Anyone who has experienced migraine headaches will acknowledge what misery they can cause. Migraines are a neurological disorder that differ from serious headaches because they are debilitating and can impact a patient’s daily life significantly. A major trigger for migraine headaches is smells, such as food odors, cleaning products, cigarette smoke, alcohol, and perfumes. Sensitivity to smells is called osmophobia, and many migraine patients consider the following smells migraine triggers:
1. Food smells
One of the triggers for migraine sufferers can be strong food smells. This is most frequently described as a trigger for approximately 95% of migraine sufferers. These could include the smell of fatty foods and strong produce smells, such as onions.
2. Cleaning products
The smell of cleaning products is another trigger for migraines headache patients. Because strong chemical smells can cause blood vessels to expand and dilate these odors can be a major trigger. Products to avoid are products such as, paint thinners, household detergents, dry-cleaning chemicals, air fresheners and aerosol sprays.
3. Cigarette smoke
Since we know that cigarette smoke is already unhealthy to breathe in, it is no surprise that it can be a spark for migraine headaches. Cigarette smoke smells are linked to headaches for several reasons. Nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow. This in turn causes the blood flow to your brain to be constricted, causing, or triggering a migraine. There is also carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke which can also cause severe headaches.
Alcohol is known to cause headaches, but there is more than one reason for these headaches. In the case of migraines, it can become a trigger. This can occur within a few hours of starting to drink alcohol, or experiencing a hangover after drinking. Some wine drinkers have said that red wine is a migraine trigger for them. In any case, if an individual suffers from migraine headaches, alcohol should be avoided completely.
5. Perfumes and other fragrances
A study demonstrated that 76% of migraine sufferers listed the smell of perfumes as a main trigger for their migraine headaches. This includes not only the perfumes we put on our bodies, but all the perfumes that are found in cleaning products and air fresheners. Any of these types of perfumes can be a trigger. Once the headache is triggered it progresses the same as with any other triggers.
For sufferers of migraine headaches, any relief is most wanted and needed. Candles can sometimes be that relief. It is, however, important to choose the right one. Those that are made of natural soy can sometimes be helpful. Another option can be those made of bees’ wax. Individuals say that those made of beeswax have a natural fragrance that does not seem to trigger a migraine headache. It is important that these have no artificial fragrances added.