Symptoms and Signs of Sick Building Syndrome

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/13/2021

Doctor's Notes on Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome is a condition that occurs when a number of a building's occupants have a group of nonspecific symptoms without an identifiable cause. Symptoms occur when people are in the building and resolve when people are not in the building. 

Sick building syndrome should not be confused with building-related diseases, which can be traced back to a specific cause that may include allergies to mold found in a building, bacterial infections related to contaminated cooling towers, or cancers from prolonged exposure to carcinogens. 

Symptoms of sick building syndrome may include: 

What Is the Treatment for Sick Building Syndrome?

There is no known treatment for this condition. Avoidance and elimination of the underlying causes of the problem, to the extent possible, may help relieve symptoms. Otherwise, treatments for sick building syndrome are aimed at managing symptoms and may include:

  • Medications to control aches and pains
  • Short-term medications to control anxiety and improve sleep
  • Anti-nausea medications to control nausea

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.