(Last Updated On: March 24, 2023)

Are Air Purifier Headaches Real?

There are many causes of headaches. However, air purifier headaches are not typically experienced by the general public. Some people are genetically predisposed to headaches and migraines, while others get headaches that are triggered by various causes. These causes include stress, lack of eating, and lack of sleep. However, one of the most common headache causes are airborne allergens, triggering sinus headaches.

The Effect of Headaches on the Human Brain

Air purifier headaches are not likely. In fact, an air purifier may be great for headache relief. They can offer relief for allergy sufferers, including minimizing the risk of recurrent headaches. When searching for a high quality air purifier for headache relief, make sure you research the many different options that are available in today’s market. Top rated brands, such as Alen and BlueAir, offer a wide range of efficient, reliable models.

Air Purifier Headaches Are Rare

An air purifier removes the particles in the air that traditionally cause headaches. The paranasal sinuses are a group of paired spaces in the skull that surround the eyes and nasal cavity. Every person has four pairs of these sinuses. The area surrounding the eyes is called the frontal sinuses (sinus frontalis) and the area surrounding the nasal cavity is called the maxillary sinuses (sinus maxillaris). There are also two pairs that are located between the eyes. They are called cellulae ethmoidales and sinus sphenoidalis. When the membrane of the sinus cavity becomes inflamed, headaches and sinusitis result.

Very similar to the membranes that exist in the throat, mouth, nose, and eyes, the sinuses also have membranes. People who are allergic to airborne particles such as mold spores, tobacco smoke, or pollen, have mucous membranes that become irritated. This also causes membranes in the sinuses to become irritated. Once this happens, the sinuses swell and become filled with fluid, which presses against nerves, such as the trigeminal nerve or other adjacent areas, causing a headache. Another cause of inflammation in the sinus cavity is from either an immune or autoimmune response, which could be allergic in nature. Particles in the air can trigger this type of response, but other causes such as odors, gases, and vapors can do so as well. Therefore, it should be noted, air purifier headaches are rare, and having cleaner air quality may decrease the frequency in which these headaches occur.

Can an Air Purifier Reduce Headaches?

Air purifier headaches are rare, and generally do not affect the majority. In fact, aside from antihistamines, migraine medication, or other anti-inflammatory medications, another effective thing you can do to help combat your headaches is to avoid substances or environments which may trigger your pain. Of course this is much easier said than done. Many of us have no choice but to live and/or work in a polluted building, which results in exposure to fungus and mold spores on a regular basis. This may be out of your control, which is why it is important to find other solutions that make it possible for you to have relief from any health ailments.

If you are not able to avoid being in the presence of offending substances, such as secondhand smoke, the next best thing for you to do is to purchase a high quality air purifier. Currently, the American Lung Association has made recommendations to purchase an air purifier, or several, for families with asthma, allergies, as well as other sensitivities. When you are aware of the environmental triggers that cause your headaches, you can be better equipped to understand the type of air purifier that is best for headaches.

For example, if dust, pollen, or mold is the problem, then the best air purifier to purchase would be one with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) filter. Most medical grade HEPA filters can remove 99.99% of air pollutants and many of them also include antibacterial properties. It is important to regularly maintain the unit by using a good carbon filter and ensure that the HEPA filter will last.

If you have odor sensitivities, such as to volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) or to gas and other types of vapors and fumes, the best recommended air purifier would be a unit that has absorbent material. This includes zeolite and/or activated carbon. A large area of space can be covered by these substances and they are very absorbent, so it can remove many of the offending substances from the air. Air purifiers should also recycle any air within a room at least 4 to 5 times.

For those who may not have a specific trigger or condition in mind, purchasing a mixed use air purifier may be the best option. They come with both a HEPA filter and absorbent material.

Deepen your understanding of how an air purifier can help with your headaches by browsing our buying advice, articles, and other information.