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Old 06-26-2008, 07:58 AM   #1
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An asthma mystery

I wonder if you all have any ideas that would help my daughter and I solve this mystery. I babysit at her home 3 days a week and have been doing so for 6 months now. Starting about 2 months ago I started getting more and more short of breath at her home and finally I went into my doctor and after some guessing we concluded the extremely mild asthma I have had most of my adult life is being extremely aggravated at her house and is becoming moderate asthma requiring me to start using inhalers.

So it would seem something in her house is aggravating my asthma and to add to the mystery, her two cats have developed asthma -- one has had it for quite a while and the other younger cat now has it, of recent origin. Also my niece came to visit her and had to be leave her home completely after 12 hours due to one of the most incredible allergy attacks I have seen in recent history.

I was tested for allergies using the new blood test ImmunoCap and so far I am not allergic to cats or dust mites. Tests for mold are still pending or were forgotten we're not sure which but they aren't back yet.

What would you suggest my daughter do to find the culprit without having to spend $1000 (estimate for a full mold scan of her house) or replacing her entire flooring (carpets now) at the cost of about $6-8,000 for all hard floors? Thanks.

 
Old 06-26-2008, 10:22 AM   #2
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Re: An asthma mystery

There's a company called Moldetect that sells an affordable home mold test kit that comes with detailed instructions and is then analyzed by a reputable lab - we used it to test our home and the results were very detailed and helpful, so she might consider that option for the mold testing.

Unfortunately, the carpet and cats are both potential triggers that could be problematic. She might be able to minimize those triggers by getting HEPA air filters in the rooms with carpet, or by getting a more effective central air filtration system on her furnace/Air Conditioning. The individual HEPA room filters are around $200 at most major home improvement stores. The central systems are quite a bit more.

 
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