A migraine is associated with many different accompanying symptoms including sensitivity to light and noise and nausea. Another very common symptom is sensitivity to odors, also known as osmophobia. In some cases, odors may even trigger migraine attacks. This may include but is not limited to perfumes, air fresheners, car exhaust, cleaning products, nail polish, and cigarette smoke.

For some people, olfactory hallucinations, or smelling odors that are not present, or part of their migraine pattern. This may include smells of something burning, metallic scent, or even rotten meat.

At times, it may be difficult to avoid these odor related triggers however there are a few things you can do to adapt. Be observant and aware of your environment – if you notice strong scents do what you can to modify the environment such as opening a window or step outside. Also, be aware of your premonitory symptoms such as fatigue, neck pain, dizziness which may signal an impending migraine. By doing so, you can take the steps to avoid strong odors if possible or adjust your environment.

If you would like more information about migraine and osmophobia, speak with your healthcare provider.

By: Brooke Steiger, NP