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How to handle extreme scent hypersensitivity?

  • By emicrania

    One of my triggers is very common among migraineurs: hypersensitivity to scents. I have all the other common triggers as well.

    Obviously, I avoid scents as much as humanly possible. I also politely request all visitors not to wear scents and use all scent-free products.

    We had a scent in our home recently that took days to air out, despite all professional recommended measures. Our weather was ideal and all windows and doors were open. I had one of my worst migraines during that time, as I couldn’t leave the home for that length of time. I will say a lingering scent is very rare, however.

    Also, many times even brief exposure to scents triggers a migraine. My husband and children cooperate, understand and are completely on board. (I feel so guilty because of my extreme sensitivity.)

    Once you’re exposed to a triggering scent, do you do anything? I’ve tried initial avoidance as well as saline nasal sprays and smelling lavender, peppermint oils. Any other ideas?

  • By Amie

    Someone suggested the scent of green apples – of course that wouldn’t work if that was a trigger!

  • By Kerrie Smyres Moderator

    I run a medical grade air filter at home, but still have trouble with scents when I leave the house. A company called I Can Breathe makes face masks with activated carbon filters to filter out odors ( I have one and think it works well. It is also more comfortable than ones from hardware stores.