NTM is sometimes called a “cousin” of tuberculosis, or TB. That’s because symptoms can be nearly identical and in test results they can look very similar, even though they are very different diseases. TB is contagious and can be spread from person to person. NTM is not considered contagious.
NTM bacteria are common in the environment and found all around. NTM is aerosolized, which means they live in water particles that float in the air and are breathed in.
The bacteria can be found in:
Steam from hot
tubs and showers
Mist from the water
used to wash dishes
Soil from parks
One study across 25 states showed that NTM bacteria was found in nearly 8 out of 10 water samples.
If this sounds like you, talk to your doctor about whether or not you may be suffering from an NTM lung infection.
If you have a lung condition, NTM bacteria can aggravate and make it worse. This can cause harm to your lungs over time. Worsening symptoms may also be a sign that you have an NTM infection. That’s why it’s important to get checked by your doctor if you feel your symptoms are not going away, or are getting worse.
If you have BRONCHIECTASIS
and NTM: Your symptoms, like a cough, may get worse and you could find yourself using clearance devices more often
If you have
COPD and NTM: You may experience more flare-ups, difficulty breathing, and you may have a harder time catching your breath
If you have
ASTHMA and NTM: You may experience more flare-ups and have a much harder time catching your breath
Does it sound like you could have an NTM lung infection? People just like you have shared their stories in hopes of spreading more awareness about this rare disease.