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Can Certain Smells Cause Migraines

The Role Of Hyperosmia

What are Migraines? (HealthSketch)

In contrast, hyperosmia is when disease, pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies, or an adverse reaction to a medication causes smell hypersensitivity.

Hyperosmia and osmophobia can work together to induce a migraine attack. Because hyperosmia causes smell hypersensitivity, it can induce a psychological response in the form of osmophobia.

Having hyperosmia does not necessarily mean you will get a migraine even if you are prone to them. The same may not be true for osmophobia in which the anxiety induced by a smell serves as a direct trigger for the attack.

Scent hypersensitivity from hyperosmia could be related to the size of the olfactory bulb .

Some studies have suggested that people who get migraines are more likely to have a smaller olfactory bulb than people don’t. Others have reported that people with migraines and osmophobia have an even smaller olfactory bulb volume.

Some researchers suggest that diminished blood flow to the olfactory bulb could be the cause of shrinkage of this organ. However, these structural changes are subtle, and measuring your olfactory bulb is not a standard procedure.

Why Are Some Migraineurs Sensitive To Sensory Triggers

The brains of people who have migraines are a little different overall than people who don’t experience migraines, says Dr. Mohen.

One National Migraine Association study of people with migraine with aura found more connections between the areas of the brain where light and sound stimuli are processed. This extra connectedness may help explain the increased sensitivity to sound, light, and smells in people with migraine.

Experiencing Ocular Migraines See Our Raleigh Optometrists Today

Seeing lights, lines, zigzags, or stars while experiencing a migraine, while common, can also be an indication of a major neurological issue or eye issue. If you live in Raleigh and are experiencing severe or frequent ocular headaches, be sure to see our Raleigh optometrists as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment here.

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How Is Smell Sensitivity Treated

If you learn that sensitivity to smell is one of your usual migraine symptoms, you may be able to treat the attack sooner. Early migraine treatment in prodromal phase can reduce the pain and other symptoms.

Other steps you can take if you have identified that smells can trigger your migraine attacks:

  • Limit scents in your house, such as asking guests to avoid perfume and scented body products.
  • Ask for a scent-free environment at work.
  • If someone is cooking during your migraine attack, try to open up a window to let fresh air in and get rid of any smell.

Changes In The Weather » Common Odors that Cause Migraines

Storms, excessive heat and changes in barometric pressure are common weather-related migraine triggers that can lead to a migraine attack. High humidity and heat can easily lead to dehydration, another common trigger.

How to cope: We cant control the weather, so if the current conditions are not favorable for your migraine, stay inside or adjust your schedule accordingly. If theres an errand you need to run and its the middle of July in Arizona, take care of it in the morning before it gets too hot!

Also Check: Migraines And Fever

Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided

Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.

Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.

There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.

Does Mold Cause Headaches And Other Health Issues

To answer the question does mold cause headaches or other health problems, yes it does. It might not cause issues for everyone, but mold can cause headaches and other health issues as well if you have an allergic reaction to it.

Remember, those with respiratory issues, immune deficiencies, and those either young in age or old in age are more susceptible to having a reaction. Contact your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms and call the professionals to remove the mold for you.

For more topics as helpful as this one, keep checking back with us on a regular basis.

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How Are Migraines Diagnosed

Your doctor can diagnose migraines by the symptoms you describe. If the diagnosis is not clear, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Your doctor might want to do blood tests or imaging tests, such as an MRI or CAT scan of the brain. These tests can help ensure there are no other causes for the headache. You may also be asked to keep a headache journal. This can help your doctor identify the things that might cause your migraines.

If headache pain is getting in the way of your daily activities, its time to see your family doctor. Read More

Are There Perfume Headache Treatments What Can You Do When You Suffer From Perfume Headaches

New theories on what triggers migraines

The best perfume headache treatment is prevention. After learning a little about why and how perfumes can cause migraines, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent and eliminate perfume-induced migraines. Dont worry we have your back and have compiled some perfume headache remedies you can take to lower your chance of experiencing a perfume headache.

Migraine diaries

First, determine if it is fragranced products that are triggering your headaches.

A good way to find out what is causing your migraine is to keep a migraine diary. Recording when you start to have symptoms and examining what is around you will help you determine what the cause of your perfume migraine is: perfumes, air-fresheners, laundry detergents, or even essential oils

Check with your doctor for testing & medications

You really should take your migraine diary to your doctor, who can perform tests to help you determine the specific triggers and find an effective treatment. The doctor may also provide you with over-the-counter medications to prevent, stop, or lessen the effects of olfactory migraines.

