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Yuck, what’s that smell?

I have been getting migraines since I was a teenager, I have always managed to cope by taking strong painkillers. Over this last year I have started to experience a ‘smell aura‘. It precedes a migraine from 3-4 days. It is the most awful thing. I can’t pinpoint the smell exactly.


It’s a mixture of burning and sweet mould. The feeling of nausea is constant. I do not have a great sense of smell at the best of times. The reduction in my sense of smell happened after having my first child. I also find they are worse around my menstrual cycle.

Can anyone offer up any ideas to alleviate or stop these smells. It’s torture to think I’ll get this smell for the rest of my life!!

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Comments

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Finnuala,
    You’re not alone in experiencing this symptom, however it is not very common. Here’s some info about it and studies that have recently been done:
    http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-symptoms-olfactory-hallucinations/

    While it is unknown as to why this happens or how to stop it, managing your headaches is the best way to prevent the odd smells. Trying to keep away from your triggers (light, food, etc) should reduce your headache frequency and the smell you get in the prodrome phase. Are you taking any preventative meds? Those could also be helpful in suppressing the smell. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a quick fix for this issue.

    I wish you the best!
    -Katie

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