5 Odors that Trigger Migraines

5 Odors that Trigger Migraines

Migraines occur in the nerves of the brain causing pain that not only affects the head, but the whole body. A migraine is a neurological condition that can last hours and days and is extremely severe. Unlike a headache, it can be accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Many individuals suffer from chronic migraines, which are migraines experienced multiple times every month. The root cause of a migraine is not fully known.

They are possibly the result of heredity and the environment. This severe pain can be triggered by many different factors. Common factors include stress, odors, food, caffeine, pressure changes in the weather, insomnia, and hormonal changes. Migraine sufferers are people who are very sensitive to their surroundings. Let’s look at 5 common triggers involving odors:

1. Smoke from cigarettes
Cigarettes contain various chemicals. Nicotine and carbon monoxide in tobacco products give off chemical odors that some people are allergic to. Cigarette smoke can trigger a headache which can turn to a migraine. The odor from cigarette smoke causes the body’s blood vessels in the brain to become narrow. The less blood getting to the brain is the perfect environment for a migraine.

2. Food scents
Food odors are smells that affect the olfactory nerves in the brain for some migraine sufferers. Food odors like onions and fried foods can result in migraines. This aversion to the smell of food or other scents is called “Osmophobia.” A variety of smells and odors are very problematic for some migraine sufferers.

3. Perfumes and other scents
Perfumes, no matter how expensive or how lightly scented are small triggers for migraines. How does perfume trigger migraines? Researchers believe that fragrances contain certain chemical compounds. The compounds are similar to those used in detergents, soaps, natural oils, etc., that affects the olfactory nerves of the brain of a migraine sufferer where it triggers pain.

4. Cleaning products
Cleaning products release cleaning chemicals called “volatile organic compounds (VOCs).” VOC gases within cleaning materials are released into the air when used. The gases irritate the mucous membranes triggering severe headaches and migraines. Researchers believe that the strong odors from cleaning chemicals can stimulate the brain’s blood vessels and the nervous system to dilate. Migraine sufferers are susceptible to the strong odor of cleaning products which triggers an allergic reaction like that of allergy symptoms.

5. Candles and air fresheners
We love to fill our homes with scented candles or air fresheners. But for migraine susceptible individuals this is a trigger. Candles and air fresheners are made from certain compounds that trigger an allergic reaction in migraine sufferers. When candle scents or air freshener scents are inhaled, by sensitive individuals, it will result in headaches and/or migraines.

Patients experience warning symptoms that include the following:
• A bright aura-like light
• Tingling on the side of the face, arm, or leg, a slurred speech
• Bright visual spotty images

Modern migraine treatment relief is available. The right medicines combined with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes can help. For example, the Advil migraine medication for headaches contains ingredients that reduce swelling of the brain’s nervous system. The liquid capsules of the Advil migraine medication for headaches work quickly to provide migraine headache relief. This migraine headache relief includes lessening the symptoms of light and noise sensitivity, as well as the nausea that is felt when a migraine is present.