Top 5 Odors that Cause Migraines
Health May 22, 2020

Top 5 Odors that Cause Migraines

Migraines are considered complex headaches that often include multiple systems within the body. In most cases, a migraine is going to be persistent, it is going to affect the neurological system of the body, it is going to last longer than a typical headache, and they can be debilitating to the point that the sufferer is not able to function normally. There are a range of symptoms to look for including sensitivity to smells, light and sound and even nausea and vomiting. 

There are a range of smells that have the potential to be triggers and to bring on a migraine:

1. Food smells

Food smells have the potential to cause headaches and migraines quite often. This can be foods that are noxious or that are very pungent in aroma. It could be a smell that you associate with something stressful that then causes you to become stressed out, stress is another migraine trigger. Smells that are spicy or very aromatic also have the potential to cause migraines.

2. Cleaning products

Certain cleaning products like bleach, ammonia, and heavily fragranced cleaners can cause migraines as well. Smells that are very strong or that are out of the ordinary are most often going to trigger migraine. Smelling these smells for prolonged periods of time, such as while you are cleaning, can also lead to migraine. These products also put off fumes which do have the potential to change air quality and negatively affect those that are breathing them in.

3. Cigarette smoke

Cigarette smoke is noxious in a few different ways. For starters it can affect your breathing which can then affect the overall oxygen levels in the body which can lead to migraine. When you are dealing with cigarette smoke you might also notice that that smell does stay on the clothes so you might be exposed to it previously then the smell is then disturbed and causes a prolonged migraine. Cigarette smoke can also make you cough and sneeze, which can cause headache and can make already existing symptoms of migraine worse.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol smells can also be very strong and can cause issues with migraine sufferers. The compounds in alcohol, when breathed in can cause a great deal of trouble and can cause the body to respond with a migraine. Alcohol is also associated with specific memories that may be stressful and as mentioned, stress is a very common trigger for migraine. Very strong alcohol is one of the most common factors when it comes to migraine associated with smell.

5. Perfume

This is a big factor. Perfumes are meant to be strong, they are meant to linger, and they are meant to be pungent so that they can be smelled from far away and for long periods of time. Heavy floral or musky scents can cause the blood vessels in the head to constrict which can then lead to migraine. Heavy perfumes that are constant and that do not dilute or water down can also cause the migraine sufferer to feel nauseated or can exacerbate the symptoms of migraine that are already present. In most cases, perfumes are difficult to avoid as well since they are in many cosmetic and skin care products and nearly everyone has a favorite scent that they like to wear.