Could formaldehyde trigger a Migraine? Treatment?

by Dr. David Watson & Teri Robert Health Professional & Patient Advocate

Full Question:

I have recently started having symptoms that were believed to be from a sinus infection including migraine headaches but, have noticed that the only time these symptoms occur is after I have been in a room where formaldehyde is strongly present in the air. Is it possible that all these symptoms including he migraines could be from the exposure to the formaldehyde in the air and how would you treat it? Anita.

Full Answer:

Dear Anita;

Exposure to odors and chemicals or the fumes from chemicals are common Migraine triggers. Exposure to formaldehyde could be a trigger for you. The best way to avoid Migraines triggered by formaldehyde exposure would be to eliminate that exposure. You don't say where or how this exposure occurs, so we can't tell if avoidance is something you can do without risking your job, etc.

If avoidance isn't possible, there may be preventive treatment options. However, your own doctor needs to tell you specifically how to treat these Migraines. For that matter, your doctor needs to confirm that these are Migraines. As much as we'd like to help, the only person who can safely recommend appropriate treatment for you is a doctor who can review your and your family's medical history, discuss your symptoms with you, and conduct a complete examination.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


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About Ask the Clinician:

Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

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Dr. David Watson & Teri Robert
Meet Our Writer
Dr. David Watson & Teri Robert

Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert.