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No sense of smell, am I alone?

  • By Howard Fites

    I’ve read many comments from people that certain scents are a trigger to their migraines. I have a very different situation. About 20 years ago I lost my sense of smell, not just partially but totally. I can stick my nose in a bottle of Clorox and smell nothing. To me the world smells like cardboard.

    Does anyone else with migraines have this problem? Has anyone heard of this as a side effect of medication related to migraines?

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi HFites,

    Anosmia is the lose of our sense of smell and can be caused by infection, head injury, dental procedures, sinus and/or nasal problems and other things. In fact my plumber was at my house the other day and said he had this. After a bad respiratory infection as a child he lost his sense of smell. Probably a good thing for a plumber!

    There are medications that can be linked to anosmia and include antibiotics, antiseizure, medications used for heart conditions and/or blood pressure control and others.

    I’ve not heard this happening with migraine, but that certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.


  • By AmeliaAnne

    I lost my sense of smell after having a mild migraine. My sense of smell did return, but it took two weeks and is not as strong. The migraines that I get often cause me to lose control of bodily functions along with the other horrible more common symptoms. It’s like I have a norovirus along with a brain hemorrhage. I wouldn’t be surprised if they caused brain damage, but this particular one was truly mild for me and still I couldn’t smell anything. I usually have triptans with me, but didn’t and so I believe the issue was from the migraine and not from meds.

  • By bluelake

    I have a similar problem. I have a very poor sense of smell. I’m not sure when or what the cause, it just seemed to happen gradually. However, I am triggered by scents. I don’t think the two are related.