allergen)

Carpets & curtains are awful, hard floors & blinds are worth investing in if it improves after everything else

I agree about dusting btw; it's pointless

leatherlover Sun 09-Oct-11 22:32:23

Thank you all very much for your suggestions. I don't do dusting -perhaps that's the problem!!! Funnily enough we had new carpets upstairs about 2 months ago where previously there were hard floors. I thought I was making it cosier for the kids!! The air filter does seem to make the air in the bedrooms seem fresher...someone else said mould spores can be a problem and I'm going to look into those zip up mattress protectors. DH went out and ordered toppers today probably thinking they'd be helpful but I think they just make you more comfortable as opposed to stopping dustmites. I think I need a Hepa filtered vacuum cleaner too as we do have 2 cats...we've had them for 7 years though and never had a problem...anyway thank you at least I have something to go on now!

PigletJohn Sun 09-Oct-11 22:37:49

ah, yes, Hepa, that's the word I'd forgotten.

PigletJohn Sun 09-Oct-11 22:44:57

p.s. you can also get granules that go in the hoover bag to neutralise dust mite particles. I think ours come from Dyas. They are branded IBA. They are not just the scented ones that are more common.

If you are thinking of buying a new vac, try to look at the "Which" reviews (your local library will have them) as they pay a lot of attention now to testing dust emissions. You will want to verify that you can easily get replacement filter packs for whatever you get. The Miele ones come with every pack of bags.

ZhenXiang Sun 09-Oct-11 22:53:55

Good site here for information about dust mites and ways to keep them under control particularly for your bed.

Don't just hoover mattress either steam clean or use iron on hottest setting with steam on full over surface first then hoover.

Some hoovers have a dusting attachment you can use that first to get up the dust then wipe over with wet rag.

At 8 months pregnant baby will have taken up a lot of space and your lungs may be somewhat restricted in their movement, I did get very breathless in the last month with my DD. If you can sleep propped up on cushions this may help, sometimes I found lying on my left side made it worse as then only my right lung could expand fully as I was lying on my left one.

If you are having an allergic reaction to something, sometimes your body can also react to other environmental factors that you are commonly around so you may become more sensitive to cat hair/foods etc....

leatherlover Mon 10-Oct-11 15:24:25

ZhenXiang -interesting! I'm ALWAYS worse lying on my left side....Maybe this 3rd baby is bigger and taking up more room than my girls did...oh gosh I've got another month to go....

mousyfledermaus Mon 10-Oct-11 15:30:35

could be asthma or allergies, pregancy does funny things to the body.
my hayfever was horrendous during pregnancy both times.
go to your gp, he/she might prespcribe low dose steroids (fluticasone spray) for the underlying problem.
in the meantime write a list for your dh/dp to do regarding dusting and hoovering.

- hoover the whole house, paying special intention on the bed
- air the duvet (preferably outdoors as mites hate that and die in uv-light)
- wash the duvet (big drum in laundrette)
- wash the covers at 60
- damp dust the whole house

op , while your dh/dp goes on this this, you will spend a lovely day with the dc somewhere where she will be served brew after brew with your feet up!

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