Can mold or mildew cause headaches?
Sometimes referred to as a mold migraine, headaches after being exposed to mold or mildew could be the sign of a mold allergy. For those with a mildew allergy, the immune system has an overreaction when exposed to the allergen. This can result in coughing, headaches, asthma, and breathing problems. The best way to prevent this kind of allergic reaction is to avoid encountering the allergen. If you know that you have mold or mildew in your home, it’s important to have it removed to avoid chronic discomfort.
What causes black mold and mildew in the house?
There are several risk factors that can contribute to the development of mold:
- Working or living in a home that has been exposed to high levels of moisture, such as a flood
- Working or living in a home with poor air circulation
- Working or living in a home with high humidity levels
- Working in a career that requires mold exposure
In addition to these risk factors for household mold, people who have a family history of allergies may be more likely to be allergic to mold and mildew.
What are the symptoms of mold & mildew exposure?
If you’ve been exposed to mold or mildew, you may notice the following mold allergy symptoms:
- Tightness in chest
- Trouble breathing
- Poor sleep hygiene
How can I treat mold & mildew allergies?
Visit your healthcare provider or an ear, nose, and throat physician if you notice any of the above symptoms of a mildew allergy. Your doctor can work with you to develop a personalized allergy treatment plan that helps alleviate your symptoms. Some of the possible treatments for mold exposure include the following:
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays to eliminate inflammation
- Decongestants to improve breathing and relieve congestion
- Mold allergy shots to reduce the body’s reaction to the allergen
- Saline nasal rinses to clear your nasal passageway of allergens
- Antihistamines to reduce itchiness, running nose, and sneezing
Additionally, the following preventative measures can be taken to avoid mold and mildew exposure:
- Ensure your bathroom has proper airflow and ventilation
- Change your air filters as needed
- Do not place carpeting in bathrooms and basements
- Use an air conditioner
- Consider installing a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) air filtration system
- Clean any areas that are damp (especially in basements)
- Use a dehumidifier as needed (especially during warmer months)
- Use proper outdoor drainage to move water away from your home
If you are suffering from mold and mildew reactions, the first step is to consult with a sleep health expert. Ear, nose, and throat specialists at eos sleep have extensive experience in treating ear, nose, and throat conditions as well as sleep-related problems. Call 212.873.6036 today or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or to learn more about eos sleep treatment options.