Can mold cause your migraines? A lot of people wonder about it so let’s see if it’s cause for concern.
Molds are a type of fungi that is invisible to the naked eye. While these microscopic fungi thrive outdoors in plants and animal matter, they are also commonly found in homes.
Mold grows well on paper products, ceiling tiles, wood products, dust, your wall’s insulation, drywall, carpets, and can easily float through the air!
Not all molds are harmful, but some toxic molds might be at the source of your health problems. Read this article to find out whether the mold in your house is causing your migraine.
Can Mold Cause Your Migraines?
Yes, migraines are one of the common symptoms of mold exposure and inhalation. Migraines caused by molds can occur for several reasons.
The most common explanation for these migraines is an allergic reaction. Inhaling mold spores can irritate your respiratory system and as a result this can trigger a reaction in your sinuses, ultimately causing headaches and migraines.
Headaches that you experience from being around mold can also be a result of increased sinus pressure. This is because inhaling mold spores can inflame the mucous membranes in the nasal and sinus cavities.
Inflammation is when your body flags an invader and responds to it by sending white blood cells to the spot. In this case, inhaling the mold can trigger a response from body as it fights off the foreign fungus.
Some molds also secrete toxic substances known as mycotoxins, and a migraine might be your body’s reaction to these mycotoxins. A long-term exposure to mold spores can affect your immune system and can worsen seasonal allergies symptoms.
Is it a Sinus Headache or a Migraine Headache?
Mold can cause both sinus headaches and migraine headaches. They can often be mistaken for the same, but both are notably different.
Sinus headaches are characterized by a dull, constant pressure in parts of your face such as the cheekbones, forehead, the bridge of your nose, or your inner ears. At its worst, you may feel a pressure build-up in your eyes when you are sneezing.
Migraine headaches are similar to sinus headaches, but include a few more symptoms such as:
- Light sensitivity
- Noise sensitivity
- Throbbing pain
- Headache that worsens during physical activity
Treating Migraines Caused by Molds
Thankfully, migraines caused by molds can be treated. Many people may try taking pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil, which may help reduce your symptoms. However, it may not be strong enough to relieve the debilitating pressure that comes with a migraine.
While sinus headaches and migraine headaches can both be treated with over the counter (OTC) medicines, it is also advisable to address the leading cause of the problem, mold growth in your home, to avoid your symptoms from recurring.
You can prevent mold from growing in your home by maintaining proper house hygiene, having proper air circulation and air filtering appliances, and by keeping humidity levels under control.
The first step in treating your migraines is to consult either a neurologist or an ENT doctor. They can help you make a treatment plan for your migraine, and may prescribe medication such as:
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays
- Mold allergy shots
- Saline nasal rinses
And, if your symptoms persist or get worse, it is important to know when to seek further help. You can read more on this in our article, “When to go to the ER for a Migraine”.
And there you have it! Now you know a little bit more about the connection between mold and migraines.