Exposure to moldy towels

Patient

Q: Hi. I'm not really sure where to go but my towels were exposed to mold from the linen on our hamper. I washed them but I didn't disinfect them. We've still been using them and for the past two weeks my eye has felt irritated but it's not red, I've been having constant tension headaches for the past five days that last all day, and after I showered in Sunday I got some skin irritation on one part of my leg that wasn't itchy or burned but it went away by the next day. I just wanted to know what would happen if we still used these towels? I also have anxiety so I've been scared that all my symptoms are from mold exposure.

Symptoms:  Eye irritation but no redness, tension headaches, skin irritation that went away after a day
Doctor

A:   Your eyes and skin symptoms are unlikely due to sensitivity/ allergy to mold. However, you can safely get rid of the mold on the linen or towels by first soaking them in hot water for half an hour before washing it with a detergent. Then, put it to dry in sun for at least 4-6 hrs. Sun exposure itself is a great natural disinfectant. Make sure that you don't store them in a moist place and that the wash and dry cycle is repeated after every use (for towels) and every third day (for bed linen). You may consult a Neuropsychiatrist for opinion regarding your tension headaches.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thank you very much. The tension headaches have subsided so I'm assuming my symptoms are due to my anxiety and stress.

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