Can Mold Exposure Cause Headaches?

mold-exposure-symptomsSo, does mold give you headaches? This question may sound strange to most of you because these two things seem obviously have nothing to do with each other. However, the truth is mold exposure can be the underlying cause of your typical headache or migraine. Certain types of indoor molds, in particular the “black mold”, can make you sick. That’s to say, headaches from mold and mildew do exist.

As you can see now, this fungus causes allergic reactions and mold allergies are a major trigger for headaches and chronic sinus infection. Although it plays an important role in decomposition of dead plants and trees, as well as environmental recycling essential nutrients, it can develop in homes and cause some types of body infections and allergies.

Head pain can be unbearable. Arguably, this is not a deadly disease but the bad part is that it is hard to diagnose. Thanks to the advances in imaging technology, scientists have confirmed that headache could be caused by allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS). In particularly, fungal sphenoid sinusitis can be overlooked and misdiagnosed by a neurologist. This is because headaches caused by fungal maxillary sinusitis are rare.

Mold is a fungus. This is a plant-like creature that has no chlorophyll. So it mainly obtains food from dead organic matter and it can work together with bacteria to break down complex organic matter. Although fungi mostly feed on dead organisms, sometimes they also attack living things. This is better known as fungal infections and the treatment is to find a way to remove them.

Over the past three decades, fungal infections have increased significantly. The reasons for this are two-fold. On the one hand, public awareness about fungal infections has been increased. On the other hand, the use of many new immunosuppressive therapies and overuse of antibiotics should be blamed too. When the body’s immune system is suppressed, fungi have the opportunity to invade the body and produce some side effects.

Since light is not required for this fungus to get food, this fungus can survive in a dark and humid environment. Unfortunately, sinus is that ideal cavity for fungi growth and reproduction. What’s worse, mold spores are commonly found in air in damp, dark environment. So, breathing in mold can lead to sneezing, runny nose, headache and other allergic reactions due to immune system reactions, which mean a substance called histamine is released.

Another thing to remember is that there are different types of mold. So, an allergic reaction caused by different types varies from person to person when it comes to symptoms and severity. But the good news is that not all fungi cause allergies. And the major ones associated with headaches and other allergic symptoms include Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys chartarum.

The reason why molds and mildew are harmful to health is that they release microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) and unpleasant smell. Besides of migraines, they also cause other health problems, such as dizziness, memory loss, nausea, itching, fatigue, sore throat, muscle pain, pneumonia, and even cancer.

The bad news is that modern houses are more compact, compared to the old-time, big, and well-ventilated ones. For that reason, leaking pipes, wet basement and wet attic can easily increase moisture in the house and then the risk of headache.

So, don’t underestimate the dangers of toxic mold exposure. If this indoor allergen is the culprit for headache and other infections, mold removal is required. Unfortunately, for the time being there is no practical way can eliminate them all. Nevertheless, controlling moisture is often considered the best way to control indoor mold growth. In this case, usually installing a dehumidifier in office or house is highly recommended.

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