Can Mold Cause Headaches and Dizziness? What You Need to Know

If you think you’ve been exposed to mold and you are experiencing headaches and dizziness, you may want to learn more about the side effects of mold exposure.

Mold can cause both headaches and dizziness in those allergic to mold exposure. Like many allergies, mold causes the sinuses to build up mucus, causing pressure on the sinuses. This is commonly referred to as a sinus headache.

Headaches caused by mold

Can Mold Cause Headaches and Dizziness?

In people who are allergic to mold exposure, mold can produce headaches and vertigo. Mold causes the sinuses to accumulate mucous, which puts pressure on the sinuses, similar to the symptoms of many allergies. The most popular name for this is a sinus headache.

Symptoms of a sinus headache include but are not limited to:

  • Pain and pressure in the forehead, eyes, and brow area
  • Bending forward makes the pain worse
  • Stuffy nose
  • Pain in the upper teeth
  • Fatigue

Dizziness is a common symptom of mold exposure. Ear infections and ear canal inflammation can be triggered by mold, which in turn affects the equilibrium in the ears.

The Eustachian tubes in the ears that normally help maintain our balance become off-kilter due to mucus and inflammation within the ears.

Mold and Headaches

For people with mold allergies, headaches can be a big part of those allergy symptoms. But is it the mold that’s causing the headaches?

Can Mold Give You Headaches?

Mold can give you headaches if you are prone to mold allergies due to the mold allergies putting uncomfortable and often painful pressure on the sinuses. Sinus infections and pressure cause discomfort in the forehead, browbone area, eyes, and even the upper teeth.

What Does a Mold Headache Feel Like?

A mold headache can feel like a sinus headache, with pressure on the forehead, brow area, eyes, and even the upper teeth. Mold allergies can cause a buildup of mucus within the sinuses, causing uncomfortable pressure and hence a headache.

Can Mold Cause Headaches Every Day?

Mold can cause headaches every day if exposure to mold is daily. Focusing on eliminating the mold will help reduce or even eliminate the mold headaches altogether. Mold allergies can make us miserable, so doing what we can to combat mold will largely reduce our allergic reaction to mold.

Immune systems exposed to mold every day will be on high alert every day, causing potentially miserable symptoms until the source of the allergy is eliminated. Start by locating the mold growth that is causing the allergic reaction and killing it to stop if from spreading. The more mold grows, the more mold spores will be flying around in the air of your home.

Purchase a humidity meter at your local hardware or home improvement store to test the humidity levels in your home. A recommended humidity level to prevent mold is 50% humidity and no higher.

Ensure you are using the exhaust fans in both your kitchen and bathrooms. Open windows for good air ventilation, and consider purchasing a dehumidifier to control the humidity levels in the home if you live in a more humid area.

Air purifiers are also worth strongly considering, as they pull allergens and other impurities out of the air to help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Can Smelling Mold Cause Headaches?

Smelling mold can cause headaches, as inhaling mold spores from the air is what triggers symptoms in those with mold allergies. Mold commonly affects the sinuses, and sinus pressure can cause a significant sinus headache.

Can High Mold Counts Cause Headaches?

Headaches can be caused by high mold counts during times of the year when humidity levels are particularly high. When there is more moisture in the air, mold tends to spread like wildfire, and in turn, there will be more mold spores in the air of a home during this time.

Seasonal allergies during higher humidity times of the year are common yet can be overcome by getting rid of the mold causing the symptoms of mold exposure.

Mold and Dizziness

Mold has been known to cause some allergic side effects from time to time, so it’s safe to assume that dizziness may be another symptom of mold exposure.

Can Mold Make You Dizzy?

A common symptom of mold exposure is dizziness, causing you to feel lightheaded as if you or the room you are in is spinning. Mold can affect the sinuses and inner ears, oftentimes causing ear infections or other ear symptoms such as tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears.

Ear issues can affect one’s sense of balance. The Eustachian tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat helps to maintain the pressure within the ears, which in turn stabilizes your sense of balance.

When the Eustachian tubes are plugged up with mucus during a sinus or ear infection, we lose our sense of balance and feel dizzy.

Can Mold Cause Vertigo?

Mold can cause vertigo, which leads to the feeling of dizziness with a sense of spinning and unstable balance. Mold commonly irritates the sinuses and ear canals, making vertigo a common tag-along symptom. The Eustachian tubes in the ears help us to feel a sense of balance.

When our sinuses and ear canals are plugged with mucus, our sense of balance is off, causing that vertigo feeling. Those suffering from vertigo may also experience nausea and vomiting due to the dizziness that vertigo gives us.

Can Black Mold Cause Vertigo?

Black mold can cause vertigo, which results in a spinning sensation and unsteady balance. Vertigo is a frequent accompanying symptom of mold because mold usually affects the sinuses and ear canals. The Eustachian tubes in the ear canals that normally stabilize balance become unstable due to mold allergies.

