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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16325
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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I stupidly did a faux finish in a 14x14 room on all four

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I stupidly did a faux finish in a 14x14 room on all four walls with oil based paint. I opened the windows but did not use respiratory protection.( I knew better) I was in the room about four hours straight. It has been four days and I still have a sore throat, cough, headache. Is this normal for that amount of exposure?


Answers provided are for informational use only and do not confer patient-provider relationship. My name is ***** ***** I will help you. Thanks so much for requesting me.

Are you having any pain with breathing?

Is the cough productive (are you getting up sputum)?

Do you have a fever?

Thanks for the additional information,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No pain when breathing. I coughing up some sputum and I had fever and chills about five hours after I got out of the room. It started about 30 minutes after I got away from the fumes.

Thanks so much for the additional information.

It isn't normal to have sore throat, cough, and headache for 4 days after exposure, if the symptoms are caused by the paint fumes. It is possible that the symtoms aren't related to the exposure at all, but are a simple upper respiratory infection (a "cold") that you may have caught before you began painting. It can take up to a week after you've been exposed to a cold virus to develop symptoms.

Generally one doesn't have fever and chills with exposure to paint fumes. If you aren't feeling better in a day or two you should see your primary provider, but this doesn't sound like a chemical pneumonia. Another possibility is a bacterial infection (like strep throat). If your throat is red and extremely sore, you should definitely see your provider right away for antibiotics. Meanwhile, gargling with warm salt water can help the sore throat and over the counter pain relievers (Tylenol, etc.) can help with the headache and the sore throat.

I hope you feel better soon.

Kind regards,


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