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Esophagitis and black mold

Dear Ask The Doctor:

My husband has worked in a building with black mold growing on the drywall for 9 months, could this cause esophagitis?


I am very sorry about your husband’s condition. The term esophagitis describes an inflammation and irritation of the lining of the esophagus which is a tube that connects the mouth with the stomach.
This condition usually causes pain, difficulty passing food, chest pain and decrease in your appetite. The most common causes are related to acid reflux, infections, use of medications and allergy to certain foods. It is not likely that esophagitis might be caused by breathing mold.
Expousre to mold could cause lung problems such as difficulty breathing, allergy reactions, wheezing, and chest pain. I noticed that your husband is taking Omeprazole, this medication decreases the amount of acid released in the stomach. If that medication does not help with his symptoms, I would suggest him to consult his physician for a re-evaluation of his symptoms and also to check his lungs, some lung symptoms might appear as esophagitis. Certainly a simple X ray would rule out that possibility. I wish him a prompt recovery.

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