Coughing in one room - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Coughing in one room

Hope you guys don't mind me posting here for some advice about my own health, instead of my cats'! I'm seriously out of ideas here so I don't know what else to do. I figure maybe if I ask enough people, someone will know what's going on.

I have a very frustrating problem. Every night, when I go to bed, I start coughing uncontrollably. It's so bad I often can't fall asleep for hours. Sometimes taking a hot shower helps, sometimes it doesn't.

The weird thing is, this only happens in one room of my condo. I tried moving the bed to a different room, and I was cough-free that night, so it's clearly something in the bedroom, and clearly nothing in/on the bed and sheets.

I don't even know how to begin solving this problem. We do have mold in our attic, but we had a guy come out to treat it yesterday and he assured us the spores would not be floating around if left undisturbed, and that if they were floating around, they'd be in every room, not just one (the attic door isn't even above the bedroom). He also inspected the bedroom and said he did not see any signs of mold growth in there.

We don't have central air/heat and there are no vents in the bedroom. Opening or closing windows doesn't seem to make a difference. The only furniture in the bedroom is the bed, two dressers, and my boyfriend's guitar.

I'm so frustrated from lack of sleep and I really don't know what else to do. I suppose I could go to a doctor, but I'm not sure what they could do beyond referring me to an allergist and testing me for a million different things in the hopes we might stumble upon something random. I can't even think of what might be in that room that's not in others. My only other option is just never using that room, which is silly, and not ideal in a tiny 2-bedroom condo.

Ideas? What could be causing this?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Also I should note, I've been living here for about a year and this problem didn't start until a few months ago. So whatever it is apparently wasn't there when I moved in. I can't think of anything we've added to the condo beyond a fish tank in the living room and the cats (which of course go in every room).
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:16 AM
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Maybe dust mites? They can get in the bedding, pillows, mattress. Do a superclean of the room, damp wipe the walls, vaccum the mattress, then get a new cover for it, throw out your old pillows and get new ones. Try to keep bedroom well vaccumed and dusted. Change beddding 2x/wk. and launder in hot water. Change pillowcase every day. If that doesn't improve things, then buy an air purifier, I think some also are like a humidifier. Since you notice a difference with a shower, maybe a humidifier itself may help. Do you sleep with the window open a little?----does that help or not?

It may be you're a bit allergic to the cats.....don't let them in the bedroom during the day or night. Hope some of these things help. Getting a good night's sleep is very important to your health and to function well.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dust-mites/DS00842

Last edited by catloverami; 01-05-2011 at 10:19 AM. Reason: addition of a website
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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We've tried vacuuming and wiping off the walls. Also I don't think it's anything in the bedding/pillows/mattress since moving the bed to a different room and sleeping there worked. I didn't cough once. It's only when I'm in that one room for an extended period of time. Same applies to the cats. They slept with us on the bedding they're always all over when we moved the bed to a different room, and I was fine.

We tried an air purifier too, and don't want to try a humidifier since we're actually having condensation problems in the condo right now. It's already too humid in here.

Having the window open doesn't seem to make any difference.

You can see why I am so stumped. I've already tried so many things and wracked my brain for every possible option.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:30 AM
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Why are you asking us? No one here is a doctor. Go and see one.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huge View Post
Why are you asking us? No one here is a doctor. Go and see one.
Unfortunately I don't currently have one. I've been trying to find a new general practitioner that's covered by my insurance for a while and it's proving difficult. Even if I can find one soon, the chances of my getting an appointment immediately (especially during the winter) are slim.

I am still looking, but until I can find one this is really interfering with my sleep and I was hoping someone might have some clues as to what I could try investigating or eliminating in that room. It seems pretty obvious that it's an allergy. So I assume a doctor would refer me to an allergist and run a battery of common allergy tests which may still not narrow down the cause. Trying to figure out possible causes seems like a good idea.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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To clarify, I'm skeptical of a doctor's ability to solve the root of this problem because I am pretty sure I know what it is: allergic asthma. I had asthma as a child and this feels exactly like it.

A doctor can certainly treat the symptoms by putting me on an inhaler again, but that isn't something I'd like to be on forever if I don't need to be (and the fact that I only have this problem in one room suggests I definitely don't need to be), so if I can find what's actually causing the reaction, that would be preferrable, and I'm not sure that part is something a doctor can help with unless they have some way of testing me for allergies to everything in that room. I'm just trying to get some ideas of potential allergens to narrow the culprit down.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:51 AM
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I'm guessing there is something in THAT particular room - good luck finding it - does the room have a rug? maybe something in or under the rug?
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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It does have a rug! I did a cursory test of laying next to it and inhaling deeply (did the same test with the cats a while ago actually) but maybe I wasn't exposed to it long enough to produce symptoms.

The coughing usually seems to start after being in there for a while (last night I managed to fall asleep pretty fast and it didn't bother me until Apollo woke me up in the middle of the night).

I suppose one thing I could try is just systematically removing things from the room one at a time.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 11:00 AM
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Yep good idea about removing things one at a time!
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