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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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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.

Thank you for your query at DoctorSpring.com.

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. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Select Speciality
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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