Migraines are a neurological condition and a common cause of pain and misery. They’re challenging to manage, and often require many treatments—including prescription medications, like Ajovy and Nurtec; over the counter drugs, like Advil and Excedrin, and Botox or acupuncture—to reduce the severity. To date, there is no one specific smell that may trigger migraine headaches for all patients, yet many sufferers are sensitive to common odors. Here are some common smells that trigger migraines:
1. Cigarette smoke
Smoking and also second hand smoke leading smells that trigger migraine headaches. Cigarette smokers are at a higher risk of having migraine headaches than non-smokers. The chemicals in the smoke can cause severe and painful headaches.
2. Food odors
Although it is hard to avoid the smell of food, many people have a strong reaction to certain smells. Some foods like onions, and garlic may trigger migraine headaches.
3. Perfumes and colognes
There is a lot of controversy about perfumes and migraine headaches. Some people believe that scents cause migraine attacks, especially particularly sweet or musky fragrances and colognes.
4. Cleaning chemicals
Many people are sensitive to the smell of cleaning chemicals. Some people avoid cleaning products because they can have a strong odor which can trigger migraine attacks. The harsh chemicals, such as bleach, within certain cleaners could be a prime trigger.
5. Candles or air fresheners
Candles and air fresheners can be a trigger for migraine attacks. Along with plug in and spray deodorizers. Most migraine sufferers will choose natural scented oils versus candles and artificial scents in air fresheners.
If you are sensitive to smells, it is essential to avoid these triggers for migraine headaches. If you experience a negative response to the smell of certain products, then you should avoid it and speak to your doctor about potential medications and treatments that could help reduce your migraine headaches.