In the workplace

Nose plugs & scent blocking

Use fragrance-free and/or natural products

Finally, for yourself, and for others, carefully consider the fragranced products that you use in your daily life and that you put onto your body. Take control and select unscented products when you can.

Natural perfumes

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Can Candles Cause Headaches

    Candles are a great way to improve the ambiance of your home or get in the mood for certain holidays or seasons. Not only do they look great, but they can smell great as well. However, do these candles come without any negative side effects? More specifically, lets take a look at if candles can cause headaches.

    Can candles cause headaches? Candles can cause headaches through the production of smoke and soot or by having a strong fragrance. The National Institute Of Health states that as many as 34.7% of people will suffer side-effects from strongly fragranced products, these side-effects include headaches.

    However, it is important to note that these products are not candles alone. Strongly fragranced products include products such as air fresheners, sprays, soaps, lotions, shampoo perfume, and cologne. So while the problem is a possibility, the study may somewhat overstate it in terms of candles. National Institute of Heath Fragranced Consumer Products.

    Tracking Your Migraine Triggers

    When you understand your migraine triggers, you can master your migraines. It also lets you describe your triggers better to your physician. Since we understand that odors trigger migraines this can help you get a positive migraine diagnosis.

    How do you find your migraine triggers? There are several good apps that can help you identify your migraine triggers. Or, if youre an old-fashioned type, you can use a headache journal. In the journal, you can write details like activities, foods, and smells. Then record the time, duration, and intensity of all your migraines. This will help you track odors as well as foods and activities like exercise that trigger your migraines.

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    Preventing Headaches While Making Candles

    If you are making candles you will be exposed to more fragrance than anyone. It doesnt bother some people, but some have issues. The good news is that you have a few things you can do to prevent headaches while making candles.

    How to prevent getting a headache while making candles? Prevent headaches while making candles by keeping the air circulating through your work area. You can do this by using a ceiling fan, box fan, oscillating fan, or by simply opening a window. However, do not let the fan blow directly on the cooling candles. In addition, you can consider using a mask.

    The smell does not bother me, I actually enjoy it. However, I know some people that buy commercial respirators and have exhaust fans. You have to do whatever makes you the most comfortable and do whats best for your health.

    Odors As Migraine Triggers

    Smells that Cause Migraines

    As with other migraine triggers, its hard to pin down the exact mechanism by which odors trigger migraines. However, its not that hard to figure out which odors trigger migraines. A study that showed 70% of migraine sufferers had odor triggers also tracked down some of the most common odors for triggering migraines:

    • Perfumes
    • Paint
    • Cigarette smoke
    • Car exhaust

    Other studies have identified different odors that result in migraines, including cooking smells like onion or fatty, fried food .

    Not everyone experiences odors as a regular trigger, meaning that the same odor consistently results in a migraine headache.

    People may experience odors as part of their aura. Sometimes this even takes the place of a visual aura. Most often, the imagined smells are of burning or burnt substances. Other times, people lose the ability to distinguish smells.

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    Common Causes Of Migraines

    Doctors arenât totally sure what causes migraine headaches, but they think imbalances in certain brain chemicals may play a role.

    The trigeminal nerve in your head runs your eyes and mouth. It also helps you feel sensations in your face and is a major pathway for pain. Your levels of a chemical called serotonin may fall at the start of a migraine, and this nerve can release chemicals called neurotransmitters that travel to your brain and cause pain.

    Smells That Cause Migraines

    There are many different types of migraine triggers, and its important for you to be aware of which ones are most likely to trigger yours. An important one to consider is smells. From 20-90% of migraine sufferers experience headaches caused by smells, and are sometimes said to be the second most common migraine trigger. In fact, more recent studies have suggested that smell sensitivity is a clinical marker of migraine. They say that it can be used to distinguish between migraines and tension headaches or other primary headaches.

    However, there is also a potential for smells to have a curative effect on migraines.

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    Hereditary Hyperosmia And Super Smellers

    The increased odor sensitivity of hyperosmia is not always negative. Hyperosmia allows you to detect and distinguish smells that do not necessarily provoke a disagreeable reaction, particularly if your hyperosmia is due to a genetic predisposition rather than a medical condition.

    Some people who have genetic hyperosmia are described as super smellers and are able to detect and identify subtle aromas with great precision. This above-average aptitude may allow some super smellers to identify diseases before they can be diagnosed clinically.

    If you have had hyperosmia since you were born, you might not even realize that you have the condition because your acute sense of smell feels normal for you.

    If you catch yourself frequently noticing and commenting about scents that most other people dont notice, you might begin to suspect that your sense of smell is unusually sharp. Or you may be able to identify the difference between various smells with greater accuracy than most people you know.

