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Could My House Be Making My Migraines Worse?

I live in a really old farmhouse, like 300+ years old. We don’t use any fireplaces but there is a chimney that runs up between mine and a neighboring bedroom. The chimney is connected to the oil burner. I was diagnosed with cluster migraines almost 2 years ago but they seem to be worse when I’m home. I also sleep a lot and have no motivation. Does anyone have any advice?

  1. Hi clustermigrane,

    Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing an uptick in pain while at home.

    The first thing that comes to mind is has the chimney been cleaned recently? If not, that may be something to look into.

    What about cleaning products? Certain odors, from cleaning products for example, are known to be strong migraine attack triggers for some of us.
    Is there any mold in your home? Mold can also be a migraine attack trigger.

    Are you taking anything to prevent these migraine attacks? If we have three or more severe migraine attacks a month, it's time to discuss migraine prevention with the doctor. Episodic migraine attacks, 14 or fewer migraine attacks a month, can transform into chronic migraine, 15 or more attacks a month, fairly quickly. And that's what we hope to avoid.

    I also wanted to say a word about "cluster migraines". Our migraine attacks may come in "clusters" but it's not an official diagnosis according to the International Headache Society's International Classification of Headache Disorders. Cluster headache attacks are very different from a migraine attack and are also called "suicide" headache, worst pain imaginable. It may be time to consider seeing a doctor who is a bit more educated in treating and managing migraine attacks. Does that make sense?

    Have a great day and let me know if I can be of further assistance!
    Nancy

    1. Hi , Thank you for reaching out to us with this question. Our moderator provided such a wonderful response. I'd like to focus in on one of the possible catalysts she mentioned...mold. Last year I learned there was toxic mold in the wall cavities in my apartment (and since, have had it professionally remediated). What I learned during this experience was that mold can absolutely trigger a multitude of symptoms for certain individuals (including migraines, fatigue, and lack of motivation). You mentioned you live in an old farmhouse, so it may make sense to have mold testing done by a professional to determine where in the home mold is present (if anywhere). In the meantime, you may find spending time in the fresh air when possible helpful, as well as, purchasing a reputable air purifier for the rooms you spend the most time in. I am happy to assist with additional information, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. ~Marci (Migraine.com team)

      1. We recently added a UV Light and Ionizer to our A/C-Heat unit. It seems to be helping alot with our indoor air quality including some issues with mold. It does not get rid of mold in your structure but it will help the air you breathe.

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