Avatar universal

Allergic to my Apartment?

The answer is probably yes, but I'm not sure what to do.
I've been living in NYC for about a year now (I'm 28), and have had some serious problems with my apartments, including my latest one, which is a recently-renovated 2br in Brooklyn.
Basically what happens is, as I spend more time in the bathroom and kitchen, I slowly lose my ability to breathe. If I just hang around and don't talk or sing much, it's a slow descent into asthma hell, only realised when I go outside and have to cough all of it up. Otherwise, I can feel congestion in back upper back appear as I respire quicker.
It's a railroad apartment with the kitchen and bathroom in the middle, bedrooms at either end, one bedroom has another bathroom. It sounds nice, I have no roommates, but it doesn't mean anything if I can't **** breathe.
I've been to an allergist and have been diagnosed with allergies to mold, dust, and cats (though I love cats).
I generally feel better in the bedroom (I'm trying to set the other one up as an office), but because of the massive amount of dirt/dust/whatever pipes in from the windows, I have to clean it a lot (which is fine).
The bigger issue is dealing with whatever triggers my asthma in my now-super-clean apartment - I'm afraid it might be mold. At nights, I close both doors to the kitchen/middle area and have a HEPA filter going full blast while I sleep. Hasn't really made a difference, unfortunately.
It's really hard to explain this to people, especially in a clean, recently-renovated apartment, since if it can't be seen, it obviously doesn't exist⸮
I moved into this place on Dec 1, after a very long apartment search, after leaving two other apartments previously because of similar/mold reasons, and while it seemed perfectly fine in the "search" phase, it somehow acquired a massive amount of dust by the time I'd moved in.
I thought cleaning up the place would help - I also bought a new HEPA filter, and slowly ditched all my furniture that had been associated with a previously-moldy apartment, and it did, for a while.
But in the last week or so, something has gone wrong, and whenever I sit down in the middle part of my apartment, I can feel my lungs inflame. Sometimes it feels like my back is sweating, which is gross, because it's probably just mucus filling up my lungs.
As mentioned, I've been to an allergist, have a daily inhaler - I'd originally been on Asmanex (200mcg mometasone furoate, two hits a day), now on Dulera (200mcg mometasone fuorate + 5mcg formoterol fumarate dihydrate, two hits TWICE a day), plus an anti-histamine. I also have an albuterol rescue inhaler, that I've had to take almost daily.
While the inhalers work wonderfully against outdoor allergens - I'm totally fine outside on a high-pollen + bad air quality day, but as soon as I come back inside, I can feel my lungs slowly seal up. HEPA filters don't really do much, either, circulating the air seems to make it worse.
I've left two apartments previously in the last year for similar reasons, but it leaves me in a very hairy situation, if I do ever want to rent an apartment again, since I can't hold a lease if I keep breaking them (it was hard to get this one after breaking my previous).
This has unfortunately been the nicest/newest apartment I've ever lived in, and the dichotomy between all this new stuff and slowly suffocating because of something in the air bothers me.
As an added layer of WTF, I'm usually fine in my friends' apartments, even if I stay the night, but wherever I ****** live seems to have a problem.
Allergists always just want to give me more drugs, which don't really seem to be working for this issue.
Not sure what else to do, so I'm asking you lovely people. Would love any help.
Thanks! :)
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there -

Since you feel better in some rooms other than others, and it's following you from apartment to apartment, could it be an allergy to some furniture you have? Did you buy new furniture when you moved to NY? Maybe it's a chemical treatment on a stain-resistant couch, or a stain on a table. It would make sense that it's something specific to your apartments since it isn't happening at your friends' apartments.

It could also be a candle you have, or air freshener, or something like that, or even something you've used for years, as allergies can develop at any time.

I hope you feel better!
746512 tn?1388807580
You have the option of doing allergy tests and depending on the results, doing allergy shots to help you desensitive.  

I did that to my cats because I couldn't think of not having animals around going forward - worked very well for me.

What are you cleaning with?  Try going something more natural or just use vinegar and water.  Keep windows closed, get a company in to clean the vents (might be a lot of dust in there and thus causing the problems.  

Another option is to find a company that tests for mould levels and species .... Would give you a better idea of what is present.  They would also test for cockroach dropping - a very common asthma trigger.  If you have to move again you would at least have written proof of why you can't live there.  

Hope that gives you a couple of ideas.
Avatar universal
There are so many different kinds of mold. I agree with you. Throwing drugs at it without knowing the cause isn't your best plan.

If there are roach droppings you'll see them. They look like small specks of dirt. Mold can be a lot trickier because there are so many, but you have trouble in the kitchen and bath, both places where you can have hidden dampness.

Also if you use fragrances in your house, they can be very irritating. I can't be around them.

Also look for Febreeze Allergen spray. It makes particles in the air drop to the floor where they can bet mopped or vacuumed up.

Do you have a Hepatitis vacuum? If not your backcourt just be stirring things up and making everything worse.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Asthma Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Find out if your city is a top "allergy capital."
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, read on for what plants are to blame, where to find them and how to get relief.
Allergist Dr. Lily Pien answers Medhelp users' most pressing allergy-related questions
When you start sniffling and sneezing, you know spring has sprung. Check out these four natural remedies to nix spring allergies.