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Dyspnea / Reactive Airway
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Dyspnea / Reactive Airway

After cleaning my bathtub with Zap (which contains Sulphuric Acid and Muratic Acid), I began having bouts of severe shortness of breath, and excessive yawning. A friend of mine who is a pediatrician told me that it was Reactive Airway.  I went to a pulmonary doctor who  put me through all sorts of tests (heart, lung, etc.) and finally just said "it must be stress."  After two months it finally went away. I felt that the stress diagnosis was wrong, as moments of stress did not bring the symptoms on or make them any worse.  This all happened over a year ago.
Just two weeks ago, I used the product CLR (which contains Glycolic Acid) for cleaning purposes; I did use a face mask to help keep from inhaling the fumes, though the mask only helps so much.  I am now having the same problems with breathing.  Could my breathing problems be due to  the cleaning products, and if so, what can I do to get through this?  It is so miserable not to be able to breathe.
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Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS) refers to the sudden development of asthma following an insult to the lung.  This insult could be an acute intense chemical exposure, such as your recent use of CLR and your use of Zap over a year ago.  Acid fumes cause irritation or inflammation of the airways of the lungs.  This may be temporary or permanent depending on the concentration, duration, and frequency of the exposure.

As long as you are not exposed any more, this inflammation may go away by itself.  Then you would no longer be troubled by the shortness of breath and excessive yawning.  Sometimes it takes medicine to clear away the inflammation.  Check with your doctor to see if you would benefit from a medicine that is used to control asthma such as an inhaled steroid.  In the future avoid using these cleaning products.  When you must use them be sure that the area is well ventilated in addition to wearing the mask.
2 Comments
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It seems obvious that yes, these cleaning agents are causing a problem with your breathing.  May I ask why you use these harsh chemicals?  You may want to consider not using them anymore as it could very well cause irreversible damage to your lungs.  You can see how uncomfortable you feel right now, and the last time you were fortunate it went away after a couple of months.  Can you imagine feeling like that All The Time??  Baby your lungs.  God only gave us one set.
As for feeling better, you may want to revisit your doctor and ask him for an inhaler to use to help get your lungs functioning normally again.  He can tell you which would be best for your particular problem.  And lets hope it goes away like the last time.  

Take care.
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