Common Smells That Cause Migraines

Common Smells That Cause Migraines

If you’ve ever suffered from an intense headache that seemed to completely debilitate you, then you might’ve experienced a migraine. Migraines go far beyond a normal headache when it comes to pain severity. There are also additional symptoms of migraine, which can include nausea, light sensitivity, dizziness, and more. Those who suffer from recurring migraines have to learn how to deal with them, and that means understanding how to prevent them before they even happen.

Migraines occur for a few different reasons. Sometimes they appear out of nowhere, but they can also be triggered by outside factors. Constant fluorescent lights, consistent background noises, or strong smells can all cause migraines. Here, we’ll outline how different kinds of smells can trigger a migraine, and give tips for preventing or avoiding them:

1.  Food odors
Food odors are easy to avoid when you’re preparing your own dishes, as you know best which food smells are going to make you retch. Unfortunately, if you work closely with other people, sometimes they might bring in a dish with ingredients that smell strongly and offensively of something you don’t like. These strong smells can induce migraines and can be circumvented somewhat by either using a mask or communicating with coworkers about warning you before bringing in food that has a powerful smell – if not stopping it entirely. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if people don’t want to work with you

2. Cigarette smoke
Cigarette smoke used to be everywhere back in the day, which would’ve been a real hindrance for migraine sufferers. Cigarette smoke, like any strong smell, contains particles that can stick to your skin or clothing fabric. It’s also very strong in enclosed spaces. If one’s friends or partner smoke, simply stepping outside will eliminate most of the smell, while changing their clothes and washing their hands will help to completely eliminate the smell altogether. While there isn’t much you can do to prevent smoke from strangers, wearing a mask out in public can help reduce smelling the smoke altogether

3. Perfumes
Same as with food odors, this is another smell that’s easy to avoid in private and difficult to avoid when with others. Suggesting the usage of neutral scented skincare products and the absence of perfumes altogether in the workplace could solve the issue, but management personnel would definitely have to get involved for that to materialize

4. Cleaning chemicals
Certain cleaning chemicals like ammonia and bleach can trigger migraines. These can be avoided by wearing a mask or rag while cleaning, or using cleaning supplies that have less noticeable scents. Figuring out which cleaning products agree with you best is a matter of trial and error. Eventually, you’ll figure out which cleaning products are the ones that affect you the least

5. Candles or air fresheners
Candles and air fresheners often go unnoticed – unless they’re unpleasant. Usually, everyone in the vicinity can tell when a new candle or air freshener has a particularly lingering scent. If it’s your home, just use a different product – if it’s in the office, then speaking to someone in charge could resolve the issue. At the end of the day, workplaces will usually work with people’s medical needs to enhance productivity

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