Attacks During A Bath Or Shower? Help Needed!

Question

Asked by asthmatique

Attacks During A Bath Or Shower? Help Needed!

Having been in the danger zone for the past several months, I now have my asthma under fairly good control. My biggest worry is about taking a bath and washing my hair. I simply cannot get through this procedure without having a major asthma attack. It terrifies me and I will not even attempt this unless someone is home. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas/suggestions for me.

I am 67 and have had asthma since I was 49. The past year it has gotten much worse.

Thank you!

kay

Answer

Hi Kay,

Sorry you haven't gotten an answer before this. I can think of a couple of reasons why you might be having asthma attacks while in the shower/bathtub. Mold & mildew sometimes hang out in moist environments like bathrooms. The mold growth might not be visible. It could be behind the walls or under the flooring (if there was ever a leak in your bathroom).

Mildew is generally visible, as a greenish or black discoloration along the grout in a tiled bathroom wall. Either way, mold spores can be asthma triggers, so removing the source can go a long way towards controlling your symptoms. I'd ask someone else to come in and do a thorough cleaning of your bathroom with a fungicidal cleaning solution. You may also want to have a mold expert come in and test.

Another possibility is that perfumes/scents in your soap, shampoo or conditioner may be acting as an irritant and stimulant for asthma attacks. If so, changing to unscented products should help.

And yet another idea, especially given your age, is that the exertion required to bathe and to reach up and shampoo your hair could be inducing your symptoms. I would look at that as a sort of exercise-induced asthma (EIA). EIA is usually treated by taking a puff or two of a rescue (albuterol) inhaler a few minutes prior to beginning exercise. So, you might try that and see if it helps, if eliminating mold and scent triggers doesn't.

Your best bet, though, is to discuss your fears and possible actions with your personal physician or a pulmonologist/allergist. I'm sure there is a solution for you!

To your health,

Kathi

Answered by Kathi MacNaughton