It’s safe to say we have all experienced stressful days when our heads are pounding like a tom-tom. What we are experiencing is called a headache and it can totally stop us in our tracks, as we feel the striking pain. Fortunately, most headaches cease after a few hours or after taking an aspirin. But, for some people, headaches persist with a vengeance. And oftentimes, it’s not a typical everyday headache at all. If your head is not only pounding, but you’re also feeling nauseous, anxious, and experiencing sensitivity to light, you’re having a migraine.
Let’s face it, we can all work at modifying stress and veer away from food triggers, but the following smells can easily invade our space and become unavoidable migraine triggers:
1. Food smells
Cooking smells like from frying fatty foods can cause some people’s heads to throb. Picking up the scent of onions can bring on a migraine. Cooking with foods and spices that give off a strong odor can bring on a sudden migraine headache. This is especially true when it comes to sometimes picking up the odor from disliked foods. Our brain receptors are reacting to the unlikable sensory stimuli and in return, we begin to feel pressure in our heads.
2. Cigarette smoke.
Smoke gets into your eyes and into your nose. Interestingly tobacco smoke is a common provoker for migraine sufferers. It’s a no-brainer that second hand smoke causes health related issues like respiratory infections, wheezing, and shortness of breath. And nicotine in cigarettes triggers headaches by causing your body’s blood flow to narrow, consequently reducing blood flow to the brain which ignites headaches. However, the smoky fumes from cigarette smoke are enough to cause migraines. The sensitivity to smelling the carbon monoxide can easily bring on an immediate migraine in some people sensitive to second hand smoke.
A lot of research has warned us that drinking too much red wine and other types of liquor can cause headaches. However, some migraine sufferers report direct head pain after just smelling alcohol. The strong odor from hard liquors, fine wines, and beer can be enough to bring on a hearty migraine. Strong scented liquids are easiest received by nasal receptors and may cause one’s blood vessels to swell and dilate, stimulating nerve receptors in their brain which can result in a splitting migraine headache.
Scents and fragrances can give rise to migraine headaches. Although they are primarily marketed as exciting, sensuous, and sweet smelling, perfume odors can readily cause pounding headaches. The stronger fragrance smell, sweet or spicy, quickly penetrates the olfactory glands, your sense of smell organ. And these days, it’s easier than ever to pick up fragrance smells because of the oftentimes sweet smelling chemicals found in many household products like soaps, detergents, lotions, and cosmetics. The fragrances found in these products can irritate one’s nasal passages, resulting in a nauseous migraine headache.
5. Everyday cleaning products
Cleaning agents can be found in every household and workplace, Even the local supermarket and Target. Most of the range of cleaning products like disinfectant sprays, sanitary wipes, bleach, and all-purpose cleaners contain chemicals that target the trigeminal nerve receptors in your nasal lining, especially if you’re prone to having migraines.
Migraine attacks can last hours or even days, and usually impede daily activities. And some key root causes can be extreme stress, hormonal changes, constipation, sleep deprivation, and sensory auras like glaring sunlight or hearing loud music. Also, certain foods can trigger migraines as well, such as tomatoes, eggs, onions, pasta, citrus fruits, and chocolate.Luckily, most over the counter pain relievers can relieve the throbbing pain, but honestly lifestyle changes can be very helpful in the long term.