I believe that most breathing problems, including asthma, is linked to past or current mold exposure. I also believe that the air conditioning and heating systems in our homes and schools contribute to increased mold exposure. A recent study has further confirmed a fungal component to asthma. A friend of mine is a board-certified pulmonologist and after learning of the fungus link to breathing problems a few years ago, he began testing his patients for fungus. The rest is history. He now contends that about 75% of lung infections are linked to fungus. Unfortunately, lung doctors routinely hand out antibiotics and cortisone to their patients with lung infections because they believe that infections require these two medications.
MedPage Today just published an article that states that healthcare workers have the highest asthma prevalence. Why? While they blame powdered exam gloves, aerosolized drugs and disinfectants (which I believe can certainly be secondary irritants), the true cause of their breathing problems are more likely workplace related! These workers are unknowingly being exposed to mold in the hospitals they work in.
Healthcare workers are not alone. Far too many hospitalized patients are becoming infected simply because they inhale while hospitalized. Some present to the hospital with a bacterial infection and die due to a fungal infection that they contracted while hospitalized. We call these “nosocomial infections.” They are not rare and when combined with antibiotic resistance, due to the erroneous use of antibiotics, they account for millions of hospital injuries and deaths and billions of dollars in expenses annually. Without physicians being aware of the existence of mold in hospital HVAC systems, healthcare workers will continue to rank highest among asthma patients.
Please be careful and know that hospitals are life-saving for many people. But the opposite is also true.