24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Survey Finds U.S. Parents Split on COVID Vaccination for Kids Under 12Most Unvaccinated Americans Want to Stay That Way: PollIt's Tick Season: Protect Yourself From Lyme DiseaseHigh-Tech Exoskeletons Improve Bowel Function in People With Spinal Cord Injury'Superbug' Fungus Spreads Among Vulnerable in Two U.S. CitiesVaccinations Start to Climb in States Hit Hard by Delta VariantAs Olympics Begin, Tokyo Posts Highest Number of New COVID Cases in Six MonthsVirtual Roller Coaster Ride Study Brings New Insights Into MigraineBiden Says Full Approval for COVID Vaccines Coming SoonPfizer Vaccine Offers 88% Protection Against Delta Variant, But 2 Doses NeededSecret Weapon: Why the 2nd Dose of Pfizer Vaccine Is So CrucialIn a First for the Continent, Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Produced in South AfricaLockdowns' Effects on Health Still Less Than Harm From Pandemic: ExpertsCOVID Drove Biggest Drop in U.S. Life Expectancy Since World War IIJ&J Vaccine Weak Against Delta Variant, 2nd Dose May Be NeededDouble Trouble: Wildfire Smoke Could Boost Odds for COVID's SpreadStatin Users May Have Added Protection Against Severe COVID-19Severe COVID in Kids: Rare, but Brain Issues Can ResultOne-Dose Blood Thinner Could Slash Blood Clot Risk After Knee ReplacementU.S. Issues Toughest Travel Alert for Britain As COVID Cases There ClimbPediatricians' Group: All School Kids, Staff Should Continue to Wear MasksGeneticists Probe Origins of Painful Cluster HeadachesAny COVID Infection Leaves Strong Antibody Levels in KidsMany Hit Hard by Pandemic Now Swamped by Medical DebtU.S. Surgeon General Backs Local Mask Mandates When NeededMake Summer Camp Safe for Your Child With Asthma, AllergiesCanada May Open Borders to Fully Vaccinated Americans by Mid-AugustCDC Advisors to Discuss 3rd COVID Vaccine Dose for ImmunocompromisedFDA to Prioritize Full Approval for Pfizer COVID VaccineEven a Little Lead in Drinking Water Can Harm People With Kidney DiseaseStatin's Health Benefits Far Outweigh  Any Potential Harms: StudyMore Than a Quarter of Long COVID Patients Still Not Recovered After 6 MonthsWhy Many Black & Hispanic Americans Distrust COVID VaccinesA Better Test to Help Spot Glaucoma?U.S. Surgeon General Issues Call to Counter 'Urgent Threat' of Vaccine MisinformationFriends, Family Key to Turning a 'No' on Vaccination to a 'Yes'AHA News: How Healthy Is Your Neighborhood? Where You Live Can Greatly Affect Heart, Brain HealthHeart Troubles Ease Over Time in Kids With MIS-CUltra-Processed Foods Might Help Drive Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseCOVID Antibodies From Vaccination Are Almost 3 Times Higher Than From InfectionHalf of U.S. Teens Plan to Get COVID Shot, But Can Numbers Go Higher?Many States Move to Ban Vaccine Mandates, Passports in Public SchoolsBusted Ankle? What's Better, a Cast or Brace?New COVID Cases Double in U.S. in Past Three WeeksAmericans With Diabetes Were Hit Hard by COVID PandemicAHA News: The Challenge of Diabetes in the Black Community Needs Comprehensive SolutionsInhaled COVID Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal TrialsFlu Shot Might Help Ward Off Severe COVIDCould Men's Testosterone Play Role in COVID Survival?Adults With ADHD May Face Higher Odds for Physical Illnesses: Study
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Mold a Big Threat to People With COPD

HealthDay News
by By Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jun 16th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, June 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to mold both in and out of the home may worsen breathlessness and other symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), new research suggests.

More than 16 million Americans have COPD, according to the American Lung Association. COPD is an umbrella term for chronic lung diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema, which literally take your breath away. COPD flares can be triggered by exposure to pollution, dust, cigarette smoke, mold and other airway irritants.

"Patients with COPD had significantly more flares of their disease requiring visits to their doctor and/or antibiotics if they reported activities that put them at risk of exposure to mold, including vacuuming their homes frequently," said study author Dr. Chris Kosmidis. He is a senior lecturer in infectious diseases at the University of Manchester in England.

In the study, 140 people with COPD answered questions about possible exposure to mold, visits to their doctor for COPD flares, and how many times they needed antibiotics to treat such flares during the past year.

Folks who vacuumed their home more than once a week were four times more likely to visit a doctor for COPD symptoms at least four times in the previous year. When you vacuum up mold, the spores may pass through the filter and be released into the air, the researchers said.

Also, those who didn't ask visitors to their home to take their shoes off were more than three times as likely to see a doctor for COPD symptoms at least four times during the previous year.

These people were also more likely to require more than four doses antibiotics to treat their COPD flares during the past year.

There are steps to take to reduce mold exposure to mold, Kosmidis said.

"Opening windows often to allow room ventilation may help, including during and after vacuuming," he said. Properly maintaining the vacuum cleaner and emptying it when full may also cut down on mold exposure, and always ask guests to take their shoes off before they enter your home so they don't track mold in with them, Kosmidis said.

Other potential exposures to mold at home are pets, air humidifiers, carpets or drying clothes indoors, but these were not associated with COPD flares in the new study.

Outdoors, gardening, composting or living close to farms or industrial sites can also lead to mold exposure, Kosmidis said. People who lived within a mile of industrial composting sites were more likely to need antibiotics to treat COPD flares in the previous year, the study found.

Individuals who worked in agriculture were also more likely to see their doctor for COPD flares or need antibiotics, although most study participants were no longer working.

The main culprit appears to be aspergillus, a mold found in air conditioning, damp walls and ceilings, and decaying vegetation or composts. Exposure to aspergillus can also lead to chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA), a serious but rare lung disease. Participants in the study were twice as likely to have CPA if they lived within a mile of a farm or agricultural area. Sixty of the 140 people in the study had CPA and COPD.

The study was published June 13 in the journal Pulmonology.

One U.S. expert not part of the study outlined ways to prevent COPD outbreaks.

"Taking your medication as directed, exercising to the limit that you can, keeping up with vaccines and not smoking can help prevent COPD flares," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

There are plenty of COPD triggers besides mold, he added.

"High-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters are a great way to keep your air clean," Horovitz noted. These filters can remove allergens, dander, chemicals, pollen and dust and other potential triggers that can cause COPD to flare, he said. HEPA filters can also trap mold.

Getting rid of mold in your walls can be a bit trickier. "You may need to call in the pros," Horovitz said. "You can't just throw bleach at it. You may have to excavate and rebuild."

More information

Learn more about living with COPD at the American Lung Association.

SOURCES: Chris Kosmidis MD, PhD, senior lecturer, infectious diseases, University of Manchester, England; Len Horovitz, MD, pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Pulmonology, June 13, 2021