We experience vertigo when our sense of balance is off from the mucus buildup in our sinuses and ear canals. Due to the dizzy feeling that vertigo causes, those who encounter it may also feel nauseous and vomit.

Mold Facts and Mold FAQs

If you think that you’ve been exposed to mold and are concerned about its health ramifications, we dug a little deeper to provide you with more information.

Headaches and dizziness are concerning, as are other concerns you may have about your possible exposure to mold.

Is There a Blood Test for Mold Exposure?

According to the CDC, there is no blood test for mold. Allergy testing can be done by participating physicians for possible allergies to mold exposure, yet as of today, there is no test that shows when the mold exposure took place and from where.

How to Test for Mold Exposure in a House?

Testing for mold exposure in a house can be done by purchasing a mold test at your local home improvement or hardware store. You’ll want to pay close attention to the type of test you choose, as not all mold tests are created equal.

Things to keep in mind when choosing an in-home mold test:

  • There are test kits that test in-air mold but do not indicate which kind of mold.
  • If your mold test seems a bit more expensive than the others, look to see if the price includes sending your mold samples to a lab. Others may charge an additional fee for lab services.
  • Some mold test kits give you results in mere minutes as to whether it’s mold or not.

There are options, however, if you decide you’d rather not try to test the mold in your home yourself.

Who to Call for a Mold Inspection?

One may also choose to hire a mold inspection service to test their home for mold. This option does come with a bigger price tag, averaging about $400 for a mid-size home under 4,000 square feet.

In homes with a more severe mold infestation, the average cost of the inspection may go up considerably should the inspector be required to remove parts of a wall or floorboard to see the true extent of the mold damage.

Mold inspection professionals can be found in your local area by doing a Google search for “mold inspection services in <insert your city and state here>.”

How to Get a Free Mold Inspection

Although there are mold testing and mold remediation services that do provide free mold inspections, they aren’t providing this free service out of the goodness of their heart. Like any business, they are in it for the money.

There are certainly very reputable mold remediation services that may provide free mold inspections, but be aware of what could happen with some not-so-trustworthy services.

Just like auto repairs, it’s in the company’s best interest financially to find problems where perhaps problems don’t truly exist.

Be aware of services that try to alarm you by telling you that you have mold in your home. The truth is, all homes have mold. Mold spores are in the air and come into homes through open doors and windows, as well as from our clothes and our shoes.

Of course, you want to trust the service that you ultimately choose to do your mold testing for you. Between now and the time of your appointment, make every effort to educate yourself about in-home mold.

Research what a mold problem looks like, know if you can handle a small mold problem on your own, and when it’s recommended to hire a professional for mold remediation.

How Long Does a Mold Inspection Take?

Mold inspections in an average-sized home take about an hour to complete. A service professional will visit a home, speak to the homeowner, and listen to any concerns the homeowner may have.

The inspection itself involves a walk-around of the home and accessing HVAC ducts. The service provider may use a moisture meter to gauge moisture levels within the home around places where mold is prone to grow.

What Does Mold Poisoning Feel Like?

Mold toxicity is a more advanced mold problem, and the symptoms may exceed the common allergy-like symptoms such as sneezing, watering eyes, and skin rash. The human body may have an inflammatory reaction to toxic mold exposure caused by the mycotoxins in mold.

The symptoms of chronic inflammation are as follows:

  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Hair loss
  • Numbness and tingling in extremities
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained bouts of pain
  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety
  • Severe dehydration and thirst
  • Metallic taste in the mouth

The above symptoms of toxic mold are only a few of the many experienced by those who have suffered from mold exposure and can be difficult to diagnose.

Can Mold Cause MS-Like Symptoms?

Toxic mold can cause MS-like symptoms and has been shown to be a side effect of high mold toxicity and poisons that are produced by mold. Mold toxicity should not be confused with mold allergies and can cause serious neurological problems.

According to a study by L D Empting, neurologic and neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms can be brought on by a person’s exposure to mold, mycotoxins, and water-damaged structures.

Toxic mold can mimic common neurological disorders such as:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tremors
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Blurred Vision
  • Inability to move certain extremities
  • Inability to balance

It has been demonstrated that the mycotoxins that molds produce harm central nervous system cells, particularly the cells that sustain myelin, the protective coating surrounding all nerve cells. Mycotoxins directly harm nerve cells by crossing the blood-brain barrier.

What Are the Signs that Mold Is Making You Sick?

Signs that mold is making you sick are more allergy-like and do not affect everyone. Some people experience no symptoms of mold exposure, while others may have a more serious reaction.

Common allergy symptoms of mold exposure:

  • Stuffy and runny nose
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Rash on the skin

Those suffering from serious health issues such as asthma, emphysema, and COPD may be more severely affected when exposed to mold.

Mold exposure symptoms of those with lung diseases may include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing, with or without bloody mucus
  • Heavy wheezing
  • Fever
  • Chest pain


Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those interested in the air quality in and around their homes. Trina writes content about things she’s passionate about, such as safe, in-home air, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.