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Risk of BLACK MOLD with headache, vertigo and itchy eyes.

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I wanted to get a professional opinion on exposure to black mold. I just noticed today that my reusable water bottle has an infestation of black specks in the straw and in the top of the cap. I hand wash the bottle daily but I never noticed these black specks. I am assuming that the black specks are black mold? I use this water bottle daily. I am concerned that up to this point I have ingested black mold and that it may hurt my health?

I also noticed that I have black mold growing on my toilet seat. Can this be a health risk too?

This is all in my boyfriends apartment and I've been living with him since April. I have been getting vertigo and very bad headaches and recently I have felt that on rare occasions my vision dims and I feel like I may faint. I have also been having bad allergies, lots of sneezing and itchy eyes and sinus issues. I've been told that I have rhinitis.

Please let me know if these symptoms may be related to black mold…if yes what should I do? Will I be ok if I just stop using the water bottle or do I need to go see my doctor? Are there any blood tests that I would need to get?

Thank you.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 32 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at

I understand your concern.
The only way household mold or black mold can affect normal healthy individuals is by causing a mild allergic reaction from inhalation of the spores. In asthmatics, it can cause exacerbation of asthma.
Ingestion of moldy food can cause cause a stomach upset with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
So exposure to casual amounts of black mold or any other household mold is really nothing serious for otherwise healthy individuals.

Apart from the rhinitis, none of the other symptoms can be attributed to the mold. The small amounts you have found in your water bottle or on the toilet seat will not have hurt your health. So don't worry. You can thoroughly clean up the bottle as well as the toilet seat and continue using them.

As for your symptoms of rhinitis, it is again unlikely to be due to the mold and more likely to be due to an allergen like pollen, dust etc. With the associated sinus issues, you seem to be having rhinosinusitis.
The headaches, vertigo can be due to migraine where the dim vision and feeling faint could be the preceding aura.
For all of these symptoms, it is best to see your GP and get evaluated for a definitive diagnosis and treatment. After a physical examination, a Complete Blood Count may be done as a part of the routine workup.

In summary, nothing to worry about the mold exposure or your symptoms, as with proper management, you will soon find relief.

I hope this was helpful. Feel free to ask queries.


Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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