    Some practical advantages of hyperosmia include detecting the location of a dangerous smell, like smoke or a chemical leak, or noticing that food is rotting.

    Bright Lights And Loud Sounds

    Headache or Migraine?

    Some people report that bright, flickering, or pulsating lights, or loud sounds, may serve as a migraine trigger.

    A small study in European Neurology found that even brief exposure to sunlight may trigger migraine. Study participants reported getting some relief by:

    • wearing a hat
    • avoiding sunny places
    • getting more sleep

    However, in a letter to the editor regarding that study, one neurologist noted that sunlight may not be a primary trigger for migraines. He stated that sunlight only triggered his own migraines if hed drunk wine the previous night.

    He also mentioned that sunlight triggered migraines if he was already sleep deprived, stressed, dehydrated, or experiencing low blood sugar due to skipping a meal. His conclusion was that bright light may be a sort of secondary trigger.

    People whose migraine attacks appear to be triggered by bright light should consider whether these other factors may also be triggers for them.

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    Strong Scents Are So Prevalent In Our Culture That We’re Often Not Fully Aware Of Them And How Often These Smells Are Migraine Triggers For Us They’re Potentially Toxic

    Prevention magazine reports:

    The most common smells that trigger reactions are gasoline, tobacco, and perfume, says Alexander Mauskop, MD, director of the New York Headache Center and author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraines. Don’t think you’re allergic to fragrance? More than 2 million Americans areand most don’t know it.

    Why does this matter? If you someone sprays you with perfume at a department store, you get a migraine. If you get a migraine, you lose a day of work. If you lose a day of work, you can’t afford to eat out this week. If you can’t eat out this week, you burn an enchilada at home.

    If you burn an enchilada at home, you get a migraine again. Don’t let someone spray you against your will. Run through Cosmetics.

    It’s funny, but it’s not. We don’t own the air we breathe. It’s pretty difficult to control the scents around you. Be on the lookout in these situations:

    • Pungent body odor from the person in Seat 37F
    • Car exhaust on your commute
    • Oil-based paint at work
    • Gas fumes at the pump
    • Abercrombie & Fitch – or anywhere within 100 feet of it
    • Nail salons that burn incense

    Of course, in your car, you can turn off the recycled air vent. At home, you can switch to non-toxic bathroom cleaners and low-VOC, water-based paints. You can choose whether to enter a casino, and you can ask for a different seat on a plane due to “allergies.” You can ask your boss for a different office to reduce the triggers at work.

    S To Avoid Your Triggers

  • Watch what you eat and drink. If you get a headache, write down the foods and drinks you had before it started. If you see a pattern over time, stay away from that item.
  • Eat regularly. Don’t skip meals.
  • Curb the caffeine. Too much, in any food or drink, can cause migraines. But cutting back suddenly may also cause them. So try to slowly ease off caffeine if it seems to be one of your headache triggers.
  • Be careful with exercise. Everyone needs regular physical activity. It’s a key part of being healthy. But it can trigger headaches for some people. If you’re one of them, you can still work out. Ask your doctor what would help.
  • Get regular shut-eye. If your sleep habits get thrown off, or if you’re very tired, that can make a migraine more likely.
  • Downsize your stress. There are many ways to do it. You could exercise, meditate, pray, spend time with people you love, and do things you enjoy. If you can change some of the things that make you tense, set up a plan for that. Counseling and stress management classes are great to try, too. You can also look into biofeedback, where you learn how to influence certain things to calm down stress.
  • Keep up your energy. Eat on a regular schedule, and don’t let yourself get dehydrated.
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    Osmophobia And Other Disorders

    Besides migraines, osmophobia is sometimes related to other disorders. For example, those with chemophobia, or the fear of chemicals, may have a strong aversion to any chemical odor. People with a fear of animals might react strongly to any animal scents. Those who are afraid of water may be sensitive to the smell of the ocean.

    Can Cheese Cause Migraines

    Fragranced Household Products That Can Cause Headaches ...

    At Advanced Radiology, we know that migraine triggers can vary from person to person. Stress, fluorescent lighting, certain smells and changes in the weather can all trigger the onset of head pain. But what about cheese?Can Cheese Cause Migraines?Yes. Some types of cheese can cause migraines in some people. The cheeses linked to migraines are certain aged or fermented varieties high in tyramine. Tyramine is a protein byproduct and contributes to migraines because it causes narrowing of the blood vessels. When blood vessels narrow, blood pressure increases and causes headaches and migraines.

    Do you suffer from migraines? Advanced Radiology can help. Call us at 855-201-1519 for your consultation.

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